Scheduled air date: 2003 Feb 24-Mar 02
The brightest object visible after sunset in the eastern sky for the next couple of weeks is the planet Jupiter, which was recently at opposition—opposite the Sun as seen from Earth—and is therefore about 180 million miles/290 million kilometres closer to Earth than when at its farthest.
(Shown about an hour after sunset for the last week of February-first week of March for mid-Northern latitudes.)
Jupiter has four bright moons—called the Galilean Moons—which can be seen through even a small telescope or stable pair of binoculars. The motion of these moons about Jupiter can be detected in the course of a single night's viewing.
(The above illustration portrays the relative positions of each of the Galilean Moons at quarter-day intervals from the evening of February 24th at the top, through the evening of March 2nd at the bottom.)
If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.
|Illustrations on this page were created using
Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.|
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