The bright “star” in this view from the village of Pluguffan, near Quimper in Brittany, is planet Jupiter. Imaged near the date of its 2010 opposition, it completely overpowers every actual star in the night sky. Jupiter is always bright but it looks a little brighter than usual during its opposition which is the brightest time of the planet in our sky and its closest distance to us (opposition take place when the Earth go between Jupiter – or other planets outside the Earth orbit – and the sun every 13 months). Coincidentally, during September 2010 Jupiter is also passing almost in front of the planet Uranus. But Uranus is 5 times farther away and almost 3,000 times dimmer so a binocular or a telescope is needed to see the green planet only a degree from Jupiter. Move the slider on the image to see find Uranus in a close-up inset view of the pair.



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