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Weather Talk: Look for Jupiter in the night sky

On the next clear night, look for the planet Jupiter. It will be the brightest thing in the night sky other than the moon.

Jupiter is presently in opposition to the sun, meaning the sun and Jupiter are opposite each other with respect to Earth. The actual moment of opposition was Tuesday, May 8.

This month, Jupiter rises in the east shortly after sunset and traces a path across the southern sky approximately following the same path taken by the sun earlier in the day. A small telescope or a good set of binoculars will reveal three or four of Jupiter's own moons, first observed by Galileo with his new telescope in 1609.

Galileo's meticulous observations of these moon's led him to conclude they were, in fact, revolving around Jupiter, which caused some commotion in the philosophical world by confirming the idea that not everything revolves around Earth.

John Wheeler

John was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up near Birmingham, Alabama. As a teenager, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to a small town in northeast Iowa. John traces his early interest in weather to the difference in climate between Alabama and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in meteorology. Like any meteorologist, John is intrigued by extremes of weather, especially arctic air outbreaks and winter storms.  John has been known to say he prefers his summers to be hot but in winter, he prefers the cold.  When away from work, John enjoys long-distance running and reading.  John has been a meteorologist at WDAY since May of 1985.

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