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Thread: Sanity check about Jupiter's recent closest approach

  1. #1 Sanity check about Jupiter's recent closest approach 
    Forum Freshman GreatBigBore's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    I'm not a serious astronomer, but I know Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn well enough, or so I thought. I haven't looked up at the night sky or paid attention to any space news for many months, until last night, northern California, 8:30pm local time. That thing must be Jupiter, but dear God I've never seen it like that. I need a sanity check. Big yellow thing, rivaling Venus in brightness, but Venus is on the other side right now? Is Jupiter really close enough to seem so bright and huge? I never thought the distance varied so noticeably. What gives?

    The most exciting phrase to hear in science is not “Eureka” but “That’s funny...” -- Isaac Asimov
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