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The equinox moon and Jupiter are putting on a stellar show over SLO County

Grover Beach resident Ashly Cullumber snapped this shot of the equinox moon and Jupiter setting over Avila Beach on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, the last day of summer.
Grover Beach resident Ashly Cullumber snapped this shot of the equinox moon and Jupiter setting over Avila Beach on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, the last day of summer.

Skywatchers got a treat Thursday evening, as the last day of summer drew to a close: Jupiter and the equinox moon were visible in close proximity.

Friday, which is the autumnal equinox, and Saturday promise to be even better.

Grover Beach resident Ashly Cullumber said she was at Shell Beach when she got a shot of Jupiter and the waxing crescent moon setting over Avila Beach. Her photo was featured on the site EarthSky.org.

According to EarthSky, “From North America — indeed, from the whole world — it’ll be easier to spot the moon on Sept. 22 and 23, when its distance from the sunset will be greater.”

“Given an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset, Jupiter sets better than one hour after sundown at mid-northern latitudes. Binoculars can help you to view the moon and Jupiter all the sooner after the sun goes down,” the site added.

The moon and Jupiter rank as the second- and fourth-brightest objects in the sky, respectively. The sun, of course, is No. 1, while Venus comes in at No. 3.

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7929, @andrewsheeler

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