Jupiter as alarm clock

My bedroom window has a clear western view, so the past few mornings I’ve half woken up before dawn and groggily looked out the window to see Jupiter staring bright in my face. Well I thought that’s what it was, but looking now in Stellarium I’m wondering if it was Betelgeuse instead. Next time I’m half awake I should make out Orion.

Image below is the western sky at 5am; by 6am Jupiter is almost on the horizon and is behind trees.

Screen Shot 2012-12-08 at 8.05.56 AM copy
Here’s an ephemeris of setting times for Jupiter for a couple of weeks, from the USNO server. It sets around 7am local time right now, and is setting about 5 minutes earlier every day. I picked a good time to get interested in Jupiter; it’s at its closest to the earth as it will be for awhile, which means it’s also in opposition to the sun so it rises when the sun sets, etc.

                               Jupiter

                      GRASS VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
          Location:  W121°03'36.0", N39°13'12.0",   800m
             (Longitude referred to Greenwich meridian)

                Time Zone:  8h 00m west of Greenwich

      Date               Rise  Az.       Transit Alt.       Set  Az.
     (Zone)
                          h  m   °         h  m  °          h  m   °
2012 Dec 01 (Sat)        16:41  61        00:02 72S        07:19 299
                                          23:58 72S
2012 Dec 02 (Sun)        16:37  61        23:53 72S        07:14 299
2012 Dec 03 (Mon)        16:33  61        23:49 72S        07:10 299
2012 Dec 04 (Tue)        16:28  61        23:44 72S        07:05 299
2012 Dec 05 (Wed)        16:24  62        23:40 72S        07:01 298
2012 Dec 06 (Thu)        16:19  62        23:35 72S        06:56 298
2012 Dec 07 (Fri)        16:15  62        23:31 72S        06:51 298
2012 Dec 08 (Sat)        16:10  62        23:26 72S        06:47 298
2012 Dec 09 (Sun)        16:06  62        23:22 72S        06:42 298
2012 Dec 10 (Mon)        16:01  62        23:17 72S        06:38 298
2012 Dec 11 (Tue)        15:57  62        23:13 72S        06:33 298
2012 Dec 12 (Wed)        15:53  62        23:08 72S        06:29 298
2012 Dec 13 (Thu)        15:48  62        23:04 72S        06:24 298
2012 Dec 14 (Fri)        15:44  62        22:59 72S        06:19 298
2012 Dec 15 (Sat)        15:39  62        22:55 72S        06:15 298
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