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Friday, February 05, 2016

 

The Crescent Moon Meets Venus and Mercury this Weekend (6-7 February, 2016)

Early morning sky on  Saturday February 6 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:30 ACDST showing Mars, Saturn with the red star Antares close by, Venus and Mercury with the crescent Moon nearby.  Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).Early morning sky on  Sunday February 7 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:30 ACDST,  Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

If you have been lucky enough to be following the Moon as it has been moving down the line-up of Jupiter, Mars, Saturn Venus and Mercury in the morning (the last time all five bright classical planets were aligned was in January 2005), then the crescendo is reached this weekend, when the Moon visits first Venus, and then Mercury.

It's probably best to look around an hour before local sunrise (balancing being in darker skies with Mercury being higher in the sky, and it its best with a fairly clear, level eastern horizon, but the view will be well worth it. As well, on the 7th not only is the thin crescent Moon close to Mercury, but Mercury will be highest above the horizon.

After the Moon leaves, the line up will be visible for most of the rest of February (and Venus and Mercury are closest on the 13th), so even if you miss out on the weekend, there is still time to see this lovely sight.

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Comments:
Thanks Ian
I've tried about 10 mornings in the last few weeks and the most I have seen has been Jupiter and sometimes Mars.
Obscured by clouds indeed :-)
 
I found your website by googling Meteor sightings in Australia. Myself and 3 friends saw a HUGE meteor burning through the sky on 6th Feb, 2016 between 10 and 10:30pm at Lake Munmorah, NSW. Do you happen to know where sightings like this are reported?

Thanks.
 
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