Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jupiter and Venus: Spring of 2012's Celestial Dance in Western Sky

Right after dark go outside on the patio and look just above the western horizon. See those two stars that seem out of place and a little brighter than most? Of those two, the brighter on the left is Venus and the smaller, dimmer point of light is Jupiter. They are lining up in the sky 450 million miles apart from each other. Notice that they do not sparkle as much as the fixed stars in the sky, this is one way to identify a planet against a star field. Venus is the smaller planet, but it is brighter because of its near proximity to Earth whereas Jupiter being 1300 times larger than Venus is 16 times further away from us. 
click pic

Jupiter on Left and Venus on Right
In this photo from nearest to furthest away; stargazer, stratus clouds, Venus, Sun(setting under horizon), Jupiter, Galactic star field.

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