Winter solstice 2023: Spot Jupiter ‘dancing’ with Moon on the longest night of the year – when and how to see it | The Sun

THE Northern Hemisphere is about to enjoy its longest night of 2023 with a dazzling astronomical display.

Amateur astronomers can spot Jupiter alongside the Moon during an evening that is known as the winter solstice.

The length of the day during the winter solstice is roughly 8 hours and 49 minutes shorter than the summer solstice – the longest day of the year – according to experts at the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

The December solstice marks the point at which the Sun is exactly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn.

So it occurs at different times, depending on whereabouts in the Northern Hemisphere you are.

In the US, the longest night will occur at 10:28pm EST on Thursday,December 21, this year.



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Whereas in the UK, the winter solstice will happen on Friday, December 22 at approximately 3:27am GMT.

On the night, the waxing gibbous moon will shine to the right of Jupiter, the brightest planet in the evening sky.

To see them together, look high above the southeastern horizon as soon as twilight begins.

A pair of binoculars or a small telescope can help you get the most out of the dual display.

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If it's very overcast in your area and you miss them – fear not.

You'll have another opportunity to see them on December 22, when the Moon will have moved to Jupiter's left.

It will also be the peak of the annual Ursid meteor shower – the final meteor shower of the year.

But with such a bright moon, the shower's modest five to 10 "shooting stars" per hour may be difficult to see.

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