Moon Passing Jupiter: Stargazers Will Witness The Amazing Lunar Occultation And Comets [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on February 17, 2013 3:26 PM EST

The moon will pass Jupiter tonight (Feb. 17) and tomorrow (Feb. 18), leaving many stargazers wrapped up in blankets staring at the night sky.

The event where Earth's natural satellite passes over our Solar System's largest planet is call an occultation, which in simpler terms means that one celestial body will move in front of another.

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The first-quarter moon was reported to appear at the lower right of the bright planet approximately 45 minutes after sunset. Monday evening the moon will be fuller and continue on it's eastward track becoming a full moon by next week.

You will be able to see the "tango" of the moon and Jupiter with the naked eye but with Jupiter being less than 450 million miles from Earth, a telescope will allow you to see some of Jupiter's cloud bands and up to four of it's moons.

Yahoo reports that the moon will make its closest approach to Jupiter at 7 a.m. EST time. However, both the moon and Jupiter will be below the horizon for North America which means tonight is the night to bundle up, grab a cup of coffee and sit out on the your steps to see the moon glide in front of the brightest planet of our solar system.

It was reported that Jupiter would be accompanied by two naked-eye star clusters (the Pleiades and Hyades) in addition to other brightly shining stars.

But the amazing sky show doesn't end there! Two comets should be visible to the naked eye as they whiz through the night sky.

The moon and Jupiter are no stranger to causing commotion in the sky. The last time they caused a stir in the world of science was Christmas Day 2012 when Jupiter appeared slightly above the moon. Jupiter's three moons; Hanymede, Callisto and Europa were hovering in the sky that night as well.

Jupiter is a great target in the sky and if you're a stargazer this is definitely a spectacular event you'll want to witness.

Enjoy the show! If you capture any amazing photos of the celestial passing of the moon in front of Jupiter post them in the comments below.

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