Heliocentric Opposition

   Today, Monday 11 November, Jupiter and Dwarf Planet Pluto will be at the position along their orbital path where they are on opposite sides of the Sun from each other. This is called a heliocentric opposition and is based on using the heliocentric coordinate system. This is essentially a horizontal system of 0-360 degrees as measured eastward around the Sun. Jupiter has a heliocentric longitude of 100 degrees compared with Pluto’s heliocentric longitude of 280 degrees. If nothing else what I think is interesting is how the orbits of these two planets compare with each other. The banner graphic at the top of the page shows the radius of each each planet. Pluto is 32.54 AU from the Sun, while Jupiter is only 5.17 Au from the Sun.

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

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