Astrophotos: Jupiter and the Moon Conjunction

by Nancy Atkinson on January 22, 2013

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The Galilean Satellites of Jupiter are clearly visible just above a halo around the Moon, seen over central Italy on January 21, 2013. Credit: Giuseppe Petricca

The Galilean Satellites of Jupiter are clearly visible just above a halo around the Moon, seen over central Italy on January 21, 2013. Credit: Giuseppe Petricca

Last night, the Moon and Jupiter snuggled up in the sky, coming within 29 arcminutes of each other. This will be the closest conjunction of these two bodies in the sky until 2026. The waxing gibbous Moon and the gas giant planet made for a great pair in the western night sky, and some astrophotographers, like Giuseppe Petricca in the image above, were also able to capture some of the Moons of Jupiter as well.

See more images from around the world, below.

Jupiter and the Moon 1-21-13. The Moon is intentionally overexposed so you can see three moons. Ganymede on the left and Io and Callisto on the right (Europa was transiting at the time).  Credit and copyright: Robert Sparks.

Jupiter and the Moon 1-21-13. The Moon is intentionally overexposed so you can see three moons. Ganymede on the left and Io and Callisto on the right (Europa was transiting at the time). Credit and copyright: Robert Sparks.

Moon & Jupiter Conjunction, January 21, 2013. Quick 2-frame collage of this remarkable conjunction between our Moon and the giant planet. This was taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR and a Celestron C90 Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope. Credit an copyright: Gustavo Sanchez/Observatorio Guajataca.

Moon & Jupiter Conjunction, January 21, 2013. Quick 2-frame collage of this remarkable conjunction between our Moon and the giant planet. This was taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR and a Celestron C90 Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope. Credit an copyright: Gustavo Sanchez/Observatorio Guajataca.

Reflections over Lavender Bay, Sydney Australia, Jupiter and Moon conjunction. ‘By this point I had to leave the bay area but one last look back and I saw this frame, so I tried my best to capture it whilst the timer on my parking ticket was quickly running out.’ Credit and copyright: Carlos Orue (ourkind on Flickr.)

Reflections over Lavender Bay, Sydney Australia, Jupiter and Moon conjunction. ‘By this point I had to leave the bay area but one last look back and I saw this frame, so I tried my best to capture it whilst the timer on my parking ticket was quickly running out.’ Credit and copyright: Carlos Orue (ourkind on Flickr.)

Moon-Jupiter January conjunction. Taken with Nikon 55-300 + kenko 2X, 3 different shots for each body. Credit: Alejandro García (bokepacha on Flickr).

Moon-Jupiter January conjunction. Taken with Nikon 55-300 + kenko 2X, 3 different shots for each body. Credit and copyright: Alejandro García (bokepacha on Flickr).

Planet Jupiter vs. the Moon. The small orb on the lower left is the planet Jupiter visible near the moon in the night sky of January 21, 2013. Credit and copyright: Daniel Lowe/danieldragonfilms.com./IStockTimelapse.com

Planet Jupiter vs. the Moon. The small orb on the lower left is the planet Jupiter visible near the moon in the night sky of January 21, 2013. Credit and copyright: Daniel Lowe/danieldragonfilms.com./IStockTimelapse.com

In some areas of South America, the conjunction actually became an occultation. This picture captures the moment when about half of Jupiter was behind the (dark part of) the disk of the Moon. Credit and copyright: Sergio Gorbach, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In some areas of South America, the conjunction actually became an occultation. This picture captures the moment when about half of Jupiter was behind the (dark part of) the disk of the Moon. Credit and copyright: Sergio Gorbach, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Sergio Gorbach, from Buenos Aires, Argentina sent us this image, showing how he was in a region where the conjunction turned into an occulation. “This captures the moment when about half of Jupiter was behind the dark part of the disk of the moon,” Sergio wrote via email. “On the scope three of the Galilean moons where visible, but not on this picture, unfortunately. The picture quality is not great since they were taken by a smartphone held by hand in front of the eyepiece of my (cheap) telescope, but the resulting image is not that bad.”

Not bad indeed!

Jupiter and the Moon over London, England on January 21, 2013. Credit and copyright: Sculptor Lil on Flickr.

Jupiter and the Moon over London, England on January 21, 2013. Credit and copyright: Sculptor Lil on Flickr.

Jupiter and the Moon. Hooligan handhelded shot series with EF-S 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens. Credit and copyright: Sergei Golyshev.

Jupiter and the Moon. Hooligan handhelded shot series with EF-S 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens. Credit and copyright: Sergei Golyshev.

 Luna con Jupiter -- as seen from Spain. Credit and copyright: Jordi Villanueva Alberich.

Luna con Jupiter -- as seen from Spain. Credit and copyright: Jordi Villanueva Alberich.

Moon/Jupiter Conjunction - 21st January 2013. Canon EOS Rebel T3, f5.6, 1/4000 sec. ISO 6400, 300mm. Credit and copyright: Apple Lily.

Moon/Jupiter Conjunction - 21st January 2013. Canon EOS Rebel T3, f5.6, 1/4000 sec. ISO 6400, 300mm. Credit and copyright: Apple Lily.

Moon and Jupiter conjunction Jan. 21, 2013. Two exposures back to back to compensate for the exposure differences. Credit and copyright: jimnista on Flickr.

Moon and Jupiter conjunction Jan. 21, 2013. Two exposures back to back to compensate for the exposure differences. Credit and copyright: jimnista on Flickr.

This is a collage of three photos, all taken on January 21, 2013: one of the Moon and Jupiter, another focusing on Jupiter’s Moons (both with a Canon Rebel T2i), and another through an 8 inch Dobsonian telescope of Jupiter, which was scaled to size and overlayed on Jupiter to provide some detail. ‘The moons are obviously not to scale because they are out of focus, I think it makes the photo a bit more dramatic,’ said photographer Chris Gorman.

This is a collage of three photos, all taken on January 21, 2013: one of the Moon and Jupiter, another focusing on Jupiter’s Moons (both with a Canon Rebel T2i), and another through an 8 inch Dobsonian telescope of Jupiter, which was scaled to size and overlayed on Jupiter to provide some detail. ‘The moons are obviously not to scale because they are out of focus, I think it makes the photo a bit more dramatic,’ said photographer Chris Gorman.

Who says you can't enjoy the night sky even in Urban areas!  This photo of Jupiter and the Moon in close proximity was taken in the light polluted suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. This photo is one shot - not a collage! Credit and copyright: Dave Hudson.

Who says you can't enjoy the night sky even in Urban areas! This photo of Jupiter and the Moon in close proximity was taken in the light polluted suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. This photo is one shot - not a collage! Credit and copyright: Dave Hudson.

Dave Hudson took this great shot on Tuesday, January 21, 2013 @ 10:32pm EST.
Camera and Telescope: Celestron C8 on a Celestron CG5 EQ mount
Canon 60D using Eyepiece projection with MAXIM adapter and Celestron .63 Focal Reducer
17mp picture, ISO 100, 1/60 second exposure, no filters
Telescope: 203.2 mm aperture, 2000mm focal length, F10 – reduced to F6.3 using Celestron Focal Reducer

Jupiter-Moon Conjunction, Jan 21, 2013 from San Diego, California. Shot with a Fuji Finepix 2000hd. Credit and copyright: Bob Gould.

Jupiter-Moon Conjunction, Jan 21, 2013 from San Diego, California. Shot with a Fuji Finepix 2000hd. Credit and copyright: Bob Gould.

Jupiter-Moon conjunction on January 21, 2013. Credit and copyright: Paul Latham. .

Jupiter-Moon conjunction on January 21, 2013. Credit and copyright: Paul Latham.

Jupiter-Moon conjunction 1/21/13 from Houston Texas. Credit and copyright: Chris Grabo.

Jupiter-Moon conjunction 1/21/13 from Houston Texas. Credit and copyright: Chris Grabo.

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About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Todd Yampol January 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM

A correction for you: Jupiter was a mere 29 arcminutes from the moon, which is much closer than 29 degrees :)

NancyAtkinson January 22, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Thank you…correction made!

2006NYM January 22, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Damnit, I missed it. Will it be similar tonight also?

Coacervate January 22, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Yes! The moon has captured Jupiter which will now remain in lunar orbit forever in this historic event. Payback for the world not ending on time. BTW, that’s Strauss you hear playing. (I make with zee little joke, no?)

No! Sorry but the real truth is the Moon zips around the Earth every month so in a 24 hour period is traverses 360/30 or about 12 degrees relative to the stars. OK 28 days not 30…you do the math :)

ITSRUF January 23, 2013 at 7:27 PM

It’s 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes

Alejandro Garcia Crespo January 22, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Woooooo my picture is in here :))

A better versión corrected from flickr: You’ll be able to see the 4 moons better:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v235/bokepacha/luna-jupiter-zoom2.jpg

Steven theAmusing January 23, 2013 at 3:07 AM

I have a timelapse of the short close encounter. http://www.flickr.com/photos/steventheamusing/8406631726

Kenneth Brandon January 23, 2013 at 9:01 PM

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