Friday, June 29, 2007

Finally - Venus and Saturn Pair Up

Yes, yes!  Finally it's the end of the month and Venus meets Saturn coming within 0.66 degrees of each other.  There's so much more to this, as I previously posted, but here's the basics:  Start looking at 7 p.m., because in North America you'll see little after 9 p.m. UT.  Tonight (Friday) Venus will be below and to the right of Saturn, very visible with binocs.  Saturday, they'll be on top of each other (o my!) Sunday, Venus shifts to the lower left of Saturn.  If you're up around 5:30 a.m. Sunday, you'll see them at their very closest. 

Let me give you an idea of how close they are:  Make a fist and hold it out arm's length.  Consider that 10 degrees.  Now picture the moon in miniature is sitting on your arm, that's a tenth of a degree.  Venus and Saturn will have a space between them approximately 0.66 degress, perhaps less.  Doesn't that make you think a little?  Like about planetary gravity and magnetic fields and orbits and don't forget solar storms constantly affecting Venus!  

After 9 p.m. UT both planets will be below the horizon.  All during July they slowly pull away from each other.  

Venus has always been considered our "Evening Star" and June is it's stellar month.  Which means July is your last chance to planet-gaze at what is very obviously visible.  Come August, Venus becomes our "Morning Star."  Not quite the same - not as startling.  So I hope you can make use of the weekend to watch these two planets align in such amazingly close proximity.  Whew! 

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Basics courtesy of Skywatcher, Sky & Telescope Mag    

11 comments:

treesrgreen78 said...

While i know very little about this subject, I still really love the stars and clouds and used to know a great deal about them.  Your entries always bring me closer to a love i use to have astronomy.  Thank you.  

ab45yui said...

I need to get my sister to read your posts.  She loves astronomy!  I am thinking about taking a college class soon on it...that was very interesting!

lanurseprn said...

I'll keep my eye out for this. Thanks.
Pam

princesssaurora said...

Cool!  Thanks for sharing!

be well,
Dawn
http://journals.aol.com/princesssaurora/CarpeDiem/

pharmolo said...

Pity the weather is deteriorating, and that we are 5 hours ahead. AND that it gets light at 3.15 am here. No chance.

mutualaide said...

I don't know how your weather was last night, but Em & I were out for a drive just after 9:00 pm and the full strawberry moon was off to the east (not true east) and Venus and Saturn were off to the west (again, not true west) ... the evening stars had that bright twinkle about them and V & S were so low and bright ... they nearly looked as one!

rockoned7 said...

Weather made it impossible to see the event. Thanks for the reminder. PS I liked the hat and shades, very summery.

mutualaide said...

Oh!  I meant to mention that as Em & I drove along I kept watching and watching 'that star over there' not realizing it was Venus and Saturn almost touching to the naked eye!  But I thought too that I would come to your journal and find out exactly what I was seeing -- and that's just what I did!  

luddie343 said...

Cathy 2 Mutual(Kathy):  Yes, didn't it look like one giant star to the naked eye?  I could barely see the separation with a scope.  Beautiful.  

attitudeslc said...

Oh I love this stuff!  I have alerts sent to me so I can keep up on all of this!  I love the way you explained it!  Awsome!

~ Rosemary

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