Evening Sky Spectacle in the Beginning of Ramadan
25 June 2014


Fig. 1

This illustration shows the locations of the Moon and Jupiter in the sky of Alexandria, on the evening of 29 June 2014, about 30 minutes after sunset.

On the evening of 29 June 2014, the skies of Egypt will show a beautiful spectacle: a thin waxing crescent Moon will be in conjunction with Jupiter, the largest planet and the third brightest object in the night sky (sometimes Mars, the Red Planet, becomes brighter than Jupiter). When two celestial objects are aligned near the line of sight, they are said to be in conjunction. Conjunctions are among the most beautiful heavenly sights, particularly when the Moon meets a bright planet, such as Venus or Jupiter.

To view the 29 June conjunction, look toward west, about 30 minutes after sunset. The two luminaries will shine low in the sky; the Moon will be 9 degrees above the horizon (the apparent diameter of the Moon is 0.5 degrees). The Moon will be only 5% illuminated, and lies at a distance of 405,000 km from Earth. Jupiter will shine as a bright white star, to the right of the crescent. It will be 929 million km away from Earth, or almost 2,300 times more distant than the Moon!

Aymen Mohamed Ibrahem
Senior Astronomy Specialist
 
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