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Jupiter Reigns the Night Sky

By: Babak A. Tafreshi

 

Region: Americas

Site: Death Valley - USA

Date: November 2012

As seen on National Geographic News, Jupiter rises above a magnificent desert mesquite tree in the Death valley, California. Captured it its brightest Jupiter was near the opposition (closest to the Earth) at the imaging date, when the dazzling planet rises at the sunset and reigns the sky the whole night. Jupiter is framed by stars of constellation Taurus. Faint star Clusters NGC 1647 and NGC 1746 are visible at its either side while Hyades and the red shinning Aldebaran are at the upper right. There is an interesting alignment of various distances in this view. Jupiter is only half a light hour away from us (1/17,000 of a light year). Aldebaran seems like a member of Hyades star cluster but in fact its located much closer to us at 65 lights years distance. Members of Hyades at about 150 light years away form the closest star cluster to us and one of the largest in the sky, spanning over 4 degrees or 8 times wider in apparent size than the Full Moon. Over 10 times farther than Hyades are the two other open clusters in this view. Babak Tafreshi/Dreamview.net

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