Jovian Tidbits While-U-Wait

While we wait for the first photos from Juno to arrive after its close flyover of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot last night, I wanted to share a couple photos of the planet taken the past few nights. One night, I came back from walking my dog, Sammy, and caught the planet’s reflection in a puddle.…
Read More

Warm Up Before Monday’s Flyby With These Cool, New Views Of Jupiter’s Red Spot

In just 3 days, NASA’s Juno spacecraft will fly directly over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a 10,000-mile-wide (16,000 km) storm that’s been whirling around the atmosphere for possibly 400 years or more. While the Voyager and Galileo spacecraft have taken photos of the planet’s most iconic feature, Juno will come closer than any before it,…
Read More

Night Sky On The Fourth Of July

Today we celebrate American Independence Day, when lots of us will be out watching fireworks displays at dusk. Since getting a good seat means arriving early, you might have a little time on your hands to look around and take in the stars before the show begins. Or even after the show. Assuming a forecast…
Read More

Triangles For Lunatics, Crater Riot

If you missed last night’s amazing occultation, the moon has more in store tonight. Look up at dusk and you’ll see three very different objects form a right triangle high in the southwestern sky. The moon occupies one corner and the Jupiter and Spica the others. Spica, the faintest of the three, is intrinsically the…
Read More

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.…
Read More