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Thursday, March 13, 2014

 

A String of Bright Planets

Evening Sky around 11:00 pm local daylight saving tine showing Jupiter, Mars and Saturn (and the Moon and Vesta). Click to embiggen.Morning Sky around 6:00 am local daylight saving tine showing  Mars, Saturn, Venus and Mercury. Click to embiggen.

You can see all five of the classic bright planets strung out across the sky if you stay up a bit late and arise a bit early over the next week or so.

Jupiter, Mars and Saturn can be seen stretched across the sky from the north-western to the eastern horizon if you are up late (there is also Vesta as well). With golden Jupiter over the north-west and orange Mras over the east, and the Milky Way curved above then, it al looks beautfiul.

If you are up in the morning then you can see Mars above the north-western horizon, Saturn forms a triangle with the two brightest stars of Libra, pointing towards the head of Scorpius the Scorpion (this is not so evident in the late evening but quite obvious in the early morning). The Milky way flows between these two bright planets and Venus and Mercury, bright above the eastern horizon.

It's quite hard to represent the effect with planetarium programs (embiggen my feeble attempts above to see what I mean), but head out in the late evening or morning and you will be rewarded.

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