Jupiter

2020, September 30: Jupiter, Saturn in Evening Sky


Bright Jupiter and dimmer Saturn appear in the southern sky after sunset on September 30, 2020.

Jupiter and Saturn in Sagittarius, September 30, 2020
2020, September 30: Jupiter is 7.4° to the lower right of Saturn. In the starfield, Saturn is 1.7° below 56 Sgr. Jupiter is 2.3° to the lower left of π Sgr and 2.4° to the lower right of 50 Sgr.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

As the sky darkens, look low in the southern sky for bright Jupiter and dimmer Saturn.  They look like overly bright stars. Saturn is to Jupiter’s upper left.

Both planets are gradually moving eastward compared to the starry background.  While they rise in the east and set in the west, they gradually move eastward compared to the stars.

Three stars are identified in the photo above:  Pi Sagittarii (π Sgr on the photo), 50 Sagittarii (50 Sgr) and 56 Sagittarii (56 Sgr).

The planets are moving in front of the stars of eastern Sagittarius.  These dimmer stars are identified by Greek letters and numbers, along with the genitive form of Sagittarius, and its shorter form (Sgr).

During the next several weeks, watch the planets move eastward – to the left on the photo. A binocular is helpful to see the planets with the stars.  Jupiter moves away from π Sgr and toward dim 50 Sgr.  Eventually, Jupiter passes that star as well and begins to close in on Saturn for their Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020.

For more about the Great Conjunction, read our feature article. This is the closest Jupiter – Saturn conjunction since 1623.

For the next several weeks, Saturn slowly moves away from 56 Sgr.

The motion is slow-moving and the anticipatory approach of Jupiter toward Saturn has been occurring since they emerged from the sun’s glare in the morning sky last winter.

Jupiter is now closing in on the Ringed Wonder.

Read more about the planets during October.

Recent Articles

Crescent Moon, Venus, and Aldebaran, July 17, 2020

2020, November 2: Morning Star Venus, Mercury and Evening Planets


Mercury begins to join Morning Star Venus in the eastern sky before sunrise. The moon is in the morning sky in the west. Three evening planets are found after sunset, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Mars is in the east-southeast and the Jupiter – Saturn pair is in the south-southwest after sunset. Today is a heliocentric conjunction for Jupiter and Saturn.

Venus and Moon, October 13, 2020

2020, November: Brilliant Morning Star Venus and Mercury


Brilliant Venus continues to shine brightly in the morning sky. Venus is “that bright star” in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Venus steps eastward in Virgo as Mercury makes its best morning appearance for the year. The crescent moon joins the bright inner planets on November 12 and November 13.

Venus and Moon, October 13, 2020

2020, November 1: Speedy Mercury, Evening Planets


Speedy Mercury joins Morning Star Venus in the eastern sky before sunrise. The first rock from the sun is entering the morning sky for its best appearance of the year. In the evening, Mars shines in the eastern sky, while in the south-southwest Jupiter edges toward its Great Conjunction with Saturn on December 21, 2020.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.