Home > Ephemeris Program, Jupiter > 02/05/2015 – Ephemeris more about Jupiter it’s motion and mass

02/05/2015 – Ephemeris more about Jupiter it’s motion and mass

February 5, 2015

Thursday, February 5th.  The sun will rise at 7:57.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 59 minutes, setting at 5:56.   The moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 7:57 this evening.

Tomorrow the planet Jupiter will reach opposition from the Sun being about 180 degrees opposite the Sun in the sky.   At opposition Jupiter is it’s closest to the earth, and appears its largest in a telescope, except for Venus when it is at its very closest to the Earth.  This second brightest planet was named for the chief of the Roman gods, and takes a majestic 12 years to circumnavigate the sky staying in each zodiacal constellation for a year.  It is currently between Cancer on the right and Leo on the left.  In fact it crossed the astronomical boundary back into Cancer.  Since we view all the other planets from our own moving planet, their apparent paths back up westward from their normal eastward motion when we are nearest them.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.


I published this track of Jupiter’s motion for this Jovian viewing season a week ago, showing it’s backward or retrograde motion as we pass it.

Jupiter's path

Jupiter’s retrograde path against the stars between Cancer and Leo October 2014 to July 2015. Created using Cartes du Ceil (Sky Charts).  Click on the image to enlarge.

The planet Jupiter is the largest planet and also most massive.  In fact Jupiter contains more mass than all the other planets of the solar system combined times 2. 

Graphical comparison of masses of the planets.

Masses of all the planets including the dwarf planet Pluto in terms of the Earth’s mass. Credit: University of Tennessee.

Or as the late great science and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov wrote:  “The solar system is composed of the Sun, Jupiter and debris.”

Feeling small yet?

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