Astronomy Picture of the Day

February 21, 2013


On February 18, astronomers were in for a celestial treat, Jupiter and the Moon danced with each other in the evening sky for the second time in a month. This type of event is known as the occultation of Jupiter. The large gas giant elegantly slipped by our closest friend – not particularly exciting to talk about, but it does have a certain type of special spark if you witness it.


To top it off, all four of the Galilean moons are visible as well. From left to right, we have Ganymede, Jupiter (the planet, obviously not one of the Galilean moons), Io, Callisto, and Europa. You can also clearly see the effect of “Earthshine” on the ‘dark’ half of the moon. This portion of the moon is lit by light reflected from Earth instead of being lit directly by the sun (like the bright half is). David Finlay took this image in Wollongong Australia on February 18, at 11:30pm.




Large image here:

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