Look Up! ... Jupiter Catches Our Attention

Hello Star Gazers,
January 11, 2013 marked the beginning of a new lunar cycle that ends February 9/10. "This [New Moon] area of the heavens is of lofty ideals, multi-spectral inspiration and extraterrestrial vision. It inspires creative action from passion and enthusiasm for our greater ideals and long-term vision." For more insights see Nick Fiorenza's lunar theme article, Visionary Inspiration with Global Vision ~ Mobilization & Expansion.

Jupiter has been catching our attention. This giant gaseous planet shines brilliantly all night long while keeping company with our 14th brightest star, Aldebaran, and playing hide and seek with Luna for observers in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

Luna About to Hide Jupiter

Image Credit: Rafael Defavari

In the image above the waxing Gibbous Moon is about to occult (hide) Jupiter on Christmas Day, 12/25/12, for observers in South America and southern Africa *.

In this view by Rafael Defavari is Luna hiding or munching the planet?! Click When the Moon Ate Jupiter to view a most amazing video of the lunar occultation of Jupiter.

January 19-21, Saturday-Monday Watch Luna approach and have a close encounter with Jupiter and another occultation for observers in some parts of South America *.
1/19 Map/Text, 1/20 Map/Text, 1/21 Map/Text (occultation)

All of January Jupiter lies near Aldebaran, our star of enlightenment, making a potent pairing. Allow these celestial energies to expand your consciousness with new insights and visions. This lunar cycle helps with the mobilization and creative action of these inspirations.

It is said that Jupiter transmits cosmic forces into our solar system. Jupiter bridges, fuses and blends, freeing us from duality. This planet expands our hearts and minds bringing out the best in all, producing wisdom and the externalization of the Divine Plan in our solar system.

Jupiter’s magnetic field is thought to interact with nearly every body in the Solar System in some way. Some scientists even speculate that it is powerful enough to affect sunspots when Jupiter is at perihelion.

Source: Jupiter's Magnetic Field

Jupiter's retrograde motion has kept the planet in close proximity to Aldebaran. This backward (westward) motion ends January 30. Afterwards Jupiter once again moves eastward and eventually away from this enlightening partnership. Be sure to open to their paired illuminating and expansive energies while you can.
Early January Map ... one hour after sunset, looking east
Mid Jan. Map, Late Jan. Map ... 30 minutes after sunset, looking east

Jupiter's 4 largest moons can be seen with binoculars or an inexpensive telescope. A dark sky provides the best viewing. See Jupiter's Galilean Moons to learn more.

Constellations Near Jupiter, Aldebaran and the Pleiades: January Map
It is said the Pleiades seed Aldebaran's vision with universal light.
Use binoculars to view the Pleiades in moonlight or for a special treat on a moonless night.
Note: The brightest star to the north of Jupiter is Capella of Auriga. A dimmer star closer to and also north of Jupiter is Elnath. This star is a point of light in two constellations: Auriga the Charioteer and Taurus the Bull. Look for Betelgeuse, the bright red shoulder star of Orion the Hunter and our Valentine's Star.
BTW: The three belt stars of Orion, which represent the Three Wise Men, point to paired Jupiter and Aldebaran in one dircetion (Map) and to Sirius our brightest star in the other direction (Map). Review Navigating with Orion.

 

How many other planets can be seen with the unaided eye in January?
See Night Sky Info for more on each planet and for additional finder maps.

Mercury ... lost in the glare of our Sun reappears in the evening sky in early February.

Morning Venus ... brightest light near the southeastern horizon; look about 30 minutes before sunrise. Losing altitude daily. Mid-Jan. Map

Sunset Mars ... dim and low on the southwestern horizon, difficult observation; look about 30 minutes after sunset. Mid-Jan. Map

Saturn ... rises around 3:00am and is high in the south at dawn. Look south about 30 minutes before sunrise. Bluish Spica, the brightest star of Virgo the Virgin lies west (right) of yellowish Saturn. Mid-Jan. Map

 

This lunar cycle, which ends February 9/10 "inspires creative action from passion and enthusiasm for our greater ideals and long-term vision." - Nick Fiorenza

Draw Strength from
your core of intentions.
Draw Strength from
The persistent grip of your roots.
Draw Strength from
The wisdom of your elders and ancestors.

- Jaqueline Lasahn / New Moon

 

Look Up! ... Look Within,
Susan Sun at The Night Sky