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Jupiter borrowed a passing comet to make a moon for 12 years

A few hundred million miles away, during that same interval of years, Jupiter had its own share of action. The gas giant passed the time by borrowing a comet called 147P/Kushida-Muramatsu to form a temporary satellite, holding onto it for two orbits.
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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has caught Jupiter's moon Ganymede playing a game of "peek-a-boo." In this crisp Hubble image, Ganymede is shown just before it ducks behind the giant planet. This colour photo was made from three images taken on April 9, 2007, with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 in red, green, and blue filters. The image shows Jupiter and Ganymede in close to natural colours

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jupsat1605066

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Jupiter will be at 'Opposition' , and the closest to the Earth this year, at 14.36 UT, 4th May. Jupiter will be due South at local midnight (At about 01.20 - 01.30, allowing for UK Summer Time).

One thing to watch out for during opposition are the rare eclipses of Jupiter's Galilean Moons, Io, Europa, & Ganymede (eclipses of Callisto cannot be seen this year, because of the tilt of the satellite orbits viewed from the Earth). The other three will still undergo eclipses, but the shadow of Jupiter falls directly behind the planet, because the Earth lies directly between the Sun and Jupiter, and the eclipse event will be hidden by the disk of Jupiter during the eclipse.
However, there is a very rare phenomena that sometime can be seen.
On May 4/5, when Europa enters eclipse on one side of the planet, it will re-emerges from eclipse on the other side.
This is because eclipse-event occurs exactly at the time of opposition, and because of the satellites orbital tilt.


2006-5-5-0h32m

The Europa eclipse event occurs from 23.06 to 01.39 UT on May 5. Europa will pass South of the centre of Jupiter's disk. An because the moons orbit is tilted away from the Earth and the Sun, we can see it enter Jupiter's shadow on one side of the disc, and emerge from the shadow on the other side, only a few hours later.
However, the timing is not exact, and both of these events occur close to the edge of Jupiter's disc; a large telescopes and good viewing conditions are needed.

-- Edited by Blobrana at 15:42, 2006-05-04

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The position of Jupiter's satellites this month (from the 30th December to the 30th January 2006).

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Jupiter's satellite positions:


Jupiter: is in the centre of Virgo where it brightly shines (magnitude -1.7) (Diameter: 30.6").
Jupiter rises at about 5am in the south-east at the start of the month, and by about 4am at the end of the month. This giant planet travels slowly through Libra, the Scales. By the 24th it will be approaching the wonderfully named main constellation star of Zubenelgenubi. This is an Arabic name which translates into English as 'The Southern Claw of the Scorpion'.
A waxing crescent Moon is to the right of Jupiter on the 26th and below on the 27th.

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Jupiter is in the centre of Virgo where it brightly shines (magnitude -1.7) (Diameter: 30.6"). Jupiter gradually emerges from the bright dawn skies at the start of the month.
It reaches a fair altitude above the south-eastern horizon as November closes.
For almost the entire month Jupiter is in Virgo. But during the final few hours on the 30th, it pops into neighbouring Libra.

To find it use the waning crescent Moon which sits 3 degrees underneath Jupiter on the 29th. The Galilean satellites Io, Europa, and Callisto align to form a compact group at 3:09 UT.



The position of Jupiter's satellites this month (from the 14th to the 30th).

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