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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

 

Dance of the planets

Mars is below Saturn in this image (the two barely visible dots off to the right), off to the left is procyon. and if you click to enlarge the image, you can see the plantets much better, and faintly see delta and gamma Cancerii above and below Saturn.

Speaking of conjunctions, there is another nice conjunction coming up. Over the next week Mars and Saturn will come closer together.

North-western horizon at 6:30 pm ACST on June 15, other Southern Hemisphere locations will see similar views at similar local times.
On the 15th and 16th Mars will be in the centre of the Beehive cluster, a fingerwidth from Saturn. You will need a clear, reasonably level horizon, as they will be relatively close to the horizon. Mercury can also been seen low on the horizon.



This will look spectacular in binoculars and small telescopes, although, with the planets being close to the horizon, this may be a problem. On the nest few days, Mars and Saturn draw closer still, until on June 18 Mars and Saturn are less than Half a fingerwidth apart, on the edge of the Beehive cluster. This will also be a pretty astounding sight.

Mars and Saturn set around 8:00 pm, so you have to get in early to view them.

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