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Astro Bob

Jupiter And Saturn Gather ‘Round The Big, Bright Moon Tonight

1 Aug 2020, 16:59 UTC
Jupiter And Saturn Gather ‘Round The Big, Bright Moon Tonight
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The moon joins Jupiter and Saturn in eastern Sagittarius tonight (Aug. 1) to make a striking celestial sight. Stellarium
Maybe you saw the moon, Saturn and Jupiter splayed across the southern sky last night. Tonight they’ll make an even tidier package. Watch for the three to gather into a compact triangle that will surely catch your eye. The waxing gibbous moon passes just 3° from Jupiter and 6° from Saturn. You might be able to squeeze the scene into the field of view of wide-field binoculars, but they’re best with no equipment at all.
Jupiter and Saturn circle the sun at their own individual pace, slowly moving eastward across the sky from one zodiac constellation to the next. Closer-in planets like Mars move more quickly compared to the distant planets. If you’ve paid close attention to Jupiter and Saturn — noting their movement relative to the background stars — you may have noticed that since late May they’ve been traveling west instead of east.
Although this illustration depicts Mars in retrograde motion it applies to all the outer planets. As Earth laps the planet around the time of opposition, it appears to change direction and temporarily move in reverse before ...

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