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Jupiter Gets Bigger Over Clear Oregon Skies, the Coast; Heatwave Coming

Published 06/08/2019 at 1:53 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Jupiter Gets Bigger Over Clear Oregon Skies, the Coast; Heatwave Coming

(Portland, Oregon) – Look for a much larger Jupiter above the skies of Oregon, just in time for the clouds to clear in places like Portland, Salem, Eugene and along the Oregon coast. There will also be a “strawberry moon” over the region with some unique aspects, and the interior state is headed for an unpleasant heatwave. (Above: a ring around the moon and Jupiter next to it, taken on the Oregon coast).

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Jim Todd, astronomy expert with Portland’s OMSI, said Jupiter will be in opposition on June 10 – Monday – which means it will be at its closest distance to Earth. At 8:17 p.m. it will be 398 million miles or 4.28 AU, causing it to be much more intensely illuminated by the sun and brighter than at any other time of year.

“This happens because when Jupiter lies opposite the Sun in the sky, the solar system is lined up so that Jupiter, the Earth and the Sun form a straight line with the Earth in the middle, on the same side of the Sun as Jupiter,” Todd said. “This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its Galilean moons. Later before sunrise, a medium-sized or larger telescope will allow you to see Jupiter's Red Spot located in its southern hemisphere.”

Todd said it will be easily found in the night sky. On June 10, watch Jupiter will rise in the east at 8:43 p.m., which is still about 15 minutes before sunset. On the Oregon coast, the rise of Jupiter won’t be seen for a little while longer because of the coast range mountains immediately behind places like Manzanita, Cannon Beach, Lincoln City or Newport. However, by later in the evening it will be in full glory. If you already have binoculars from whale watching, you should get some wowing interstellar sights.

Look southward after the rise.

“Before midnight on June 10th, face south to locate the Jovian planet, located east of the waxing gibbous moon,” Todd said. “At opposition, the Jovian planet will appear at low elevation in the southwest as darkness falls lying within the constellation Ophiuchus, located above the 'stinger' of Scorpius. The ringed planet Saturn is located to the far east of Jupiter. Unfortunately, Jupiter will be below the ecliptic and will only reach an elevation of 22.5 degrees when due south at 1:07 a.m.”

Luckily, skies both day and night will be clear throughout the state by Monday.

The weather forecast is mostly clear to all clear conditions from Sunday through Thursday at least. Highs will be a very pleasant mid 60s along the beaches, but sometimes breezy. The inland state warms up quickly starting Sunday, beginning in the low 80s, then 86 on Monday and in the low 90s on Tuesday and Wednesday. This will make the Oregon coast much more pleasant during the midweek.

Both Jupiter and Saturn will be quite visible throughout the summer.

On June 17, the full moon will be in a unique spot, Todd said – the lowest spot, to be exact. The full moon nearest the summer solstice is always the lowest of the whole year, getting only 22 degrees above the horizon at its highest. Also, it has a slight pink color, or champagne tinge, thus called the Strawberry Moon.

It becomes this color because its light has to travel through more atmosphere – and thus more particulates. See full Oregon Coast Weather. Below: more planets seen from the Oregon coast:

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