Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sky Guy Viewing ALERT! Thursday 5/31/12 Moon, Saturn, Spica

Hey Space Placers!

We have ALOT of sky events coming up next week with the partial lunar eclipse on the morning of the 4th - more on that this weekend and the transit of Venus on the 5th/6th.

But tonight we have a nice pairing of the almost Full Moon with the planet Saturn and the star Spica.

Twilight view

It is groupings like this that add a 3D view of our sky. We know the distance to each of these objects and how long it takes for their light to reach our eyes traveling at 300,000 km/second (186,000 miles/second).

The Moon is about 360,115 km away - 1.2 light seconds; Saturn is 1.35 billion km away or 75 light minutes; and Spica is 250 light years distant. So when you look up at this celestial trio you can try to envision the distances and time it takes for you to enjoy the view.

Look at your watch to get the time and try subtracting each of the trio's light time to see when it left. It is quite an eye opener!

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