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Saturday, July 03, 2010

 

Jupiter in Daylight

Morning sky looking east as seen from Adelaide at 4:30 am on Sunday July 4. Click to embiggen.

Jupiter is close to the waning Moon in the morning sky on Sunday, July 4.

With Jupiter a handspan above the 57% illuminated Moon, you can use the Moon to locate Jupiter after the Sunrise. Jupiter and the Moon are also in a relatively dark part of the sky, so it will be easier to pick up after sunrise.

If you start observing before sunrise the location of Jupiter above the Moon is obvious and you can follow the Moon and Jupiter as the sky brightens.

If you are looking after sunrise (but before Moonset, around 11:30 am in Australia), first locate the Moon (fairly easy, as it is bright and in the north-west). Jupiter will be a handspan (the distance covered by your fingers when you hand is help up at arms length in at "stop" gesture, about 6 degrees) above the Moon, you may bneed to look carefully for a while before Jupiter "pops" out at you. Sometimes locating Jupiter in binoculars will help with locating it with the unaided eye.

Make sure the Sun is hidden behind something solid like a building or a wall when you are looking for Jupiter, not trees or your hand. Exposing your eyes directly to the glare of the Sun can be very dangerous and you could potentially lose your sight. This is doubly true if you are using binoculars.

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