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Stargazers prepare for daylight view of Jupiter

Jupiter will be visible with the naked eye this afternoon.
Jupiter will be visible with the naked eye this afternoon. Reuters

The planet Jupiter will be visible with the naked eye this afternoon, appearing as a point of light in the eastern sky just below the moon.

Nick Lomb, curator of astronomy at the Sydney Observatory, says the best time for people on the east coast to see the planet is about 4:00pm AEST; it will be visible a bit later elsewhere in Australia.

Dr Lomb says it is best to view the planet using binoculars or a small telescope.

"People forget that stars and planets are actually there, they don't actually go away to hide during the day, they are there, but it's just hard to find [them] in the glare of sunlight," he said.

"But this will give us an opportunity to find Jupiter in the sky."

In areas north of Brisbane, including Rockhampton and Townsville, Jupiter will disappear behind the moon in what is known as an occultation.

"If people are watching with a pair of binoculars or a small telescope, they'll actually see Jupiter disappear as the moon moves in front of it," he said.

"It will disappear on the dark side of the moon."

Dr Lomb says people in Brisbane will see Jupiter almost disappear, in what is called a grazing occultation.

He says the phenomenon, which has not happened for a few years, is caused when the moon moves between Jupiter and earth.

People south of Brisbane will be able to see Jupiter as a bright point of light in the sky.




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