Jupiter is Bi-Directional!

8 February to 10 March

8 February to 10 March

   The planet Jupiter is currently located within the boundaries of the constellation the Gemini Twins. Jupiter is also currently moving in retrograde – toward the west. Retrograde motion for an outer planet from the Earth happens when the faster orbiting Earth passes an outer planet. It is an illusion, or an apparent motion as all outer planets orbit toward the east, relative to the Earth. The animated graphic shows Jupiter daily at 8 pm CST and as you watch you can observe Jupiter’s retrograde motion by using the nearby 3rd magnitude star Mebsuta for reference. As the animated graphic advances there will be a frame (day) when retrograde motion for Jupiter ends and Jupiter returns to direct motion toward the east. That day is the 6th of March.

   
   
   
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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