You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Venus’ tag.

Venus, is the queen of planets that rules the early morning hours in July. Our closest neighboring planet glows brightly because it is close, and because its atmosphere is composed of thick clouds of carbon dioxide that reflect sunlight back into space.

If you look to the eastern horizon two or three hours before dawn, you should see it easily. On July 20 in the early morning, you can also watch the waning crescent moon pass by Venus.

Photo: Mayak Satellite

If you want to spot something manmade up there (and with all the talk about Russia in the news), you can see the Russian satellite Mayak which will be almost as bright as the moon on the 14th. Why so bright? It will unfurl its reflective solar sails after its launch on July 14th.

Mayak (meaning “lighthouse”) goes up in a Soyuz-2.1a rocket and once in orbit, the pyramidal solar reflectors open and it becomes one of the brightest objects in the night sky.

Some sky gazers are not thrilled with that because this crowdfunded project (designed by students from Moscow Polytechnic) will not help the dark skies that astronomers cherish. The New Moon on July 23 is the kind of dark night sky that telescope gazers see as a perfect opportunity.

You can look for the Delta Aquarids meteors to light up the early morning skies on July 27 and 28. They are the pre-show for the better known Perseid meteor shower in early August. To catch the shower at its best, look up on the morning of the 27 or 28 between 2-3 a.m.

The meteors get their name because they seem to originate near the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer in the southern sky. We say “appear” because the shower is debris from Comet 96P Machholz, a short-period sun-grazing comet that swings our way every five years.

venus-pacific

Venus reflected in the Pacific Ocean

On February 16, 2017, here in the Western Hemisphere, Venus will reach its greatest illuminated extent. Those of you in Australia, New Zealand, Asia will see this on February 17.

You shouldn’t need an “event” to look up at the night sky in wonder, but this might be a reason to look up tonight and know a bit more about what you are seeing.

Look for Venus in the west after sunset and you will also see Mars nearby to the left (south) and a bit higher. That “evening star” is at its most brilliant because its day/illuminated side is covering more square area of Earth’s sky than in its 9.6-month appearance in the evening sky.

If you looked through a telescope, you would see that Venus’ disk is just a bit more than one-quarter illuminated by sunshine, and the full Venus is always on the far side of the sun from us. So, we are seeing Venus as a crescent at its greatest illuminated extent – and still, it is spectacular.

Back in early June, I wrote about looking westward in evening twilight and easily spotting the planet Venus as the  brightest “star.” That third-brightest object in all the heavens (after the sun and moon) was accompanied then by an also bright Jupiter.

From then on, Venus slowly began to sink toward the sunset. Like the arrival of the Perseid meteor shower, this movement is surer than the seasons in nature. Sometimes summer stays longer than the calendar tells it to stay and winter comes earlier or later. But today, 10 weeks later, Venus will set with the sun and make its transition out of the evening sky and into the morning sky.

The celestial clock clicks forward, unconcerned with us and our little lives.

Venus orbit

Venus completes an orbit every 224.65 days or about 1.6 times (yellow trail) to Earth’s 365 days (blue trail).<
Animation by Lookang many thanks to author of original simulation = Todd K. Timberlake author of Easy Java Simulation = Francisco Esquembre – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Venusorbitsolarsystem.gif#/media/File:Venusorbitsolarsystem.gif

Tonight,  May 21, 2015, Venus is quite clear near the waxing crescent moon in the western sky. Venus is the third-brightest celestial object in our view, after the sun and moon.

The fourth-brightest celestial body is Jupiter and it is above the moon and Venus and can also be seen at dusk. If it is a clear night for you, you will see, as the darkness deepens, the bright star Regulus above Jupiter, and the Gemini stars, Castor and Pollux , will come out above Venus.

 

 

 

Venus and Jupiter are tens of millions of miles apart, but they have been cycling together while moving ever closer to each other this month and are joined by Mercury. This weekend they appear as a bright triangle of light in the western sky beginning about 30 minutes after sunset.

This triple conjunctions is a pretty rare. The last one was in May 2011 and the next one will not occur until October 2015. This weekend’s sky show is a good one because it involves the three brightest planets in May’s night sky, so even observers in cities with bright lights can see them on a clear night.

All three planets will be about 3o degrees apart (the width of your thumb at arm’s length) about 45 minutes after sunset on May 25, 26 and 27. Tonight, Mercury forms the top of the triangle. By Monday, Venus and Jupiter will be side by side, less than 1 degree apart.

As the month ends, Venus and Mercury will climb higher into the evening sky, while Jupiter drops toward the sun.

Visitors to Paradelle

  • 348,438

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,893 other followers

Follow Weekends in Paradelle on WordPress.com

Recent Photos on Flickr

I Recently Tweeted…

Archives

Tweets from Poets Online

On Instagram

Latest time-traveling verse from my continuing #ronka project at https://writingtheday.wordpress.com Family Guy pinball.  I have lost all claim to being a wizard. Easier to spot them in the morning after it rains Nice walk in the woods but more wildlife in neighbor's yard Paterson Light and Shadow tells the story of Paterson, NJ through Maria Mazziotti Gillan's poetry and Mark Hillringhouse's photography. #patersonnj #mariamazziottigillan #markhillringhouse Feeling as lazy as a daisy
%d bloggers like this: