When Jupiter asked, “Do I look fat to you?”

February 2nd, 2017, 6:20 a.m. local time

It was a crystal clear morning today when I let my dog out.  Within the hour before sunrise, Jupiter was shining big and bright, above its current star companion Spica.  Above both towards Zenith I could see one other lone star in that part of the sky, Arcturus.  The only other star I could see at this time was high in the East.  I didn’t know what it was, but after later consulting a star chart, I am fairly certain it was Vega.

As a side note, it’s pretty cool how the Summer Triangle, which includes Vega, sometimes can be seen both at sunset and sunrise.

I have been watching the night sky in earnest for almost a year now, and Jupiter (after the obvious Moon) was my first true target. Something occurred to me this morning while seeing Jupiter…it is BIG. I mean, the stars, even the bright ones (except perhaps Sirius) are like little dots of twinkling light.  But Jupiter, minus the twinkling, really truly is a bigger object to the naked eye, once you observe long enough.  And through binoculars, it has a very distinct circular shape, whereas the stars are still points/dots, just brighter.



I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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