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Menopausal Mother Nature

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Moon near Jupiter on November 4

Chart with green line of ecliptic, the gibbous moon near Jupiter.
On the evening of November 4, 2022, you’ll see the waxing gibbous moon near Jupiter. From the Northern Hemisphere, the pair will be in the southeast at nightfall. From the Southern Hemisphere, turn the chart upside down or try Stellarium for a precise view from your location. Chart via John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.

Waxing gibbous moon near Jupiter

On the evening of November 4, 2022, the waxing gibbous moon pairs up with Jupiter. Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, reached opposition on September 26. It still shines brightly at a magnitude of -2.8. Both the moon and Jupiter are in the constellation Pisces.

Jupiter and the moon lie on the path of the ecliptic. The ecliptic is a projection of the plane of our solar system onto the night sky. It’s where you’ll find the sun, moon and planets, and it’s why sometimes we get eclipses, when one object passes directly in front of or behind another. Speaking of which…

Just a few nights later, in the early morning hours of November 8, the moon will undergo a total lunar eclipse. This is when the sun, Earth and moon are in a line that causes Earth’s shadow to pass across the moon. By that date, the moon will have separated enough from Jupiter that the planet sets while the moon hides in Earth’s dark shadow.

Competition for Jupiter?

Other than the moon, Jupiter is the brightest object in the evening sky this month. But let’s not forget about BlueWalker 3, a massive new satellite launched in September. BlueWalker 3 is set to unfurl soon, and how bright it will be is still unknown. Will it give Jupiter a run for its money? Will it change the look of our night sky? Perhaps just one of them won’t, but the company behind BlueWalker 3 – AST SpaceMobile – is planning to eventually launch six of these satellites per month.

Bottom line: See the waxing gibbous moon near Jupiter on the evening of November 4, 2022. The pair lie in the constellation Pisces.

For more great observing events in the coming weeks, visit EarthSky’s night sky guide

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