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Sunday, January 11, 2015


Don't Forget: Conjunction of Venus and Mercury and Closest Approach of Comet Lovejoy Tonight January 11, 2015

Evening sky on Sunday January 11 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:00 (9:00 pm) ACDST in South Australia.  Click to embiggen.
Tonight has two lovely astronomical events, the conjunction of Venus and Mercury and the maximum brightness of comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy.
Venus and Mercury in the western evening twilight, where the pair a bit over a hand-span from the western horizon half an hour after sunset, and are less than a finger-width apart. 
Venus should be readily visible as a bright dot, and Mercury is a dimmer dot just below it.

Evening sky on Sunday January 11 looking north  as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 (10:00 pm) ACDST in South Australia. Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy is to the left of Betelgeuse and above Aldebaran.  Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).
The comet is located near the iconic constellations of Orion and Taurus. It is easily visible in binoculars and people in suburban sites have been able to see it with the unaided eye. Binoculars or small telescopes show it as a definite fuzzy disk about a quarter of the size of the Moon. In modest sized telescopes the faint thin tail can be seen. 
Instructions on viewing the comet and printable finding charts can be found here.

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