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LOOK! Moon Meets Up with Jupiter in the Pre-Dawn Sky

Nov 29, 2016 05:10 AM EST
A Plane Is Dwarfed As It Flies Past The Moon
The waning crescent moon joined Jupiter in the predawn sky on Nov. 25. Skywatchers all over the world captured stunning photos of the celestial rendezvous.
(Photo : Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Skywatchers witnessed a stunning sight as the waning crescent moon joined Jupiter in the predawn sky on Nov. 25.

The 25-day-old moon appeared in the sky as a slender, sunlit crescent, with the rest of its disk in a faint, blue-grey hue, which is called Earthshine. According to Space.com, Earthshine is a phenomenon that's caused by sunlight reflected off the Earth and back out into space toward the moon.

Jupiter peeks out of the clouds just above the crescent moon, appearing like a non-twinkling star. It could be found in the constellation of Virgo, positioned about 9 degrees above Spica - the brightest star in the constellation - in the east-southeast sky. Jupiter is noticeably brighter shining at magnitude -1.8, forming a scalene triangle with Spica.

On the morning of Thanksgiving, the moon, which was 21 percent illuminated, hovered about 8 degrees to the upper right of Jupiter. But on Black Friday morning, the crescent moon slimmed down to 14 percent and shifted 5 degrees to the lower left of Jupiter, Space.com reports.

Those with powerful binoculars and telescopes were also able to witness four of Jupiter's Galilean moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Europa appeared alone on one side of Jupiter, while the three other moons formed a triangle on the other side.

Also visible was a fourth-magnitude star theta Virginis, which was a degree below the moon.

Towards the end of November, skywatchers will also be able to see other celestial displays. According to Sky and Telescope, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Perseus Double Cluster will be visible to the naked eye on Nov. 29. On Nov. 30, a super-thin crescent moon will join Mercury in the night sky just after sunset. The moon and Mercury will be 7 degrees apart, with the moon appearing on the planet's right.

 

 

 

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