Celestial Wonder: Jupiter and the Moon Extremely Close Tonight

Jupiter Moon Near in Sky
Break out your cameras - Jupiter and the Moon will appear just a finger-width apart in tonight's sky.

Jupiter and the Moon will appear at their closest at different times depending on your viewing location. In Eastern North America, it will occur at 11:30 p.m. EST while further inland it occurs at 10 p.m. CST. Moving westward, the peak viewing time will be at 8:30 p.m. MST for stargazers in the Mountain Time Zone, while West Coast observers should look up at 7 p.m. PST.

More seasoned amateur astronomers with good telescopes have a couple of additional treats. Jupiter's Great Red Spot is visible roughly from 9:00 to 10:40 p.m. EST (6:00 to 7:40 PST). And Jupiter's moon Europa crosses in front of the planet from 8:13 to 10:37 p.m. EST (5:13 to 7:37 p.m. PST). Europa is well camouflaged against Jupiter's bright disk, but it should be easier to spot Europa's tiny black shadow crossing Jupiter from 10:22 p.m. to 12:46 a.m. EST (7:22 to 9:46 p.m. PST).

If you miss this conjunction, there will be another fine Jupiter-Moon conjunction on March 17th.