Have you ever looked up at the night sky and felt small in comparison to the vastness of the universe? Well, this Astronomy Picture of the Day taken in July of 2013 is sure to make you feel even smaller, but in a good way.
In the image, captured by photographer Juerg Alean, we see a waning moon in the foreground with Jupiter and its four largest moons, also known as the Galilean moons, in the background. The Galilean moons, named after their discoverer Galileo Galilei, are the largest and most easily visible moons of Jupiter.
This particular image showcases an event known as the occultation of Jupiter, where Jupiter appears to pass behind the moon from our perspective on Earth. While most places in North and Central America only saw Jupiter pass less than a finger’s width from the moon, some regions in Southern America were lucky enough to witness Jupiter completely disappearing from view behind the moon, only to reemerge minutes later.
But don’t fret if you missed this particular occultation, as Jupiter will occult the moon again next month. Unfortunately, this event won’t be visible to those in the Americas, but to those in Australia and regions nearby.
It’s moments like these that remind us of the beauty and mystery of the universe, and the infinite possibilities that lie beyond our planet. So next time you’re feeling small, just remember that you’re a part of something much larger than yourself.