See Jupiter with five moons (August 03-05)

posted: 3032 days ago, on Sunday, 2009 Aug 02 at 14:29
tags: astronomy, Southern Sky News, Jupiter.

For a few days, the 6th mag star 45 Capricorni will masquerade as a fifth Galilean Moon.

Look out for this spectacular sight starting on Monday evening, August 03, from Jupiter-rise onward. Soon after the planet becomes visible, look for Io, Europa and 45 Cap making a tight triangle west of the planet.

Soon after midnight, Europa and 45 Cap approach Jupiter's western edge. An hour or so later, Europa disappears into Jupiter's shadow, leaving 45 Cap gleaming at the planetary perimeter. Depending on your exact location, the star will drop behind the planet early in the morning, followed by Io.

Shortly before sunrise on Tuesday morning, August 04, the four moons and 45 Cap will all be strung out east of Jupiter.

The evening of Tuesday the 4th, as soon as Jupiter is visible, you'll again see the "five moons", with Callisto being the most far-out. Around midnight, Ganymede and Europa will have a very close get-together, and in binoculars, Jupiter will again have four "moons".

By the time Ganymede and Europa are well-separated, early-morning on the 5th, Io will have vanished behind Jupiter. Before sunrise on the 5th, five "moons" will again be visible, with 45 Cap now lying nearest the far-flung Callisto.

By sunset on the 5th, 45 Cap will be located out beyond Callisto, left behind as Jupiter and its entourage continues their westward journey.

nothing more to see. please move along.