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Jupiter is now well past opposition but remains a beautiful early evening object towards the west just after sunset. The largest planet in the Solar System is located in Leo and dominates its surrounding region of sky. At magnitude -1.8 it can't be mistaken and despite being towards the lower end of its brightness range is still brighter than any night-time star.

This month a nice visual and photographic opportunity occurs on July 9th when the waxing crescent Moon (28% illuminated) passes close by Jupiter, making pleasant early evening viewing. Even better for those living at the southern tip of Africa, an occultation is visible during daytime. Observers with telescopes (maybe binoculars as well) will be able to spot Jupiter appearing from behind the Moon's limb at about 11am local time (small variations in the exact time depend on location). The image below shows the view at 11:10am local time from Port Elizabeth, South Africa just after Jupiter has re-appeared. The two objects are positioned only 6 degrees above the eastern horizon. As always take extreme care when observing during daylight hours. Never look at the Sun directly or with un-filtered binoculars and telescopes. This will cause permanent eye damage.

The Moon and Jupiter towards the east just after 11am local time on the morning of July 9th from Port Elizabeth, South Africa (credit:- stellarium/freestarcharts)

The Moon and Jupiter after sunset on July 9th from New York City (credit:- stellarium/freestarcharts)

Jupiter during July 2016 (credit:- freestarcharts)

Jupiter during July 2016 - pdf format (credit:- freestarcharts)

See also

The Planets this Month - July 2016