It’s 69! Two New Moons Join Jupiter’s Family

Jupiter’s moon count just hit 69! Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science added the latest two in announcements published in the Minor Planet Circulars on June 2nd and June 5th. Named S/2016 J 1 and S/2017 J 1 (S=satellite, J=Jupiter), they’re only about a mile across apiece and very, very faint, about magnitude +24.…
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Moon-Planet Conjunctions — The Possibilities Are Infinite!

Every month, the traveling moon circles across the entire sky, passing through the 12 constellations of the zodiac and briefly lining up with various bright planets that currently inhabit those star groups: Jupiter in Virgo, Saturn in Ophiuchus (not an official zodiac constellation, but that’s another story) and Venus in Pisces. The alignments are called conjunctions,…
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Juno Delivers Again On Perijove 5 With Closeups Of Jupiter’s Turbulent Clouds

Take a virtual stroll through the gallery today. They’re all photos returned from NASA’s Juno probe’s fifth close flyby of Jupiter on Thursday, May 18 at 9 p.m. CDT. At the time of perijove — the point in Juno’s orbit when it’s closest to the planet’s center — the spacecraft skimmed just 2,200 miles (3,500…
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Watch A Double Shadow Transit On Jupiter Tonight

Jupiter is front and center at nightfall May evenings. The planet is the first “star” to show in the sky at dusk, when it appears in the southeastern sky a fist above fainter Spica in the constellation Virgo. Tonight (May 11), if you have a modest-sized telescope, say a 4 to 6 incher, you can…
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Jupiter Surprises With Massive Magnetism And A ‘Fuzzy’ Core

I look out at night and see Jupiter and wonder how much we don’t know about the solar system’s biggest planet. Scientific investigation increases our knowledge of the universe but never reaches an endpoint. Who would want it to? There’s an infinite complexity to everything we might investigate, and the hunt’s half the fun. Always another…
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