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Moon, Jupiter to promenade across night sky Monday

Published January 20, 2013 6:11 pm

Visibility • Clear skies predicted, but those in the Salt Lake Valley will look through haze.
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The moon and Jupiter will dance arm-in-arm across the sky Monday night into Tuesday morning, making for a beautiful celestial spectacle.

The pair will be seen high in the east as darkness falls Monday evening and they will waltz high in the south about 9 p.m. and take their final bows in the west early Tuesday morning.

"Both will be easily seen with nothing more than the naked eye, even from light polluted urban areas," said Patrick Wiggins, NASA/JPL solar system ambassador to Utah.

The weather may cooperate, depending on viewers' location.

The night sky will be clear of clouds, but for those in the Salt Lake Valley, the view likely will be obscured by the inversion, said Monica Traphagan, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

For those in darker, rural areas, viewers will be able to see a couple of star clusters escort Jupiter and the moon across the dance floor.

To the pair's northwest will be a small, delicate cluster of stars some may say looks like a tiny dipper. It is properly known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters; in Japan, it is known as Subaru, according to Wiggins. To the pair's southeast will be a much larger, V-shaped cluster called the Hyades, Wiggins said. The cluster's brightest star, called Aldebaran, is also referred to as the bloodshot eye of Taurus the Bull.


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