Astronomy pic of the day – Jupiter close-up with 3 moons!!

Jupiter Triple-Moon Conjunction 
Image Credit: NASAESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Courtesy of the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Hit the link for more info on the picture and also labels for the 3 moons and their shadows!!

Explanation: Our solar system’s ruling giant planet Jupiter and 3 of its 4 large Galilean moons are captured in this single Hubble snapshot from January 24. Crossing in front of Jupiter’s banded cloud tops Europa, Callisto, and Io are framed from lower left to upper right in a rare triple-moon conjunction. Distinguishable by colors alone icy Europa is almost white, Callisto’s ancient cratered surface looks dark brown, and volcanic Io appears yellowish. The transiting moons and moon shadows can be identified by sliding your cursor over the image, or following this link. Remarkably, two small, inner Jovian moons, Amalthea and Thebe, along with their shadows, can also be found in the sharp Hubble view. The Galilean moons have diameters of 3,000 to 5,000 kilometers or so, comparable in size to Earth’s moon. But odd-shaped Amalthea and Thebe are only about 260 and 100 kilometers across respectively.

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You don’t have to be Einstein to realize everything is relative

I’m always a fan of checking out the scale of the universe…  Here’s a nice post putting the earth in perspective with some nice images from the Hubble telescope. Enjoy!