By Dave Fuller on 1/22/2015 9:09 PM
Those of us on Earth won't get a chance to see a triple moon transit across the face of Jupiter for another 17 years... so if it's cloudy, well, you may just have to settle for this animated gif:

Jupiter triple transit animated gifLasting a mere 25 minutes - really a few minutes less than that by the time each Moon is fully into view or before it leaves view - there is not a lot of time to see it. But, there will be plenty of time to view and share this event. 

What will you see? In the graphic above, Io is on the left, Callisto is center, and Europa's shadow on the right. If you look several hours earlier in the evening, you can see Io first on the right side of the shadow of Callisto, then racing to catch up, and actually passing it on the left side. 

So if clouds thwart your efforts later, or you just plain get tired, you can still at least see a double transit occurring. While not rare, they don't happen all the time. 

By Dave Fuller on 8/13/2014 6:29 PM
Early in the mornings this week, the two brightest planets in the sky, Jupiter and Venus, skim past each other so closely that they may look like one single bright planet. They'll be close enough together, in fact, that both will be visible in the same telescopic field of view at moderate magnification.

Start by looking late in the week for the two planets as they saunter towards each other. Venus will initially be the higher, and brighter object. Look below it for Jupiter, dimmer by about 2 full magnitudes. Despite the twilight glow, both of these wanderers in the sky are bright enough that they ought to be visible for quite some time in the increasing twilight before sunrise. Look for your local sunrise time, and and 45 minutes to an hour beforehand, look towards the east-northeast with an unobstructed or very low horizon. 

Jupiter and Venus meet in the sky animated gif

By Dave Fuller on 11/3/2013 7:18 PM
Here's what's happening in the night sky for the week of November 4 thru November 10 Want to see what's up in the sky this week? This daily reminder chart will let you know lots of individual, time-sensitive events occurring. Also, don't miss this week's Eyes on the Sky video about the Moon and THREE Comets you can see: ISON, Encke and Lovejoy.

Not sure how to convert the Universal Times to your local time zone? For U.S. observers, click here. For other visitors, check this site.

Monday, Nov 4:  Look for one day old Moon about 20 to 40 minutes after sunset (use binoculars; see this week's Eyes on the Sky video) Look at stars in Cepheus...
By Dave Fuller on 4/5/2012 10:17 AM

With Venus past the Pleiades and the Moon not-quite at Saturn yet, remember that Jupiter is rapidly sinking in the western, evening sky.  By late April it will not really offer much of a view through the increased layers of atmosphere we will be forced to look through to see it, not to mention the brighter sky.  So now's the time to get your last, good looks at Jupiter for several months.  

The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.