Thursday, September 23, 2010

Check it out. Once in a lifetime!

Go out tonight after sunset and take a look at that big full moon. See that bright light nearby. No it's not the International Space Station because it's not moving. Very fast that is. What it is is the planet Jupiter (and if you have binoculars you can see the planet Uranus close to Jupiter), the largest planet in our solar system. The moon you'll be looking at is called a Harvest Moon, as it is the first full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox which occurred last night.
A Harvest Moon that has occurred on the equinox has not happened since 1991, and won't happen again until 2029. But right now Jupiter is in opposition, which means it is on the same orbital plane as the Earth's, and will be in the night sky from sunset to sunrise.
What is special about tonight, is that for the only time during our lifetimes, Jupiter and a Harvest Moon will appear simultaneously throughout the entire night on the equinox.
So go out and take a once in a lifetime look. It's free.

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