Jupiter Close, Big And Bright

I just know you’ve seen it already. That big, pale yellow “star” climbing the southeastern sky at nightfall. That’s Jupiter! It’s on a seesaw with the other bright evening planet, Venus. As Venus settles into the west, Jupiter takes over in the east. On Monday night, Jupiter reached opposition to the sun, meaning it appears…
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Jupiter Closes In, Gets Temporary New ‘Moon’

See the full moon last night? If you were out past 9:30 you might also have noticed Jupiter shining below it. As Venus sets in the west, Jupiter rises in the east to carry the flame. The solar system’s largest planet by far, Jupiter is rewarding in many ways. Binoculars show its four brightest moons,…
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Watch The Pink Moon Rise With The Yellow Planet

The moon’s been rounding up this week on its way to full. April’s full moon is called the Pink Moon. It’s named for moss pink, a pink-colored phlox that’s one of the earliest spring flowers. Funny thing is, the full moon often comes up a little pink. Pink, red, orange. They’re all warm colors. The…
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Jupiter And Sirius Seesaw In Spring

Last night, students in my astronomy class and I watched Sirius, the sky’s brightest star, twinkle low in the southwestern sky at dusk. As the April sun spreads its warmth, winter stars flee to the west. Spring stars and planets pushing up from the east seem eager to replace them. Right now, you can watch…
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Jupiter’s Back And It’s Good At Math

I stayed up way past my bedtime the other night. I knew it was late because Jupiter rose off to the southeast. What a pleasant surprise it was to see the big, bright planet up before midnight. Then I looked through the eyepiece of my telescope and got a second surprise: Ganymede, the largest of…
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