Old Moon over Jupiter

Bright Jupiter returns to view in morning twilight this week, and you can see the gas giant planet shining close to the waning crescent moon. Here is how, where, and when to see them in the sky.

On Wednesday, January 22, before sunrise look just above the southeastern horizon for the bright speck of Jupiter sitting a generous palm’s width to the lower left of the slim crescent moon. The Moon will rise around 5:30 a.m. local time, followed by the bright Jupiter at about 6:30 a.m. The pair will be sitting very low indeed, passing within 0°21′ of each other from our perspective and making a gorgeous sight.

At this close approach on Wednesday morning, you will be able to see the old moon and Jupiter through a pair of binoculars or telescope, but they’ll also be easy to spot and admire with the naked eye. The Moon will shine at magnitude -9.0, and Jupiter will be at mag -1.9. Both objects will lie in the constellation Sagittarius.

Approximately fifteen hours later, the moon’s eastward orbital motion will produce an occultation of Jupiter for observers in Madagascar, the Kerguelen Islands, southern and eastern Australia, New Zealand, southern and eastern Melanesia, and southwestern Polynesia. You can check whether the event is visible in your area and find out the best time for observation in the stargazing app Star Walk 2.

Happy hunting!

Text Credit:
Image Credit:Juan Cuervas

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