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Thanksgiving Sky: Jupiter, Venus, Moon Together


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Bianca
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« on: November 26, 2008, 08:29:52 am »











                                             Thanksgiving sky: Jupiter, Venus, moon together






Seth Borenstein,
Ap Science Writer –
Tue Nov 25, 2008
AP –




In a rare alignment, the crescent moon,
the planets Venus, center, and
Jupiter shine above a farmhouse …


WASHINGTON –

It's not just families that are getting together this Thanksgiving week. The three brightest objects in the night
sky — Venus, Jupiter and a crescent moon — will crowd around each other for an unusual group shot.

Starting Thanksgiving evening, Jupiter and Venus will begin moving closer so that by Sunday and Monday, they will appear 2 degrees apart, which is about a finger width held out at arm's length, said Alan MacRobert, senior editor at Sky and Telescope magazine. Then on Monday night, they will be joined by a crescent moon right next to them, he said.

Look in the southwestern sky around twilight — no telescope or binoculars needed. The show will even be visible in cities if it's a clear night.

"It'll be a head-turner," MacRobert said. "This certainly is an unusual coincidence for the crescent moon to be right there in the days when they are going to be closest together."

The moon is the brightest, closest and smallest of the three and is 252,000 miles away. Venus, the second brightest, closest and smallest, is 94 million miles away. And big Jupiter is 540 million miles away.

The three celestial objects come together from time to time, but often they are too close to the sun or unite at a time when they aren't so visible. The next time the three will be as close and visible as this week will be Nov. 18, 2052, according to Jack Horkheimer, director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium.

But if you are willing to settle for two out of three — Venus and the crescent moon only — it will happen again on New Year's Eve, MacRobert said.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 08:33:28 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
Superhero Member
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Posts: 41646



« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2008, 03:45:07 pm »










                                 PHOTO IN THE NEWS: Venus, Jupiter, Moon Smile On Earth 






December 2, 2008—
National Geographic Magazine

The heavens smiled down on Earth Monday in a rare celestial trifecta of Venus, Jupiter, and the moon.

The planets aligned—an event known as a conjunction—Sunday night, and were joined by a thin sliver of moon on Monday.

(Related: "Sky Show December 1: Jupiter, Venus, Moon Make 'Frown'" [December 1, 2008].)

The rare planetary meeting was visible from all parts of the world, even from light-polluted cities such as Hong Kong and New York.

People in Asia witnessed a smiley face (above, photographed from Manila, Philippines), while skywatchers in the United States saw a frown.

The three brightest objects in the sky were so tightly gathered that one could eclipse them with a thumb, according to NASA's Web site.

The next visible Venus-Jupiter conjunction will be on the evening of March 14, 2012, but the two planets will appear farther apart in the sky.



—Christine Dell'Amore



Photograph

by Bullit Marquez
/AP
 
« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 03:49:37 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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