Stargazing: Ghoulish giant returns to the evening sky
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While you are out trick-or-treating and enjoying your neighborhood's spooky decorations and illuminated jack-o'-lanterns, make sure you take some time to look for Jupiter. The ghoulish giant is a natural decoration lurking in the eastern sky this Halloween.
The most massive planet in our solar system is a bloodcurdling place to visit. On Jupiter, the atmospheric pressure is so strong, it squishes gas into liquid. Jupiter's poisonous atmosphere would kill you with one breath and can crush a metal spaceship like a paper cup. Its stripes and swirls are cold, windy clouds of ammonia and water. There's also a massive storm here as wide as three Earths that has survived for hundreds of years called the Great Red Spot. Deadly radiation also surrounds the foreboding planet.
Look for dazzling bright Jupiter, if you dare, around 9:30 p.m. The ghastly giant sits below and to the left of the waning gibbous moon on Halloween evening. It will "hang" about 15 degrees above the eastern horizon.
First Published October 29, 2012 12:00 am