Saturday, July 14, 2007

planetary gazing

wow, both venus and jupiter remain super bright in the sky right now! i love being able to see them well before the sun goes down or even before the light blue sky turns dark! venus and saturn have been moving apart from each other in the western sky over the last couple weeks. venus approaches regulus while saturn slowly follows about 6 degrees in the sky below. tonight there will be a nice triangular alignment between these two planets and the star regulus!

tomorrow night's new moon allows for a wonderful view of venus as it maintains its
greatest brilliancy right now at a magnitude of -4.7 (saturn's current magnitude is about 0.6 [the more negative the magnitude, the brighter it looks]).

as the illumination of the sliver moon grows, the moon rises earlier each evening so that it's visible above the horizon just before sunset on sunday. the moon jumps up and over 12 degrees in the sky each night, making a full rotation around the earth each month. it hops right into another nice alignment with regulus, venus and saturn on monday night, july 16th (you'll recall that there was a similar alignment one month ago when the moon was in this part of our sky!).

happy sky gazing!

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