JUPITER AT OPPOSITION:
Tonight, Dec. 2-3, Jupiter is at opposition--that is, Earth passes between the sun and Jupiter. Jupiter rises at sunset and soars overhead at midnight. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and it shines more brightly than any star in the night sky.
There is no better time to look at the giant planet, because this is the closest opposition of Jupiter until the year 2021. [more]
One thousand Earths could fit inside Jupiter.
Image credit: NASA
"The sky has been clear for several days without a trace of any auroras here in the north, but tonight all this changed in an instant," he adds. "I witnessed one of the most powerful auroras in a long while with an exceptionally distinct band of purple-pink from excited nitrogen molecules at the lower edge. A wonderful start of December!"
More auroras could be in the offing as Earth penetrates this stream of solar wind, which is flowing from a coronal hole on the sun. NOAA forecasters estimate a 20% chance of high-latitude geomagnetic activity. www.spaceweather.com
Earth is entering a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.