Moon & Jupiter in the Night Sky
June 22 - 24, 2018 – seek out the bright waxing gibbous Moon as soon as the darkness falls. That nearby brilliant “star” to the east of the Moon on June 22 is actually no star at all. That’s the giant planet Jupiter, the 5th planet outward from the Sun.
As the Moon makes its monthly rounds in front of the constellations of the zodiac, it swings in the vicinity of Jupiter for a few days each month. And these next few days present a great time to use the Moon to find Jupiter.
Tomorrow night, on June 23, look for the Moon to pair up most closely with Jupiter for the month. The Moon swings to the north of Jupiter on June 23, and then on June 24 Jupiter is found to the west of the moon.
Jupiter, now shines in front of the constellation Libra, and will continue to light up this constellation for many months to come. In fact, Jupiter and Libra’s alpha star, Zubenelgenubi, are so close together on the sky’s dome that both Jupiter and Zubenelgenubi easily fit in the same binocular field of view.
The Moon will be in the vicinity of Mars in the late June and early July. In the meantime, use the Moon to locate Jupiter on the nights of June 22, 23 and 24.