Jupiter Pulls A Reversal

Jupiter Retrograde Motion: 7 November 2013-6 March 2014

Jupiter Retrograde Motion: 7 November 2013-6 March 2014

   Since 7 November 2013 the giant planet Jupiter has been moving westward, or at least it has appeared to be moving westward when in fact it has been in retrograde motion. This is an apparent motion that occurs for an outer planet when the faster moving Earth catches up and then passes by the outer planet. As has been previously and recently posted the planets Mars and Saturn have just begun their respective retrograde motions. Jupiter, today, reverses all of that as the angle between the Earth and Jupiter has increased to the point where Jupiter now is moving in its ‘correct’ direction, toward the east in what is called direct motion.
Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   Jupiter is currently very visible high overhead at local sunset time, and forms the point of a triangle with Pollux and Castor. This graphic shows the region of bright winter stars near Jupiter and the waxing crescent Moon.

   
   
   
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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