The Moon Occults Jupiter on Christmas
Many people, including myself, saw the Moon and Jupiter very close together on Christmas. They appeared a few degrees apart depending on where you were on the Earth and when you looked.
However, for observers in South America, the Moon actually passed in front of Jupiter and covered it up for about an hour. You don’t need a telescope to watch this, but if you have a telescope, a camera and some skill, you can capture this on video. And someone in Brazil did just that and posted a killer video to Youtube.
This video is sped up by a factor of five so you don’t have to watch it quite so long. The detail on Jupiter is amazing. Look closely as Jupiter disappears behind the Moon and you can see a dark dot on Jupiter which is the shadow of one of its Moons transiting the surface of Jupiter. Look at Jupiter when it comes out from behind the Moon…you can still see the shadow on the planet but it has moved!
There are several close encounters between Jupiter and the Moon in early 2013 and there will be more occultations for some lucky people living in certain parts of the world. I already looked and I am not one of those lucky people, but I look forward to more wonderful videos and pictures of these events!
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