Saturday, August 16, 2014


Hey Space Placers!

If you have not seen Venus and Jupiter in the morning sky before dawn yet, you need to set the alarm for about 45 minutes before sunrise, get out and look. See my previous blog for background and a pic.

At their closest on the morning of August 18th the two brightest planets in the solar system will be  close enough to view in a telescope at low magnification - that is close. Depending on your viewing location they will be separated by a 1/2 of a degree or less - the size of your little finger at arms-width.

Sky & Telescope 
The key to seeing the planetary pair is having a clear view of the ENE horizon and hopefully no intervening clouds or haze close to the horizon. If you have binoculars they will enhance the view immensely.

You can read more about this skywatching treat here and here.

I'll be up at Shenandoah National Park on Sunday, August 17th, giving my 3rd
"Let's Talk About Space at Shenandoah National Park" presentation - "The James Webb Space Telescope". The talk starts at 9 pm in the Massanutten Room at Big Meadows Lodge. Afterwards, if it is clear, we will have a skywatching session at Big Meadows.

My hope is to get a pic of the dazzling duo on Monday morning. I will be taking my new wide field 80mm refractor out to view the pair and attempt to get some pics to share.

You can try to get a pic too by mounting your camera on a tripod and using a telephoto lens to capture the pair. Take multiple exposures trying to get a faster shutter speed to cut down on pre-dawn glare.

Let's hope for clear skies and great pics!

Sky Guy in VA

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