Jupiter meets the Moon: This Week in Astronomy with Dave Eicher

That bright planet in the sky next to the Moon this week? It’s Jupiter.
By | Published: February 12, 2024

This week, you can catch Jupiter and the Moon in close quarters. The waxing-crescent Moon will slide about 3° north of the gas giant on Feb. 15 at around 8h Universal Time. For observers in the Americas, the objects will be closer together the evening of Feb. 14; observers in East Asia and Oceania will see them closer on the night of Feb. 15.

Whichever night you see them, the pair will make an alluring wide-field vista hanging out beneath the fuzzy patch of the Pleiades (M45) and to the right of the constellation Orion.

Jupiter won’t be the only planet in the neighborhood: On the evening of Feb. 15/16, the Moon will reach conjunction with Uranus, passing 3° north. The ice giant will be at the limit of naked-eye visibility and competing with the nearby Moon, so you’ll probably want to seek it out with binoculars or your Celestron telescope.

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