Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sky Guy Viewing ALERT!!! 8/15-18/14 Jupiter & Venus Meet

Hey Space Placers!

Supermoon (one more next month) and the Perseids have come and gone. But there is a real skywatcher's treat in the predawn sky for the next several days.

Bright Jupiter is moving out of the Sun's glare while Venus is sinking lower in the east each day. This will make for a fascinating view in the sky before dawn culminating on the 18th when the two are very close together.

We see this movement as a result of planetary motion. Venus, Earth and Jupiter all orbit the Sun in their  gravity defined paths or orbits. This changes the view of the planets every day. Jupiter will be in our evening sky and Venus will transition from the morning to evening sky in the coming months.

In my picture that I took at Shenandoah National Park yesterday, 8/13/14, you can see Jupiter in the lower left while Venus dominates the sky scene to the upper right.

To see the planetary duo you need to have a clear view of the eastern horizon and need to start looking around 5:30 a.m. FInd Venus first and look diagonally to the lower left of the "Morning Star" to find Jupiter.

If you have binoculars it will make your search easier. If you have a telescope be sure to look at the two  on the 18th as they will easily fit in a low power, wide field eyepiece. You can take a pic by mounting a camera on a tripod and take some exposures using a telephoto lens if you have one and using the delayed shutter function.

I hope to get some more pics too.

Happy skywatching!

Sky Guy in VA

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