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Keyword: venus

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  • Rare Close Encounter of Venus & Jupiter Tonight Won't Happen Again Until 2065

    08/27/2016 7:38:24 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 27 replies ^ | August 27, 2016 07:20am ET | Calla Cofield, Staff Writer |
    Tonight (Aug. 27), look toward the western horizon to see a rare celestial event and a parade of planets — no telescope required. Just above the horizon, Venus and Jupiter will appear so close to each other that, from some locations, the two planets will almost seem to touch. The next time Venus and Jupiter will get this close will be in November 2065. In addition to keeping a look out for this planetary conjunction, look higher up in the sky to see three other planets on parade: Saturn, Mercury and Mars.
  • NASA’s new climate model of ancient Venus shows a picture of a habitable world

    08/14/2016 6:07:49 AM PDT · by fluorescence · 35 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | August 12, 2016 | Ben Guarino
    For a 2-billion-year-long span, ending about 715 million years ago, Venus was likely a much more pleasant spot that it is today. To observe Venus now is to witness a dry and toxic hellscape, where the planet heats up to a scorching 864 degrees Fahrenheit. A super-strong electric wind is believed to suck the smallest traces of water into space. With apologies to Ian Malcolm, life as we know it could not find a way. But travel back in time a few billion years or so. Ancient Venus, according to a new computer model from NASA, would have been prime...
  • NASA: ‘Electric Wind’ Can Strip Earth-like Planets of Oceans, Atmospheres

    06/20/2016 3:23:04 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 19 replies
    Venus has an “electric wind” strong enough to remove the components of water from its upper atmosphere, which may have played a significant role in stripping Earth’s twin planet of its oceans, according to new results from ESA’s (European Space Agency) Venus Express mission by NASA-funded researchers. “It’s amazing, shocking,” said Glyn Collinson, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “We never dreamt an electric wind could be so powerful that it can suck oxygen right out of an atmosphere into space. This is something that has to be on the checklist when we go looking...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Night on Venus in Infrared from Orbiting Akatsuki

    06/07/2016 5:36:48 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | Tuesday, June 07, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why is Venus so different from Earth? To help find out, Japan launched the robotic Akatsuki spacecraft which entered orbit around Venus late last year after an unplanned five-year adventure around the inner Solar System. Even though Akatsuki has passed its original planned lifetime, the spacecraft and its instruments are operating so well that much of its original mission has been reinstated. In the featured image taken by Akatsuki late last month, Venus was captured in infrared light showing a surprising amount of atmospheric structure on its night side. The vertical orange terminator stripe between night and day is...

    06/04/2016 7:58:09 AM PDT · by SGNA · 6 replies
    Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Roman Catholic Church ^ | October 11, 1954 | Pope Pius XII
    AD CAELI REGINAM ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII ON PROCLAIMING THE QUEENSHIP OF MARY OCTOBER 11, 1954 To the Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops and other Local Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Holy See. Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Blessing. From the earliest ages of the Catholic Church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus...
  • Venus Express' swansong experiment sheds light on Venus' polar atmosphere

    04/21/2016 9:54:04 AM PDT · by rktman · 24 replies ^ | 4/19/2016 | unknown
    Some of the final results sent back by ESA's Venus Express before it plummeted down through the planet's atmosphere have revealed it to be rippling with atmospheric waves – and, at an average temperature of -157°C, colder than anywhere on Earth.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Full Venus and Crescent Moon Rise

    04/14/2016 6:02:26 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | Thursday, April 14, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Inner planet Venus and a thin crescent Moon are never found far from the Sun in planet Earth's skies. Taken near dawn on April 6, this timelapse composite shows them both rising just before the Sun. The mountaintop Teide Observatory domes on the fortunate island of Tenerife appear in silhouette against the twilight. In fact, the series of telephoto exposures follows the occultation of Venus by the Moon in three frames. Far from Earth in its orbit and in a nearly full phase, Venus was 96 percent illuminated. Near perigee or closest approach to Earth, the Moon's slender crescent...
  • Watch the Moon Occult Vesta and Aldebaran This Weekend

    04/07/2016 8:17:36 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    So, did you miss yesterday’s occultation of Venus by the Moon? It was a tough one, to be sure, as the footpath for the event crossed Europe and Asia in the daytime. Watch that Moon, though, as it crosses back into the evening sky later this week, and occults (passes in front of) the bright star Aldebaran for eastern North America and, for Hawaii-based observers, actually covers the brightest of the asteroids, 4 Vesta. These events are all part of a cycle of occultations spanning 2016. When we left off last week, the Moon was headed towards New, which occurs...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Five Planets at Castell de Burriac

    02/06/2016 7:12:45 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | February 06, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: February's five planet line-up stretches across a clear sky in this predawn scene. A hilltop Castell de Burriac looms in the foreground, overlooking the town of Cabrera de Mar near Barcelona, Spain, planet Earth. The mosaicked, panoramic image looks south. It merges three different exposure times to record a bright Last Quarter Moon, planets, seaside city lights, and dark castle ruins. Seen on February 1st the Moon was near Mars on the sky. But this week early morning risers have watched it move on, passing near Saturn and finally Venus and Mercury, sliding along near the ecliptic toward the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Five Planet Dawn [see my preemptive comment]

    01/30/2016 3:23:39 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | January 30, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As January closes and in the coming days of February, early morning risers can spot the five naked-eye planets before dawn. Though some might claim to see six planets, in this seaside panoramic view all five celestial wanderers were found above the horizon along with a bright waning gibbous Moon on January 27. Nearly aligned along the plane of the ecliptic, but not along a line with the Sun, the five planets are spread well over 100 degrees across the sky. Just arriving on the predawn scene, fleeting Mercury stands above the southeastern horizon in the golden light of...
  • Watch Venus Brush Past Saturn This Weekend

    01/04/2016 5:44:44 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    universetoday ^ | 01/01/2016 | ken dickenson
    The early morning sky is where the action is this first week of the year. We were out early this Monday morning as skies cleared over Central Florida on our yearly vigil for the Quadrantid meteors. Though only a handful of meteors graced the dawn skies, we were treated to a splendid line-up, including Jupiter, Mars, Spica, Antares, Saturn, Venus, the waning crescent Moon AND a fine binocular view of Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina. ... Venus and Saturn pass just 5' (that’s 1/6th the diameter of the Full Moon) apart on the morning of Saturday, January 9th. The conjunction (sometimes...
  • Spot five planets at once and a transit of Mercury in 2016

    12/31/2015 11:16:31 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    Batlimore Sun ^ | 12/31/2015 | Scott Dance
    Skywatchers will have many opportunities in 2016 to see just how small we are in the universe. Four days into the new year, hundreds of meteors will dance across the night skies.... Come September, an outer ring of the sun's annular eclipse will be visible across Africa. In between, there will be spectacular shooting stars, super moons, and lunar eclipses to take in. ... From about Jan. 20 to Feb. 20, all five planets that are visible to the naked eye — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — will occupy the morning sky. This hasn't happened since 2005, according...
  • Archaeologist Claims to Have Unlocked Phaistos Disk Mystery [again]

    12/20/2015 6:53:53 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    Greek Reporter ^ | December 16, 2015 | Philip Chrysopoulos
    The goddess of love, the Minoan Astarte, is the key figure that unlocks the mystery of the Phaistos Disk, according to linguist, archaeologist and coordinator of the program Erasmus of Crete Technological Institute; Gareth Owens. Speaking to the ANA -- MPA news agency, Owens said that after new data found in his research, his theory has changed slightly compared to the position he had expressed about a year ago. The focus is no longer the "pregnant mother", as originally estimated, but a "pregnant goddess" that takes shape in the face of Astarte, the goddess of love. "There is no doubt...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Meets Moon and Morning Star

    12/11/2015 11:38:43 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | December 12, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A crescent Moon and brilliant Venus met in predawn skies on December 7, a beautiful conjunction of planet Earth's two brightest celestial beacons after the Sun. Harder to see but also on the scene was Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10). The fainter comet clearly sporting two tails, lunar night side, bright sunlit lunar crescent, and brilliant morning star, are all recorded here by combining short and long exposures of the same field of view. Pointing down and right, Catalina's dust tail tends to trail behind the comet's orbit. Its ion tail, angled toward the top left of the frame, is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Daytime Moon Meets Morning Star

    12/10/2015 6:43:13 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | December 10, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Venus now appears as Earth's brilliant morning star, standing in a line-up of planets above the southeastern horizon before dawn. For most, the silvery celestial beacon rose predawn in a close pairing with an old crescent Moon on Monday, December 7. But also widely seen from locations in North and Central America, the lunar crescent actually occulted or passed in front of Venus during Monday's daylight hours. This time series follows the daytime approach of Moon and morning star in clear blue skies from Phoenix, Arizona. The progression of nine sharp telescopic snapshots, made between 9:30am and 9:35am local...
  • Japan's Venus orbiter makes comeback

    12/07/2015 1:30:05 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 12 replies ^ | 07 December 2015 | Alexandra Witze
    Five years after a failed insertion into the planet's orbit, Akatsuki finally reaches its target. Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft has entered orbit around Venus, five years after its first attempt failed. On 7 December, at 8:51 a.m. Japan time, Akatsuki ignited four small thruster engines for roughly 20 minutes. The tiny push was enough to nudge the probe into the pull of Venus's gravity. As Nature went to press, exactly what that orbit looks like remained unclear. But mission scientists are confident that the spacecraft has at least partly redeemed itself, after a 2010 attempt to reach Venus left Akatsuki spiralling...
  • Al Markim of Space Cadet Passes Away (played Astro on Tom Corbett, Space Cadet)

    11/29/2015 11:49:17 AM PST · by EveningStar · 21 replies
    File 770 ^ | November 28, 2015 | Mike Glyer
    Actor Al Markim, who played the role of Astro, the Venusian friend of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, died November 24 at the age of 88.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planets of the Morning

    11/26/2015 9:20:51 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Planet Earth's horizon stretches across this recent Solar System group portrait, seen from the southern hemisphere's Las Campanas Observatory. Taken before dawn it traces the ecliptic with a line-up familiar to November's early morning risers. Toward the east are bright planets Venus, Mars, and Jupiter as well as Regulus, alpha star of the constellation Leo. Of course the planets are immersed in the faint glow of zodiacal light, visible from the dark site rising at an angle from the horizon. Sometimes known as the false dawn, it's no accident the zodiacal light and planets both lie along the ecliptic....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Kenya Morning Moon, Planets, and Taurid

    11/12/2015 4:32:17 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 12, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On November 8, a waning crescent Moon joined the continuing parade of planets in Earth's morning skies. Captured here from Amboseli National Park, Kenya, even the overexposed moonlight can't washout brilliant Venus though, lined up near the ecliptic plane with faint Mars and bright Jupiter above. As if Moon and planets aren't enough, a comparably bright Taurid meteor also streaks through the scene. In fact November's Taurid meteor showers have had a high proportion of bright fireballs. Apparently streaming from radiants in Taurus, the meteors are caused by our fair planet's annual passage through debris from Comet 2P/Encke. The...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Quadruple Sky Over Great Salt Lake

    11/08/2015 1:01:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | November 08, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This was a sky to show the kids. All in all, three children, three planets, the Moon, a star, an airplane and a mom were all captured in one image near Great Salt Lake in Utah, USA in early September of 2005. Minus the airplane and the quadruple on the ground, this busy quadruple coincidence sky was visible last week all over the world. The easiest object to spot is the crescent Moon, which is easily the brightest sky orb in the featured image. Venus is the highest planet in the sky, with Jupiter to its right. The bright...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Seeking Venus under the Spitzkoppe Arch

    11/03/2015 9:33:59 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that in the sky? Although there was much to see in this spectacular panorama taken during the early morning hours of a day in late September, the brightest object in the sky was clearly the planet Venus. In the featured image, Venus was captured actually through a natural rock bridge, itself picturesque, in Spitzkoppe, Namibia. The planet, on the left of the opening, was complemented by a silhouette of the astrophotographer on the right. Above and beyond the rock bridge were many famous icons of a dark night sky, including, from left to right, the Pleiades star cluster,...
  • Why Earth is so much bigger than Mars: Rocky planets formed from 'pebbles'

    10/27/2015 11:47:58 AM PDT · by JimSEA · 9 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 10/27/2015 | Southwest Research Institute
    Using a new process in planetary formation modeling, where planets grow from tiny bodies called "pebbles," Southwest Research Institute scientists can explain why Mars is so much smaller than Earth. This same process also explains the rapid formation of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, as reported earlier this year. "This numerical simulation actually reproduces the structure of the inner solar system, with Earth, Venus, and a smaller Mars," said Hal Levison, an Institute scientist at the SwRI Planetary Science Directorate. He is the first author of a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Jupiter and Venus from Earth

    10/26/2015 8:12:40 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | October 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was visible around the world. The sunset conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in 2012 was visible almost no matter where you lived on Earth. Anyone on the planet with a clear western horizon at sunset could see them. Pictured above in 2012, a creative photographer traveled away from the town lights of Szubin, Poland to image a near closest approach of the two planets. The bright planets were separated only by three degrees and his daughter striking a humorous pose. A faint red sunset still glowed in the background. Jupiter and Venus will be at it again this...
  • Cassini Spies Bright Venus From Saturn Orbit

    10/24/2015 5:59:52 PM PDT · by lbryce · 3 replies
    NASA-Google Plus ^ | March 1, 2013 | NASA
    Seeing Earth first from Mars and then from Saturn was indeed mind-boggling but the recent long distance image from Saturn of Venus really amazed me, especially since it occured over two years ago. Peering over the shoulder of giant Saturn, through its rings, and across interplanetary space, NASA's Cassini spacecraft spies the bright, cloudy terrestrial planet, Venus. The vast distance from Saturn means that Venus only shows up as a white dot, just above and to the right of the image center. Venus, along with Mercury, Earth, and Mars, is one of the rocky 'terrestrial' planets in the solar...
  • The Gas (and Ice) Giant Uranus

    08/27/2015 11:24:07 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 49 replies
    Universe Today ^ | Matt Williams
    Uranus, which takes its name from the Greek God of the sky, is a gas giant and the seventh planet from our Sun. It is also the third largest planet in our Solar System, ranking behind Jupiter and Saturn. Like its fellow gas giants, it has many moons, a ring system, and is primarily composed of gases that are believed to surround a solid core. Though it can be seen with the naked eye, the realization that Uranus is a planet was a relatively recent one. Though there are indications that it was spotted several times over the course of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Tails and Star Trails

    07/21/2015 9:22:38 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | July 21, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: After grazing the western horizon on northern summer evenings Comet PanSTARRS (also known as C/2014 Q1) climbed higher in southern winter skies. A visitor to the inner Solar System discovered in August 2014 by the prolific panSTARRS survey, the comet was captured here on July 17. Comet and colorful tails were imaged from Home Observatory in Mackay, Queensland, Australia. The field of view spans just over 1 degree. Sweeping quickly across a the sky this comet PanSTARRS was closest to planet Earth about 2 days later. Still, the faint stars of the constellation Cancer left short trails in the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus and Jupiter are Far

    07/03/2015 7:40:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | July 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On June 30 Venus and Jupiter were actually far apart, but both appeared close in western skies at dusk. Near the culmination of this year's gorgeous conjunction, the two bright evening planets are captured in the same telescopic field of view in this sharp digital stack of images taken after sunset from Poznań in west-central Poland. In fact, banded gas giant Jupiter was about 910 million kilometers from Poland. That's over 11 times farther than crescent Venus, only 78 million kilometers distant at the time. But since the diameter of giant planet Jupiter is over 11 times larger than...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus and Jupiter are Close

    07/02/2015 11:17:19 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | July 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On June 30, Venus and Jupiter were close in western skies at dusk. Near the culmination of this year's gorgeous conjunction, the two bright evening planets are captured in the same telescopic field of view in this image taken after sunset from Bejing, China. As the two bright planets set together in the west, a nearly Full Moon rose above the horizon to the south and east. Imaged that night with the same telescope and camera, the rising Moon from the opposite part of the sky is compared with the planetary conjunction for scale in the digitally composited image....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus, Jupiter, and Noctilucent Clouds

    07/01/2015 3:18:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | July 01, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you seen the passing planets yet? Today the planets Jupiter and Venus pass within half a degree of each other as seen from Earth. This conjunction, visible all over the world, is quite easy to see -- just look to the west shortly after sunset. The brightest objects visible above the horizon will be Venus and Jupiter, with Venus being the brighter of the two. Featured above, the closing planets were captured two nights ago in a sunset sky graced also by high-level noctilucent clouds. In the foreground, the astrophotographer's sister takes in the vista from a bank...
  • See The Star Of Bethlehem: Christ’s Second Coming Is Around The Corner

    06/29/2015 8:11:45 PM PDT · by SatinDoll · 60 replies ^ | June 29, 2015 | Walid Shoebat
    When it comes to tomorrow, Christians need to think while watching the Star of Bethlehem which will appear after an absence of roughly 2000 years. Tomorrow (June 30th, 2015) the Star of Bethlehem will be making a return. Will this mean that the signs of the end is beginning to unfold? And what did this sign mean? Is it a time of joy or suffering or both? How could King Herod's own advisors have been unaware of a star so bright that it could have led the wise men to Jerusalem? According to Professor David Weintraub, this may be because...
  • Check out Venus and Jupiter, now unbelievably close in the night sky! (easily naked eye visible)

    06/26/2015 7:06:32 PM PDT · by ETL · 27 replies
    June 26, 2015 | self
    Look up, and somewhere in the western portion of the sky right now, or anytime in the next several weeks, an hour or so after sunset, and you'll see two very bright "star-like" objects. The brighter of the two (by a lot) is Venus, the other Jupiter. Venus, slightly smaller than Earth is currently about 51 million miles away. Jupiter, roughly 12 Earth diameters across, 560 million.
  • In the shadow of the Moon

    08/31/2004 8:42:25 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 46 replies · 1,487+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 30 January 1999 | editors
    At 8.45 on the morning of 15 April 136 BC, Babylon was plunged into darkness when the Moon passed in front of the Sun. An astrologer, who recorded the details in cuneiform characters on a clay tablet, wrote: "At 24 degrees after sunrise-a solar eclipse. When it began on the southwest side, Venus, Mercury and the normal stars were visible. Jupiter and Mars, which were in their period of disappearance, became visible. The Sun threw off the shadow from southwest to northeast." If present-day astronomers use a computer to run the movements of the Earth, Moon and Sun backwards...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus in the West

    04/11/2015 4:04:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | April 11, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In the coming days, Venus shines near the western horizon at sunset. To find Earth's sister planet in twilight skies just look for the brilliant evening star. Tonight very close to the Pleiades star cluster, Venus dominates this springtime night skyscape taken only a few days ago near the town of Lich in central Germany. Also known as the Seven Sisters, the stars of the compact Pleiades cluster appear above Venus in this picture. The budding tree branches to its left frame bright star Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus the Bull, and the V-shaped Hyades star cluster.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus

    03/02/2015 4:39:52 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | March 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It is not every day that such an interesting cloud photobombs your image. The original plan was to photograph a rare angular conjunction of Mars and Venus that occurred a week and a half ago, with the added bonus of a crescent Moon and the International Space Station (ISS) both passing nearby. Unfortunately, on Madeira Island, Portugal, this event was clouded out. During the next day, however, a spectacular lenticular cloud appeared before sunset, so the industrious astrophotographer quickly formulated a new plan. A close look at the resulting image reveals the Moon visible toward the left of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Love and War by Moonlight

    02/26/2015 6:11:35 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Venus, named for the Roman goddess of love, and Mars, the war god's namesake, came together by moonlight in this lovely skyview, recorded on February 20 from Charleston, South Carolina, USA, planet Earth. Made in twilight with a digital camera, the three second time exposure also records earthshine illuminating the otherwise dark surface of the young crescent Moon. Of course, the Moon has moved on from this much anticipated triple conjunction. Venus still shines in the west though as the evening star, third brightest object in Earth's sky, after the Sun and the Moon itself. Seen here within almost...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Evening Sky Conjunction

    02/20/2015 2:29:54 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | February 20, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Eight years ago, an evening sky held this lovely pairing of a young crescent Moon and brilliant Venus. Seen near the western horizon, the close conjunction and its wintry reflection were captured from Bolu, Turkey, planet Earth on February 19, 2007. In the 8 Earth years since this photograph was taken Venus has orbited the Sun almost exactly 13 times, so the Sun and Venus have now returned to the same the configuration in Earth's sky. And since every 8 years the Moon also nearly repeats its phases for a given time of year, a very similar crescent Moon-Venus...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Solar System Portrait

    02/14/2015 5:10:04 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | February 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On another Valentine's Day 25 years ago, cruising four billion miles from the Sun, the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back one last time to make this first ever Solar System family portrait. The complete portrait is a 60 frame mosaic made from a vantage point 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane. In it, Voyager's wide angle camera frames sweep through the inner Solar System at the left, linking up with gas giant Neptune, the Solar System's outermost planet, at the far right. Positions for Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are indicated by letters, while the Sun is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus and Mercury at Sunset

    01/15/2015 4:23:51 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | January 15, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Inner planets Venus and Mercury can never wander far from the Sun in Earth's sky. This week you've probably seen them both gathered near the western horizon just after sunset, a close conjunction of bright celestial beacons in the fading twilight. The pair are framed in this early evening skyview captured on January 13 from the ruins of Szarvasko Castle in northwestern Hungary. Above the silhouette of the landscape's prominent volcanic hill Venus is much the brighter, separated from Mercury by little more than the width of two Full Moons. On Friday, planet Earth's early morning risers will also...
  • Mercury and Venus an Awesome Duo at Dusk

    01/10/2015 11:33:28 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 17 replies ^ | on January 10, 2015 | Bob King
    Tonight the duo will be at their closest and remain near one another for the next week or so. This is one of Mercury’s best apparitions of the year for northern hemisphere skywatchers and well worth donning your winter uniform of coat, boots, hat and thick gloves for a look. Just find a location with a decent view of the southwestern horizon and start looking about a half hour after sunset. Mercury and Venus will be about 10° or one fist held at arm’s length high above the horizon.
  • NASA wants to build a floating city above the clouds of Venus

    12/22/2014 7:32:55 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 32 replies ^ | 22 December 2014 4:11 am GMT | Michelle Starr
    NASA thinks it might have a solution that will allow sending humans up to check it out, though: Cloud City. The High Altitude Venus Operational Concept -- HAVOC -- is a conceptual spacecraft designed by a team at the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center for the purposes of Venusian exploration. This lighter-than-air rocket would be designed to sit above the acidic clouds for a period of around 30 days, allowing a team of astronauts to collect data about the planet's atmosphere.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus and Jupiter at Dawn

    08/23/2014 8:06:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 21, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On Monday morning, Venus and Jupiter gathered close in dawn skies, for some separated by about half the width of a full moon. It was their closest conjunction since 2000, captured here above the eastern horizon before sunrise. The serene and colorful view is from Istia beach near the city of Capoliveri on the island of Elba. Distant lights and rolling hills are along Italy's Tuscan coast. Of course, the celestial pair soon wandered apart. Brighter Venus headed lower, toward the eastern horizon and the glare of the Sun, while Jupiter continues to rise a little higher now in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Jupiter and Venus from Earth

    08/17/2014 6:27:19 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies
    NASA ^ | August 17, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was visible around the world. The sunset conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in 2012 was visible almost no matter where you lived on Earth. Anyone on the planet with a clear western horizon at sunset could see them. Pictured above in 2012, a creative photographer traveled away from the town lights of Szubin, Poland to image a near closest approach of the two planets. The bright planets were separated only by three degrees and his daughter striking a humorous pose. A faint red sunset still glowed in the background. Early tomorrow (Monday) morning, the two planets will pass...
  • Comet Jacques Is Back! Joins Venus and Mercury at Dawn

    07/12/2014 12:21:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies ^ | July 12, 2014 | Bob King on
    Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques has returned! Before it disappeared in the solar glow this spring, the comet reached magnitude +6, the naked eye limit. Now it’s back at dawn, rising higher each morning as it treks toward darker skies. Just days after its July 2 perihelion, the fuzzball will be in conjunction with the planet Venus tomorrow morning July 13. With Mercury nearby, you may have the chance to see this celestial ‘Rat Pack’ tucked within a 8° circle.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Conjunction by the Sea

    06/25/2014 9:47:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | June 26, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Early morning risers were treated to a beautiful conjunction of Venus and waning Crescent Moon on June 24, captured in this seaside photo near Belmar, New Jersey, USA, planet Earth. The serene celestial pairing is seen above the Atlantic Ocean horizon as the eastern sky grows brighter with dawn's early light. Wispy, scattered clouds appear in silhouette. But the exposure also reveals the night side of the lunar orb in the arms of the sunlit crescent. That shadowed part of the Moon, with hints of the smooth, dark lunar seas or maria, is illuminated by Earthshine, sunlight reflected from...
  • Moon Has Iron Core, Lunar-Rock Study Says

    12/06/2008 8:51:38 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies · 2,063+ views
    National Geographic News ^ | January 11, 2007 | Brian Handwerk
    Deep down, the moon may be more like Earth than scientists ever thought. A new moon-rock study suggests the satellite has an iron core... The moon's core could be a clue to its ancient origins, which have long puzzled astronomers. "Our moon is too big to be a moon," Taylor said. "It's huge compared to the moons we see around other planets, so it has always been suspected that there was something strange in its origin." ...Rock samples from NASA's Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 moon missions of the early 1970s have now shed more light on the moon's origins,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Milky Way Dawn

    03/29/2014 5:39:58 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | March 29, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As dawn broke on March 27, the center of the Milky Way Galaxy stood almost directly above the European Southern Observatory's Paranal Observatory. In the dry, clear sky of Chile's Atacama desert, our galaxy's dusty central bulge is flanked by Paranal's four 8 meter Very Large Telescope units in this astronomical fisheye view. Along the top, Venus is close to the eastern horizon. The brilliant morning star shines very near a waning crescent Moon just at the edge of one of the telescope structures. Despite the bright pairing in the east, the Milky Way dominates the scene though. Cut...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A View from the Zone

    03/07/2014 8:44:44 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 07, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Brilliant Venus and the central Milky Way rise in the early morning hours of March 1 in this sea and skyscape. The scene looks out from a beach at Sea Isle City, New Jersey, USA, planet Earth. Of course, Earth orbits well within the solar system's habitable zone, that Goldilocks region not too close and not too far from the Sun where surface temperatures can support liquid water. Similar in size to Earth, Venus lies just beyond the inner boundary of the habitable zone. The watery reflection of light from our inhospitable sister planet is seen along a calm,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Daytime Moon Meets Morning Star

    03/01/2014 10:15:36 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | February 27, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Venus now appears as planet Earth's brilliant morning star standing above the eastern horizon before dawn. For most, the silvery celestial beacon rose in a close pairing with an old crescent Moon on February 26. But seen from locations in western Africa before sunrise, the lunar crescent actually occulted or passed in front of Venus, also in a crescent phase. Farther to the east, the occultation occurred during daylight hours. In fact, this telescopic snapshot of the dueling crescents was captured just before the occultation began under an afternoon's crystal clear skies from Yunnan Province, China. The unforgettable scene...
  • Were Mercury and Mars separated at birth?

    01/19/2009 3:32:30 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies · 542+ views
    New Scientist ^ | Monday, January 19, 2009 | unattributed
    Line up Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars according to their distance from the sun and you'll see their size distribution is close to symmetrical, with the two largest planets between the two smallest. That would be no coincidence -- if the pattern emerged from a debris ring around the sun. Brad Hansen of the University of California, Los Angeles, built a numerical simulation to explore how a ring of rocky material in the early solar system could have evolved into the planets. He found that two larger planets typically form near the inner and outer edges of the ring, corresponding...
  • Watch the Moon Meet Venus in the Dawn this Wednesday

    02/24/2014 5:37:34 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies ^ | February 24, 2014 | David Dickinson on
    Are you ready for some lunar versus planetary occultation action? One of the best events for 2014 occurs early this Wednesday morning on February 26th, when the waning crescent Moon — sometimes referred to as a decrescent Moon — meets up with a brilliant Venus in the dawn sky. This will be a showcase event for the ongoing 2014 dawn apparition of Venus that we wrote about recently. This is one of 16 occultations of a planet by our Moon for 2014, which will hide every naked eye classical planet except Jupiter and only one of two involving Venus this...