Have you ever wondered how to find planets in the sky? interstellar? Today you have a great opportunity to locate both easily. You don’t need a telescope, binoculars, or sky map. Human eyes are enough.
With the advancement of technological civilization, access to the night sky, a sight so familiar to every inhabitant of the Earth before the Industrial Revolution, is becoming less and less. Artificial lighting of roads, buildings, industrial facilities, high-rise buildings, pollution – all these factors effectively limit our chances of looking directly at the dark night sky. Moreover, when we look at the sky, we will not see much, and the glare of a large city means that in the sky, instead of thousands, we can only see a few of the brightest stars.
As a result, the common knowledge that planets are also visible among the stars in the night sky is becoming less common. As a result, it is sometimes useful to look at the night sky.
If you go out on Saturday night, when the clouds are about to break and reveal a portion of the sky that can be seen in the south, you’ll see more than just the moon.
The formation of solar system objects causes them to appear in one part of the sky in the night sky today moonAnd Jupiter and Saturn. At midnight (Polish time), the moon will be only 14 hours before a full moon, so its disk will shine brightly in the sky today.
Look at the gas giants
Near midnight, the moon will be 375,000 km from Earth. When you look in its direction, you’ll see a bright spot right on the left and a bit of the moon’s stream – that’s what it would be Jupiter. It will be 5 degrees left and 5 degrees farther from the moon in the sky. Usually, however, determining angular distances in the sky is not very intuitive.
do you find it? Wonderful. Jupiter is more than 600 million kilometers from Earth today. Yes, we see it with the naked eye as a single point of light. We will not see any details, nor will we see it as a shield.
But when you look at him, remember everything you know about him. When you look at this inconspicuous point, you are looking directly at the largest planet in the solar system, a gas giant that can hold 1,100 planets like Earth.
More than 70 moons orbit in the immediate vicinity of Jupiter. Including raisins like Ganymede – the largest moon in the solar system, Europa – an icy moon that hides an ocean of liquid water under its icy crust that contains twice as much water as there is in all the oceans on Earth, or finally The – The moon is covered with very active volcanoes, from which columns of lava and dust constantly erupt, which, after falling, constantly change the landscape on the surface of the globe. looking towards him, You can de facto look at the globe where there is a form of life. For several years now, the Juno probe has been orbiting Jupiter, which every few weeks approaches the planet’s majestic clouds and performs Amazing Photos Like the one below. When you look at this bright spot with the naked eye, you are looking at it completely.
Look back at the moon.
Now look to the right of the moon. Another 12 degrees (slightly more than twice the distance from Jupiter) we find SaturnWhich would not be as bright as Jupiter and would require a close look at the sky. However, its low brightness is not surprising. It suffices to realize that Saturn is a little smaller than Jupiter and, above all, much further away. While Jupiter is 600 million km from Earth today, Saturn is 1,350 million km away from us, which is more than twice the distance.
Did you find Saturn? amazing. We are looking in the head for information about this wonderful planet: the second largest planet in the solar system, surrounded by an amazing system of rings, consisting of smaller and larger rocks. As in the case of Jupiter, several dozen moons should be mentioned here, among which we can find jewels such as Titanium – The only moon in the solar system covered with a dense atmosphere. On top of that, it’s the only place outside of Earth that has lakes (yes, full of liquid hydrocarbons, not water, but that’s irrelevant). So it can be said that Titan is the only place known with its beaches so far. In 2005, the Huygens lander landed on Titan’s surface.
In addition to Titan, we also find a second possible habitat for life in the solar system near Saturn. Small Enceladus – Like Europa – it is an icy moon with an ocean of liquid water inside. Interestingly, water from the interior of the Moon rises to the surface near its south pole. Through the so-called tiger belt, springs of water from within the Moon constantly flow through a system of fissures in the surface. A few years ago, a probe passed through one of these geysers Cassini (just 30 kilometers above the surface of Enceladus), making its first encounter with extraterrestrial water. Unfortunately, there are currently no space probes orbiting Saturn, and worse still, no probes are planned.
It was never necessary for man during his development to determine the sizes of the angles and angular distances in the sky. It is also terribly counterintuitive for this reason. You see the full moon in the sky today. Look at the horizon, the point where the sky meets the earth. Take your gaze from the horizon to the peak – a point directly above you vertically. How many of these full moons do you think you can stack on top of each other to get from horizon to zenith?
Maybe before I give the answer, it’s an extra task. How many full moons today will fit in a straight line between the moon and nearby Jupiter?
It’s 90 degrees from horizon to apex.
It is 7 degrees from the Moon to Jupiter.
The diameter of the moon is only 0.5 degrees.
Thus, up to 180 moons can be aligned in one line from horizon to apex.
A straight line from the Moon to Jupiter fits up to 14 full moons at midnight today. Is it counterintuitive? Yes, but it is true.
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