That Bright Yellow ‘Star’ In The Night Sky Over New Hampshire, Is Jupiter.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


skyatnightdec2012

Click to ENLARGE.


If you were curious, or if the kids were asking, what you are most likely seeing is Jupiter. Other than the Moon, it is the brightest object currently in the night sky, over NH. It is hard to miss. Given its brightness it appears in the sky quite early — even at dusk. It rises in the East, moves a bit to the South but then continues across the sky, right through the night, to set in the West. Its position, at a specific time each night, say 11 pm, will change slightly — typically further to the West. This has to do with the relative orbits of us and Jupiter.

Jupiter, right now, is about as close as it ever gets to Earth. So it is atypically bright. I take out the dogs for their last little jaunt for the day around 10:45 pm each night. In the winter, if there are no clouds, I search out Jupiter. It always uplifts me.

Saturn, Venus and Mercury are also visible this month — but in the morning. So, I won’t see those.

We might also get some meteor showers this month.

If you don’t already have a favorite site for checking out the night sky, try this. It is accurate and easy enough to use. IF I ever get enough time I will do more posts on the night sky because astronomy happens to be another of my interests. More on that later. Enjoy.

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