Turns out, Jupiter can do magic tricks. In particular, it's going to make all of its moons disappear! Eat your heart out Chris Angel!
Jupiter actually has about three dozen moons ranging in size from larger than our moon (Ganymede) to objects no bigger than a city block. However, four have been known since the first time Galileo spied them with his small telescope: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Not surprising, they're called the Galilean moons.
Most nights, even a pair of binoculars will show Ganymede and Callisto out of Jupiter's glare, and even a small telescope will show all four. They make their slow and steady way, turning never-ending circles around the solar system's largest planet.
From time to time, they seem to disappear as they pass either in front or behind Jupiter. One missing is certainly common. Seeing Jupiter with only two of its retinue is even common. However, it's not nearly so frequent to see three of the moons disappear. Only a few times a century will all four disappear. In my 30 years looking skyward, I've never seen it happen.
What makes tonight even more exciting is that rarest of commodities: clear weather! Actual clear skies!!!
So excuse me while I prepare to tune out this world and tune in on Jupiter and it's amazing disappearing moon show. No cover, no minimum...and everyone has a front row seat!