Last night some of you may have seen a bright star close to the Moon, well it wasn't a star it was the planet Jupiter. It's been hanging out towards the south in the evenings for the summer if you hadn't already spotted it.

Close encounter between the Moon and Jupiter

The star to the lower-left of Jupiter is Iota Capricorni. But if you look closely you can see two other "stars" either side of Jupiter. They're not actually stars but two of Jupiter's moons. To the left is Ganymede and to the right is Callisto. The above image has over-exposed the Moon to show the tree around it. The somewhat green flare opposite the Moon in the image is the reflection of the Moon caused by the camera's optics.

Below is a close up of Jupiter.

In this image we can see a third Moon, just poking out around the left limb of Jupiter, this is Io. There's another large Moon that is normally visible and that's Europa, but yesterday evening when these images were taken it was on the far side of Jupiter.