Jupiter and the Moon are Close Tonight – May 7th, 2017

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-Moon Pairing – Looking southeast during evening twilight

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 –┬áIo, Europa, Ganymede, and Callistowill 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.

The Galilean Moons of Jupiter at 11 pm PDT on May 7th, 2017
The Galilean Moons of Jupiter at 11 pm PDT on May 7th, 2017

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.

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