2017, December 8: Jupiter, Mars and Moon

Just 30 days before their conjunction, bright Jupiter and Mars shine from the eastern sky this morning.  Mars is now well past Spica, 6 degrees to its upper right.  The separation between Jupiter and Mars this morning is 13 degrees.  Mars passes very closely to Jupiter on January 7.  Jupiter slowly moves eastward.  Its first conjunction, of its triple conjunction, with Zubenelgenubi is December 21.

Meanwhile, the 20-day-old moon is near the star Regulus this morning.  The waning gibbous moon is high in the sky, nearly 80 degrees from Jupiter.  The moon passes Mars on December 13 and Jupiter the next morning.

The articles that follow provide details about the planets visible without optical assistance (binoculars or telescope):