Missed Jupiter, Moon Pairing Tonight? You Still Have The Chance To Witness It!

Missed Jupiter, Moon Pairing Tonight? You Still Have The Chance To Witness It!
Jupiter tonynetone / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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Astronomers and space enthusiasts, rejoice!


Tonight is when the dark sky will host a spectacle, one that occurs rarely. Our natural satellite, the moon, will have a partner – the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter. Experts say the planet will be viewable in the sky over the next few nights, but tonight, it is poised to be very close to the moon.

David Moore of Astronomy Ireland said that the phenomenon occurs as a result of the line of sight effect. While the two celestial objects will appear to be similar to each other, Jupiter is almost 2,000 times further away from the moon, PerfScience.com noted. Furthermore, according to SkyAndTelescope.com, the massiveness of the planet can be highlighted by the fact that it’s 40 times larger in diameter than the moon.

Jupiter will be viewable clearly tonight, as it will appear where there is least distortion of the atmosphere, Space.com said. Currently positioned in the constellation Leo, it will be at its highest point in the sky beginning soon after 10 p.m., and will set around 4:40 p.m.

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The event will be observable across the globe. “This is one of the most impressive sightings of the Moon, in combination with another celestial body. This will be ‘one of the most spectacular events visible to the general public during 2016,” said Moore.

Astronomers say that Jupiter and the moon will once again be close to each other on May 14.

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