Jun 11, 2019

Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye all month

Jupiter as seen by the Cassini spacecraft. Photo: NASA/JPL/SScI

Look up this week to see Jupiter putting on a show for observers on Earth.

The big picture: The largest planet in our solar system is at its brightest this week. Jupiter is currently in a favorable alignment with Earth and the Sun, allowing the planet to shine brightly through the night and making observing the planet unusually rewarding.

Details: You can spot the huge planet with your naked eye at dusk and through the night all month, according to NASA.

  • Your view gets even better if you have a pair of binoculars or a small telescope. By using one of these tools, stargazers will be able to see the planet’s four largest moons — Ganymede, Europa, Callisto and Io — and possibly Jupiter’s distinctive bands of clouds.
  • Look east after sunset, and you should spot the bright planet shining above the horizon.

Be smart: Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a planet and a star when looking with your naked eye, but there’s a shortcut to avoid that confusion.

  • If an object is twinkling, it’s a star. But if it doesn’t twinkle, it’s probably a planet.
  • A satellite, on the other hand, moves across the sky without blinking, while a plane’s flashing lights give it away.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,407,123— Total deaths: 80,759 — Total recoveries: 297,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 383,256 — Total deaths: 12,021 — Total recoveries: 20,191Map.
  3. Trump admin latest: Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill.
  4. Federal government latest: Senate looks to increase coronavirus relief for small businesses this week — Testing capacity is still lagging far behind demand.
  5. World update: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  6. Environment latest: Coronavirus patients in more polluted parts of the U.S. are more likely to die from the illness than those in cleaner areas, according to a new Harvard University analysis.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Pelosi calls for removal of acting Navy secretary

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called for the firing or resignation of acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, following his decision to relieve Capt. Brett Crozier from his command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt last week.

Why it matters: Pelosi said Modly "showed a serious lack of the sound judgment and strong leadership" in firing Crozier, who wrote a letter pleading for help in battling a coronavirus outbreak onboard the ship. The letter was leaked to the press, leading to Crozier's ouster.

Schiff demands that Grenell explain Trump's purge of inspectors general

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to the acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell on Tuesday demanding he turn over documents explaining his management of the intelligence community amid concerns of the politicization of the agency.

Why it matters: The letter, which calls for a response by April 16, comes as President Trump continues his purge of inspectors general across the federal government that he deems disloyal to his administration.