Moon Near Jupiter and Regulus

Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   Friday evening, December 12th, about an hour or so before midnight local time the 20-day old waning gibbous Moon will be rising at the feet of Leo the Lion. This places the Moon near the star Regulus as well as the planet Jupiter.

jupiter-ani   The two somewhat regularly have close encounters like this one because both are near the ecliptic. However somewhat regularly means whenever Jupiter returns to this part of the sky which based on its 12-year orbit means that about every 12 years Jupiter and Regulus have conjunctions like those this year. This animated graphic is set for 11 December at 11 pm CST and shows the position of Jupiter relative to Leo at 12 year intervals.

   
   
   
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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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