February 2nd, 2017, 6:20 a.m. local time
It was a crystal clear morning today when I let my dog out. Within the hour before sunrise, Jupiter was shining big and bright, above its current star companion Spica. Above both towards Zenith I could see one other lone star in that part of the sky, Arcturus. The only other star I could see at this time was high in the East. I didn’t know what it was, but after later consulting a star chart, I am fairly certain it was Vega.
As a side note, it’s pretty cool how the Summer Triangle, which includes Vega, sometimes can be seen both at sunset and sunrise.
I have been watching the night sky in earnest for almost a year now, and Jupiter (after the obvious Moon) was my first true target. Something occurred to me this morning while seeing Jupiter…it is BIG. I mean, the stars, even the bright ones (except perhaps Sirius) are like little dots of twinkling light. But Jupiter, minus the twinkling, really truly is a bigger object to the naked eye, once you observe long enough. And through binoculars, it has a very distinct circular shape, whereas the stars are still points/dots, just brighter.