14 abril 2013

Jupiter and moon closest for month after sunset April 14

For most of the world, the moon will pair up most closely with Jupiter for the month on this Sunday evening, April 14, 2013. Look west after dark to see the waxing crescent near the very bright planet. The moon and Jupiter appear in front of the constellation Taurus the Bull on April 14. How to spot them? Easy. No matter where you live on the globe, as darkness falls, look first for the waxing crescent moon. You simply can’t miss Jupiter nearby because it’s the brightest starlike object in the evening sky – brighter than any star.

Two brightest objects in this photo are the moon and Jupiter, as seen last night – April 13, 2013 – by EarthSky Facebook and G+ friend Duke Marsh. Thank you, Duke! Also notice the three Belt stars of the constellation Orion to the left of Jupiter and the moon … and the tiny dipper Pleiades to the right of them. The fainter star close to the moon and Jupiter is Aldebaran, the Bull’s Eye in the constellation Taurus. Aldebaran is part of a V-shaped pattern; this is the Hyades star cluster, representing the Face of the Bull in Taurus. View larger.

If you live at temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, the moon will start out lower in your evening sky and set sooner after the sun. From the Southern Hemisphere, look for the moon low in the northwest sky at dusk and nightfall. The sky chart at the right features the view as seen from southern South America. Tonight’s moon provides a great jumping-off spot to find your way around the constellation Taurus, and adjacent constellations. The star glaring close to Jupiter is Aldebaran, Taurus’s brightest star. Aldebaran, the ruddy eye of the Bull, is a red giant star and in the autumn of its years. As seen from Asia and Indonesia tonight, the moon will be closer to Aldebaran than it is in North America. Once the moon leaves this part of the sky, you can always use Orion’s Belt to star-hop to Aldebaran and the Pleiades star cluster. Look for the constellation Orion in the southeast to western sky at nightfall and evening.

Then see how Orion’s Belt points to star Sirius to the southeast of Orion’s Belt and to Aldebaran and to the Pleiades to the northwest. The Pleiades are difficult to see from southern temperate latitudes at this time of year.The Pleiades star cluster is composed of hundreds of stars that were born out of the same vast cloud of gas and dust in space. The Pleiades stars are still moving together through the galaxy. If you have binoculars, use them to get a better view of the Pleiades cluster. It won’t be much longer before Pleiades drops out of the evening sky. As seen from northerly latitudes, the other bright light above the moon is Elnath, the star marking the tip of the Bull’s northern horn. Officially, this star belongs to the constellation Taurus, even though Elnath shines at the border of the constellations Taurus and Auriga.

From northerly latitudes, look for the bright star Capella and the constellation Auriga to the upper right of the moon and Jupiter.

Look to the upper right of the moon, Jupiter and Taurus for Capella, the brightest star in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. Once you find Capella, see if you can make out the five-sided figure of Auriga. (It is difficult to see Capella from temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere. In that part of the world this star is found to the lower right of Taurus at nightfall, either close to the horizon or beneath it.) Don’t forget the lovely moon. Its color may redden as it sinks lower in the sky tonight. If you have binoculars, use them to cruise along the terminator – the shadow line dividing the lunar day from the lunar night. It’s along the terminator that you have your best view of the lunar landscape, with the contrast of light and shadow highlighting craters, mountains and valleys. Bottom line: On April 14, look west after sunset to see the waxing crescent moon shining next to the planet Jupiter. A beautiful sight. The other bright star near the moon and Jupiter is Aldebaran, Eye of the Bull in Taurus. The dipper-shaped Pleiades star cluster is nearby. Also, look southwest for the constellation Orion, and to the northwest for the constellation Auriga.

source and credit a earthsky