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Saturday, August 06, 2016

 

Jupiter Meets the Moon (6 August 2016)

Evening sky on Saturday August 6 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 45 minutes after sunset, similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. Jupiter is very close to the Moon.

The inset is the telescopic view of Jupiter and the Moon. at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (but see below). (click to embiggen).

This Saturday evening (August 6), the crescent Moon and the bright planet Jupiter will be very close together, just above the western horizon.

Unfortunately, while  at their closest from most of Australia Jupiter is mostly less than half a lunar diameter from Moon (that is about a quarter of a finger-width). This occurs at around 3:00 pm local time when the sun is still in the sky. By the time the sun has set the Moon is around a Lunar diameter from Jupiter, and by half an hour after sunset it will be two lunar diameters away.

They will be visible together in binoculars and wide field eyepieces of telescopes. For telescope user, a 24 mm eyepiece (rough field of view 1 degree) will have the pair together shortly after sunset.

Photographing the pair will be a challenge, as it will be difficult to get a good exposure of Jupiter and its Moons without over exposing the Moon, you may have to make a mosiac with different exposure times.

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