Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jupiter, moon dance in the sky

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TAKE a break from the inauguration hoopla. While dancers sway to the music at Washington's inaugural balls on Monday, the cosmic couple Jupiter and the fattening moon deliver a heavenly waltz: They are less than a degree apart.

On Monday evening, find them very high -- almost overhead -- in the east-southeastern sky. In fact, on Monday night, they will be at their closest at 10:30 p.m. Central time. It's the closest moon-Jupiter conjunction until 2026.

We live in a three-dimensional solar system, so Jupiter and the moon are not really next to each other. -- it just looks that way. The mean distance of the moon is about 384,633 kilometres to Earth, and the mean distance for Jupiter from the sun is about 483.8 million miles.

-- The Washington Post

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 20, 2013 A5

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