Skip to comments.Bright Venus continues moving closer to bright Jupiter: Both easily seen by eye just after sunset
Posted on 11/19/2008 7:59:03 AM PST by ETL
I gathered the following five sky maps from the website heavens-above.com. They show the apparent eastward movement of Venus over the next two weeks. Venus is now extremely bright and easily seen by naked eye hanging in the southwest sky at, and possibly a bit before, sunset (Venus is currently setting a little over 2 hours after the Sun). In fact, it is so bright at this time that it can be, and often is, mistaken for the headlight of an approaching airplane or hovering helicopter. Anyway, once you find Venus (duh), look not too far to the upper left of it and you will see another very bright 'star-like' object. This is the planet Jupiter. Venus is currently about 100 million miles away from Earth. Jupiter is now about 500 million. Although both planets are very bright, Venus is the brighter of the two, and, as mentioned, the one on the lower right. But if this isn't an impressive enough show for you, on Dec 1st, the pair will be about as close they will get in the sky and be joined by the Moon! Notice how the Moon begins to move into the picture by the 4th map (Nov 29th).
Note: the red dot seen on the map is the setting Sun. Each of the five maps is of the same time of day (4:15PM ET). I selected this time specifically because it is about the time that the Sun is currently setting. And, although Mars is shown on the map, it is far too close to the Sun in the sky and will NOT be visible, so don't even try. You will probably go blind trying (literally).
(Today) Wednesday, Nov 19, 2008 @ 4:15PM Eastern Time
Sunday, Nov 23, 2008 @ 4:15PM Eastern Time
Nov 27, 2008 @ 4:15PM Eastern Time
Nov 29, 2008 @ 4:15PM Eastern Time
Dec 1, 2008 @ 4:15PM Eastern Time
And it's all Bush's Fault.
GOSH! Do you think they'll collide?
Thanks for that info!
I’ve been admiring the display every evening now for days and wondered which were which. I knew one was Jupiter.
(IR not much an astronomer.)
Both are quite brilliant and large in our dark rural sky!
Most EXCELLENT thread! Thank you for posting it. We’ve had over a week of very clear warm nights and I’ve been seeing stars I’ve never noticed before, it’s that clear. And yes, Venus is huge. Yes indeed, for several days there I was wondering if it WAS a slow moving “vehicle” light. I mean, it was moving too slow to be a vehicle, but seemed to be moving way too fast to be a star.
Also, looking further toward the southwest I’m seeing what I always (probably incorrectly) called Orion’s Belt. When I first see it, the three big center stars are just about vertical to the earth, but hours later they are almost horizontal.
Such a treat it’s been. (nice having an outdoor hot tub!)
See heavens-above.com for more info. After registering, look on the main page for ISS (International Space Station):
You’re welcome. Glad you found it interesting.
Easily seen, heck, such is its brightness, you could read a newspaper by it, that is, if anyone still read newspapers.
Bump! Cool stuff. Thanks!
Clear COOL nights makes for better viewing. Warm air = more turbulence in the atmo.
You know, there’s actually a theory that this is the same configuration of planets that was thought to be the “Star” the wise men from the East followed to find Jesus.
When they eclipsed each other, the caused an amazing “star” to appear in the East.
I know what you mean about the cool nights, but we’ve been having some very strange low, low humidity weather, very clear skies, especially at night, and temps in the high 80s/low90s for nearly two weeks. Bizarre weather.
Today however we are back to our humid marine layer fog crud (I hate the fog).
It’s been really fun seeing all those stars night after night.
not sure where you are but here in central florida we have had below normal temps since last sunday...daytime highs are high to low 60’s and mid 30’s to low 40’s at nite...
normal highes this time of year are mid 70’s.....
I have been seeing this. Last night, they were especially brilliant even before the sky was completely dark!!
Wish I had a better view of the night sky. Too much light pollution where I live. If I want to use my telescope, and view anything outside the system (and even some stuff in the system) I have to pack it up and haul it out to the country. PITA.
I’m on the coast of central California, Monterey Bay Area. Seems like your weather and our weather got mixed up somehow.
These planets are bright enough to be seen easily from darn near everywhere. The International Space Station also can be very bright if and when it passes over your location. Check the two links I previously posted on this thread (heavens-above.com and spaceweather.com) for a visible pass schedule for your location.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.