This evening the Moon and Jupiter are less that five degrees apart, close enough to fit together within the same binocular field. The pair are closest when Jupiter rises in the east at about 5:30 pm then drift apart as the night progresses. The Moon-Jupiter combo will be an obvious naked-eye sight in the south-east by 9:00 pm.
Jupiter crosses the Meridian at 11:00pm, at which time it will be due south and at its highest point above the horizon. The Galilean moons – Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto – will be visible in small telescopes or even binoculars. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot will also start to become visible through a telescope around 11:00pm.
Galileo Galilei discovered Jupiter’s moons in January 1610 and realized they were satellites of Jupiter in March 1610. This was a revolutionary discovery as they were the first objects found to orbit another planet.