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Jupiter, Ganymede, Europa and double shadows, March 25, 2019

Celestial News & Events

The 12-Year Cycle of Jupiter Oppositions

Jupiter is at opposition on August 19th. If we take the long view — 12 years long — we can watch Jupiter's oppositions as it passes through the zodiac constellations.

Astronomical Tools

A Jupiter Almanac

Find information on observing Jupiter during its 2021 apparition, including information on its moons and Great Red Spot transit predictions.

Europa eclipses then occults Io

Celestial Objects to Observe

Mutual Event Season Heats Up at Jupiter

Jupiter is usually the one occulting and eclipsing the Galilean moons, but this observing season the moons also eclipse and occult one another.

Planets

Ice Giants: Neptune and Uranus

Spot Uranus and Neptune, and relive the original discoveries.

Looking back at Pluto

Solar System

Cool Off with Pluto This Summer

Pluto might be a challenging target but it's well worth the effort. Grab your telescope and see if you can spot this distant, chilly world.

Venus-Jupiter conjunction

Celestial Objects to Observe

How Bright Are the Planets?

What do Venus and Jupiter have in common? Revisions to planets' magnitudes in this year's Astronomical Almanac have revealed some surprises.

Planets

See the Phases of Venus

If you have a set of binoculars or a telescope, watch for Venus’s thinning crescent over the next couple weeks.

Bob King blog post

Night Sky Sights

Shadow-casting with Venus

Venus has a been powerful presence at dusk for months — bright enough to cast shadows. How would you like to put it to the test? The Moon won't spoil the darkness until at least April 24th — April 25th if you wait till after moonset — making it the perfect time to see your own shadow by the light of another celestial body.

Pandora

Solar System

A Guide to All of the Moons of the Solar System

Not so long ago, astronomers thought only a few dozen moons orbited the planets of our solar system. Today, the total count tops 170!

Multifaceted world

Planets

Lonely Pluto Is More than a Speck

With Saturn pointing the way, it's easy to venture into the Kuiper Belt this summer and pay a visit to Pluto.

Explore the Night with Bob King

A Spoonful of Saturn to Sweeten the Night

Move over Jupiter, it's time for Saturn to shine! At opposition this week, the ringed planet is at its brightest and closest for the year.

Planets

Venus Occults a Star and Mercury Joins Jupiter on the Winter Solstice

Bring in winter with a bang with a beautiful, close conjunction and a rare planet-star occultation.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Observing Earth from the Moon

Ever wondered what it would be like to see the Earth from the Moon? Join Bob King as he explores this from the perspective of the Apollo 17 astronauts.

Eight planets await

Planets

See All Eight Planets in One Night

Four planets are great, but how about eight? You can see them all in a single night in the next couple weeks — if you play your cards right.

Celestial News & Events

Observe Changes on Mars

The nearby Red Planet displays remarkable changes every apparition. Whenever Mars approaches opposition, keep an eye out for some of these differences.

Planets

Find Jupiter's Moons - Interactive Observing Tool and App

Use our interactive observing tool to say which of the planet's four largest moons is which.

Astronomical Tools

Transit Times of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Calculate when the Great Red Spot will cross Jupiter's central meridian — that's the best time to see the famous storm through your telescope.

Astronomical Tools

Find Saturn's Moons: Interactive Observing Tool and App

With help from our interactive JavaScript utility, you can always tell which of Saturn's brightest moons is which.

Astronomical Tools

The Elusive Moons of Uranus

Take the observing challenge: Find as many as five of the brightest moons of Uranus in a large backyard telescope using our interactive observing tool.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Track Triton, Neptune's Largest Moon

Triton, Neptune's largest moon, is a tricky find. Our Triton Tracker observing tool can help users of moderate to large telescopes spot this distant moon.

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