Celestial Delight As Mars & Jupiter Make An Appearance This Week

Celestial Delight As Mars & Jupiter Make An Appearance This Week

The celestial spectacle continues this week!


Jupiter’s moon Europa will be passing through the face of the planet from 9:24 p.m. until 12:12 a.m. EDT. The shadow of the moon will appear passing through from 11:57 p.m. until 2:40 a.m. EDT. The planet can be observed in the constellation Leo.

On May 27, one can view the Mars-Antares-Saturn triangle expanding as the red planet travels towards the west away from the head of Scorpius, an event that will continue until the end of June. In August, Mars will start repositioning itself between Antares and Saturn.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot will also move across the planet’s central meridian around 2:02 a.m. EDT. The event can be observed an hour before and after, according to SkyAndTelescope.com.

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The Saturn Nebula, which is five degrees north of the moon, is observable in the wee hours of May 28. A small backyard telescope will be the best tool to view the nebula, which has a 7.8 magnitude and is around half a light year across. Being almost 3900 light years away from Earth, one will be able to notice a core of gas that formed during an event when the central star spewed almost 10 percent of its mass over millions of years.

The red planet Mars will be visible for the next couple of weeks, notwithstanding the fact that opposition – when the planet was at its brightest – has just passed. On May 30, Mars is expected to come as close as 47.2 million miles to Earth; making it appear bigger in the sky.

Astronomers and space enthusiasts can view the planet rising in the east immediately following local sunset. It will move across the southern sky during night and will eventually set in the west a little before sunrise. By approximately 1 a.m., it will position itself to the highest point in the southern sky.

Antares, the orange star, will also appear to be close to the red planet, according to National Geographic. Antares is a red supergiant that is as much as 700 times larger than the sun; and is expected to explode as a supernova in the next million years.

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