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Thursday, May 23, 2013

 

The Planet Dance's Main Attraction Starts This Friday (24 May, 2013)

Western horizon as seen from Adelaide this Friday at 5:45 pm ACST on 24 May, when Venus and Mercury are closest. Similar views will be seen from the rest of the southern hemisphere at the equivalent local time. Click on any image to embiggenWestern horizon as seen from Adelaide at 5:45 pm ACST on Sunday 26 May, when all 3 planets are within a circle 3° across.
Eastern horizon as seen from Adelaide at 5:45 am ACST on 20 April 2026, when Mercury, Saturn and Marsare within a circle less than 2° across.Western horizon as seen from Adelaide at 6:23 pm ACST on 8 September 2040, showing all 5 bright planets and the crescent Moon..

The weather seems to be fining up, so there is a good chance we will see the main part of the planet dance under clear skies.

This Friday evening (24 May) Mercury and Venus are closest, then on Sunday evening and Monday evening (26 and 27 May respectively), Mercury Venus and Jupiter are are within a circle 3° across (that's the distance covered by three out-stretched fingers).

For more details, viewing hints and an animation, see my Planet Dance post.

The line-up is the best until 2026, when Mercury, Saturn and Mars are within a circle less than 2° across. Then in 2040, all 5 of the bright planest are close together in the evening twilight, with lots of close approachs of pairs of planets, a real planet dance to look forward to.

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