Jupiter’s pairing with the wide waxing Crescent Moon this evening actually shares an interesting connection with Valentine’s Day. Jupiter hosts many of its own moons, 95 by last count, most of which were named for Jupiter’s (and his Greek counterpart Zeus) lovers. While they were many, recent discoveries expanded the names to his daughters as well.

Orion is in the south this evening, his left foot (on the right as we face him) denoted by the star Rigel, which is Arabic for “left foot”. The bright star that marks his right shoulder (on our left) is called Betelgeuse, also Arabic, though its meaning is less certain. Variations in the name suggest it means the hand, the shoulder, or the armpit.

As Orion crests across the southern skies, his bright stars demonstrate considerably differences in color. Compare, for example, the star Betelgeuse on the upper left, appearing an orangish color, while on the lower right, Rigel shines a piercing blue. The colors indicate the star’s outer temperature, with red much cooler than the very hot blue.