25 February 2010

Jupiter Conjunction

Hubble Views New Dark Spot on Jupiter

From past few months the Giant planet had been our companion in the evening sky. We have observed the planet Jupiter, the moons, the bands on the planet, the great red spot, mutual eclipse of the Galilean moons, followed the shadows of the moons on the surface of planet.

During the Galilean Nights, conducted world wide last October, we showed the planet to thousands, who got the glimpse of the giant planet for the first time. In most of the outreach programs, Jupiter was the 'star' attraction.

Jupiter became difficult to observe in the late January, as the planet was very close to the Sun. When we say, the planet is close to Sun, we know that the planet is getting behind the Sun. In other words, the Earth, the Sun and the planet Jupiter forms a straight line. This is called Conjunction.

On February 28th Jupiter will reach, Conjunction. On this day the Planet will be at its maximum distance from the Earth. Jupiter will reach a distance of 89,45,96,040 kilometers from the Earth. When close to the Earth, the planet Jupiter can reach a distance of 59,09,12,100 kilometers.

We will have to wait till the first week of April to see the giant planet again. In April the planet can be seen in the morning sky.

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