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Sunday, August 17, 2014

 

Venus and Jupiter Close together in the Twilight Glow (morning, 18 August 2014)

Morning sky on Monday August 18 looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at civil twilight, 6:30 am ACST.  Venus is low above the horizon, Jupiter is so close it may be hard to see it separately. The inset shows the binocular view (click to embiggen)Morning sky on Monday August 18 looking north-east as seen from Brisbane at civil twilight, 5:22 am AEST.  (click to embiggen)Morning sky on Monday August 18 looking north-east as seen from Darwin  at civil twilight, 6:37 am ACST.  (click to embiggen)

This Monday morning (18 August) Venus and Jupiter are less than half a fingerwidth apart and may be difficult to distinguish with the unaided eye. However, this close conjunction is deep in the twilight, and will be difficult to see.

While viewers further north have the best views if you have a flat horizon (like the ocean or dessert), you should be able to see them if you look half an hour before local sunrise.

From Adelaide the pair are a mere three finger-widths above the horizon at civil twilight (half an hour before sunrise), from Brisbane a hand-span above the horizon at civil twilight and from Darwin a hand-span and a half almost (see diagrams above). From Melbourne and Hobart the pair are even closer to the horizon.

The pair are close enough that the will easily fit into the field of view of standard binoculars.  With the advancing dawn, you may need binoculars to even see Jupiter. Be very careful of the rising sun though.

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