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Jupiter and Uranus

By: Babak A. Tafreshi

 

Region: Middle East

Site: Alborz Mountains - Iran

Date: 2010 September 11

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The bright “star” in this starry view is planet Jupiter. The red lines were made by someone walking with a red flashlight aimed at the ground. Imaged near the date of its 2010 opposition, it completely overpowers every actual star in the night sky. Jupiter is always bright but it looks a little brighter than usual during its opposition which is the brightest time of the planet in our sky and its closest distance to us (opposition take place when the Earth go between Jupiter - or other planets outside the Earth orbit - and the sun every 13 months). Coincidentally, during September 2010 Jupiter is also passing almost in front of the planet Uranus. But Uranus is 5 times farther away and almost 3,000 times dimmer so a binocular or a telescope is needed to see the green planet only a degree from Jupiter. Click on the constellation icon above the image to see all labels to find Uranus like a faint star just at the upper right of Jupiter. More coincidences are also happening here. Jupiter and Uranus find themselves close to the point on the sky known as the vernal equinox, where the Sun crosses the celestial equator on the first day of spring. (Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.) Babak Tafreshi/Dreamview.net

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