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Which “star” shines so clearly in the east?

Which “star” shines so clearly in the east?

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A bright object that shines brighter than any other celestial body in the evening. Researchers are also fascinated by the celestial body and are sending up space probes.

Munich – When the weather is merciful and the sky is clear of clouds View of the starry sky Possible, then you can see it: a remarkably bright “star” actually shining in the sky in the east at dusk. It continues to travel across the sky throughout the night until it sets in the west in the early morning. indeed What is the celestial body about?Who shines so bright?

that it Jupiter, the second brightest planet in our sky. Only Venus, which can currently be seen as the “morning star” until sunrise, surpasses Jupiter in brightness. The large gas planet can currently be seen in the sky almost all night. In fact, it rises long before sunset: just after 3 p.m., Jupiter will be visible deep in the east — if it passes through sun It won’t be very bright. However, when dusk begins, it soon appears in the sky.

Jupiter shines like a “bright star” in the east in the evening. (Archive photo) © imago Images/VWPics

The “bright star” in the evening sky: Jupiter shines in the east in the evening

It shines in the sky until approximately 5 a.m., when Jupiter sets in the west. The giant planet is truly stunning and beautiful to the naked eye. However, the view becomes especially exciting with small binoculars: then you can see Jupiter’s four largest moons – Io, Callisto, Ganymede and Europa – close to the planet.

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If you look at Jupiter a few times at night, you’ll see something almost historical: the moons move around Jupiter, and sometimes one of the moons disappears behind the planet and then reappears on the other side. This view in 1610 made the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei realize that there were celestial bodies that did not directly orbit the Earth. This discovery marked the beginning of the end of the geocentric worldview (“all celestial bodies revolve around the Earth”) that characterized society at the time.

Giant Jupiter: You can observe its moons with binoculars

Today, the Galileo moons, as Jupiter’s four largest moons are called, are extremely exciting to research. That’s why the European Space Agency’s Juice space probe is currently flying to Jupiter and its icy moons. Especially this one Jupiter’s moon Europa raises hopes Research: Could life really exist there? NASA’s Europa Clipper space probe will investigate this in more detail when it launches in 2024.

Throughout the night, Jupiter currently in the sky can serve as a guide to other interesting celestial objects. It is located near the open Pleiades star cluster. It can be seen with the naked eye as a blurry patch in the sky, but with small binoculars you can see some of the many stars that make up the Pleiades. Between Jupiter and the Pleiades, you can also find the ice giant Uranus with binoculars or a telescope.

If you look at Jupiter with binoculars or a telescope, you can see its four largest moons - the Galilean moons.  (archive photo)
If you look at Jupiter with binoculars or a telescope, you can see its four largest moons – the Galilean moons. (Archive photo) © IMAGO/David Becker

Jupiter will remain in the evening sky until April 2024

Jupiter will remain visible in the sky for a few more months. In December 2023, the planet will be in the sky until long after midnight. Until March 2023, Jupiter will set earlier and earlier in the west, and the gaseous planet will no longer be visible in the night sky during April. The planet appears in the sky again only in the summer, and can be seen on the mornings of June and July. (unpaid bill)