September 7, 2010
The bright object you see rising in the east after darkness falls this month is the planet Jupiter. In this time exposure taken Aug. 13 from Monument Valley, Ariz., the stars appear as short streaks because of the Earth’s rotation. Jupiter made the brightest streak near the image’s center. The much fainter and more distant planet Uranus made the second streak to Jupiter’s upper right. Both planets reach their closest point to Earth on Sept. 21.
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After the lovely “evening star,” Venus, follows the sun down to the western horizon on cool September evenings, another dazzling planet rises in the east to take her place. It is the giant planet Jupiter, largest of the planets in our solar system and second only to Venus in dazzling brightness.