Thoughts on Jupiter’s conjunction with the Moon

Jupiter in conjunction, as they say, with the moon on February 3rd, in a totally clear sky here in Scotland! Not great pictures by handheld camera, but just to draw attention to the show in the sky! One picture showing how close an angle they are at in the sky (although separated by hundreds of millions of miles between Earth and Jupiter’s orbits around the sun) and one just of Jupiter without the glare of the moon. Jupiter is about 5 times as far from the sun as we are, and would look – er – 4 or 5 times as big in our sky if it were at the same distance from us. It’s a huge gas planet, and if it were a few times bigger, it would have enough pressure at the centre to turn it into a star. There are more double/multiple stars out there than single stars (http://www.astronomy.com/…/fun-with-double-and-variable-sta…), and we are lucky Jupiter didn’t make it – whoever promised “I’m gonna make you a star” lied! See http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter for more on Jupiter, with a better picture, complete with red spot, an enduring storm visible on its surface. I suspect that might be Ganymede, at 1 o’clock relative to Jupiter, one of Jupiter’s own moons ( there are 67 of them) which is bigger than the planet Mercury. Is there another at 8 o’clock?!

Jupiter - and Ganymede

Jupiter – and Ganymede?

The Moon and Jupiter 3rd February

The Moon and Jupiter 3rd February