[Jupiter-Moon Conjunction as seen in Malegaon, Maharashtra on Saturday Oct 08, 2022. (Photo: ummid.com)]
Moon-Jupiter Conjunction: Barely two weeks after stargazers had a chance to watch Jupiter and its four Moons at their closest to Earth, Saturday October 08, 2022 night brought with it another rare and spectacular astral vista.
As the Sun set Saturday and the Moon rose from the East, stargazers noticed a bright Planet shining nearby.
In a normal night, a lot of stars and planets can be spotted and easily seen on the Sky after the sun set. However, tonight is special as the Moon and the nearby Planet – both extraordinarily bright, make the neighbouring objects invisible.
“The bright shining Planet hovering near the Moon tonight is actually Jupiter”, Architect Athar Shazan Faizee, who has a special attraction and interest in Astronomy told ummid.com.
Space.com gives more details. "The Moon tonight is situated just below and to the left of Jupiter, a distance measuring roughly 4 degrees", it reported.
To gauge how wide 4 degrees is, your clenched fist held at arm's length is equal to roughly 10 degrees. So, Jupiter and the moon are separated by less than half a fist on Saturday night.
In addition, the moon measures one-half degree wide. However, because of an optical illusion, the Moon actually appears twice as big as it actually is to our eyes, according to Space.com.
Thus, while the separation between the Moon and Jupiter seemingly should be equal to eight Moon widths, seeing them in the sky Saturday evening, the two appear to be much closer — to some, perhaps less than half the predicted "eight moons wide" distance.
“And yet, you don't really need the moon to identify Jupiter; it readily attracts attention all by itself. With Venus currently deeply immersed in the glare of the sun and out of view, Jupiter has taken over as the brightest object in the night sky, save for the moon”, Space.com reported.
“For the moment, Jupiter ranks as the second brightest object in the night sky”, it said calling the astronomical arrangement today as “Moon-Jupiter Conjunction”.
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and around 484 million miles from our star. It is also the largest planet in the Solar System by a large margin, massively dwarfing the moon despite being dimmer in the night sky over Earth.
Stargazers had a chance to witness the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter on May 01, 2022 when the two planets came so close to each other as if to collide with each other any moment.
Stargazers, who could not see the Jupiter-Moon conjunction tonight due to bad weather or otherwise, will have another chance to see it on Friday November 04, 2022.
Jupiter-Moon conjunction tonight is backed by “Hunter’s Moon” on Sunday October 09, 2022.
Also known as a sanguine or “blood” moon, the term “Hunters Moon” is used traditionally to refer to a full moon that appears during the month of October. It is preceded by the appearance of a “Harvest Moon”, which is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox.
“The Hunter's Moon - the full moon after the Harvest Moon - falls on October 9 in 2022. The bright object near the full moon is our solar system's biggest planet, Jupiter”, earthsky.org wrote in a report.
The Hunter's Moon gets its nickname from hunters stocking up for the winter by stalking their prey under moonlight.
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