Spectacular Planetary And Lunar Alignment To Grace The Post-Sunset Thanksgiving Skies
“As 2019 has progressed, Saturn has followed Jupiter in its sky-crossing migration from east to west. Meanwhile, for about the past month, Venus has emerged as an evening star after sunset, drifting from west to east. On Sunday, November 24, Venus and Jupiter nearly met — achieving a conjunction — coming within 1.4° of each other.”
Normally, astronomical conjunctions are a big and spectacular deal, especially when they’re close, and particularly when they’re between the two brightest planets of all: Venus and Jupiter. But on American Thanksgiving, November 28, an extraordinary and unusual event will occur: the young crescent Moon will align with Venus and Jupiter as well, fresh off a conjunction. While skywatchers worldwide will get a spectacular show, the best views come for people in European and African longitudes, as they’ll see the Moon appear between closely spaced Venus and Jupiter.
Why Does Jupiter Get Hit By So Many Objects In Space?
“Yes, Jupiter is bigger than Earth, and that enhanced size accounts for a little over a factor of 100 in collision frequencies. But realistically, collisions on Jupiter are even hundreds of times more frequent than that. Why? Because Jupiter’s gravitational pull is sufficient to attract huge numbers of comets and asteroids that come too close to it, in a way that Earth cannot. Jupiter is struck so frequently due to a combination of gravity and the fact that objects farther from the Sun — even fast-moving comets — have slower velocities, and are therefore easier to capture.
Size does matter, but not as much as gravity does. In particular, not as much as gravity does relative to the speeds that objects near this gas giant move at. The only object in the Solar System better at capturing asteroids and comets is the Sun, but Jupiter is a very strong #2! Jupiter, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t appear to protect the inner Solar System very much at all, but rather serves as a tremendously good punching bag for objects that, otherwise, wouldn’t strike anything at all.”
Jupiter has been called the shield of the Solar System. We have this longstanding idea that Jupiter protects the Earth from asteroid and comet strikes, and that without its influence, we’d be struck by a catastrophic impact more often than we are with it around. Why do scientists think that? Is it true? And why, over the past 3 decades, have we seen so many large impacts on Jupiter?
It can be casual to forget the magnificence of our planet and get lost in our tight-knit everyday lives. In the advent of a lunar eclipse (January 31, 2018) it is worth knowing that when it comes to eclipses, Earth holds a pristine status in our solar system.
To understand why, we need to shift our perspective a little bit and ask -”How would it be like if you were on Io (one of the moons of Jupiter)?”
The most startling thing about this experience would be that the Jupiter would appear 36 times larger than the full moon (from earth). That’s HUGE!
Also since the moons of Jupiter lies in the same plane, you would be witnessing an eclipse every 42 hours …
Moons – Io, Ganymede, and Callisto in solar eclipse
In addition, since Jupiter has many moons (A large family of them), you might be able to catch some your fellow moons in eclipse with the sun. Their shadows though, appearing like tiny dots on the gas giant.
Saturn and its eclipse
If we make a slight detour and end up in Saturn, this is what it looks like when Saturn occults the Sun. Although not technically an eclipse, this image was captured by Cassini with Sun behind the planet, setting the rings and its atmosphere aglow.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.
When people are not overwhelmed by the beauty of its rings, they notice the shadows cast by its many moons. Here is the solar eclipse of Saturn’s moon Titan:
Eclipse on our friendly neighbor – Mars
Larger of Mars’s two moons, Phobos passing in front of the sun – Solar eclipse.
Let’s forget about all those planets that are far away, if one were make a visit to Mars which is ~12 light minutes away, one would witness only partial eclipses because the moons of Mars are too small to block the entire sun.
Eclipses on Earth
One Earth, One moon, A spectacular eclipse
Eclipses on earth, on the other hand, are too surreal to be true. Our planet not only supports life but also is placed in a prime location that would cause a total solar eclipse.
And as though the entire universe wanted to amuse us even more, the moon’s orbital plane is slightly misaligned from the Earth’s orbital plane around the sun which makes an occurrence of an eclipse predictable but yet not long enough; leaving us in a state of desperation wanting for more.
is a visible-light camera/telescope placed on the Juno Jupiter Orbiter.
But the cool part about this is that it was primarily put on board the
orbiter primarily for public science and outreach.
If you are
an amateur astronomer and also interested in image processing, you have
full access to all the raw images taken by the orbiter (check link).
Summary: Around 1997, there were three great storms named FA, DE and BC on Jupiter. Then DE got jealous that BC was getting all the attention from Earthlings and went on a vortex attack ,destroyed it and ascended the throne as BE.
When FA came to know about what had happened, it summoned all the gases and went on a full out attack on BE to become BA
Now if you were like me, this might come to you as a huge surprise because whenever one thinks about Jupiter one is not used to visualizing it with rings around it, but rather as a huge gas giant.
The rings are not prominent
Unlike Saturn’ rings which are bright, the discovery of Jupiter’s wings had to wait till 1979.
This is so because the rings are faint and are only visible only when viewed behind Jupiter and lit up by the sun.
How are they formed ?
Jupiter’s rings are formed from dust particles hurled up by micro-meteor
impacts on Jupiter’s small inner moons and captured into orbit.
impacts on the moons were any larger, then the larger dust thrown up
would be pulled back down to the moon’s surface by gravity (meaning that the dust would not have enough velocity to escape the surface).
The main and halo rings consist of dust ejected from the moonsMetis, Adrastea, and other unobserved parent bodies as the result of high-velocity impacts
must constantly be replenished with new dust from the moons to exist.
Actually, there are quite a bit about these rings that we are still in the dark about. And hopefully these would become clearer in the upcoming years.