Moon to sweep by Jupiter July 12 to 14 | 7/12/2019 | Bruce McClure
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On the evenings of July 12, 13 and 14, 2019, watch for the bright waxing gibbous moon to swing by the giant planet Jupiter. Fortunately, the king planet is so bright that this world can easily withstand the lunar glare. After all, Jupiter is the 4th-brightest light in the heavens, after the sun, moon and planet Venus. Venus is a morning object, virtually lost in the sun’s glare now, so there’s no way to mistake Venus for Jupiter in the July evening sky.

Although the moon and Jupiter appear close together on the sky’s dome, these two worlds are nowhere close to one another in space. The moon, our closest celestial neighbor, is around its average distance from Earth (238,955 miles or 384,400 km) right now. Jupiter resides more than 1,700 times the moon’s distance from Earth. At present, Jupiter lies 4.42 astronomical units (AU) from Earth. One AU = one Earth-sun distance = 92,955,817 miles or 149,597,871 km. Jupiter is currently 5.29 AU from the sun.

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Click here to learn the moon’s present distance in miles, kilometers and AU.

Click here to know Jupiter’s present distance in AU.

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View at EarthSky Community Photos. | If you can learn to identify Jupiter this weekend, you’ll enjoy it even more in dark country sky, after the moon has moved away. Jupiter is the brightest starlike object in the night sky now, as seen in this image captured by Kristopher Schoenleber on July 5, 2019 near Winthrop, Washington. Jupiter is now located in our sky next to the starry band of the Milky Way. Thank you, Kristopher!

After the moon and Jupiter first come out at dusk, the brilliant twosome will continue to move westward across the sky throughout the night. They’ll set beneath the southwest horizon in the wee hours before dawn. The moon and Jupiter...
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