Aurora Possible Tonight / Venus In Daylight

Venus (left, top) joins the moon over my yard this morning (Jan. 31) at sunrise. If you were out earlier in a darker sky, you would have also spotted Jupiter to the right of the moon. Bob King

Once again, there’s a chance for northern lights tonight. Space weather forecasters are predicting a minor G1 storm to occur this evening between sunset and 9 p.m. Central Time. Minor means that skywatchers living in the northern parts of the northern border states will have the best chance of seeing anything. Look for a glow or greenish arc low in the north. Since it’s always hard to know the exact time when the aurora will be active, be sure to look later in the evening, too. Just in case. Like people coming to your garage sale, the lights sometimes show up early … or during the final minute.

Even at 10 a.m. today, 2½ hours after sunrise, you could still see Venus. Over those two hours, notice how much closer the moon got to the planet. Bob King

Did you see the crescent moon and Venus this morning? I overslept after a little pre-dawn photography but got up just in time to see the moon and Venus at sunrise high in the southeastern sky. Venus was super easy to spot thanks to the moon. Two hours later about 10 a.m. I found the moon again and with only a little trying, Venus too!

I’m alway grateful for these moon-planet conjunctions because they expand the range of what we can see in the plain blue light of day.

Clear skies!

7 Responses

  1. Edward M Boll

    So cold, diesels gelling up, even with half blended fuels. Now that it is near 0, it is snowing. No, I am not done with Wirtanen. Hoping to catch it tonight or next week. Surprising sightings lately with 7 power binoculars, still reported by some at mag 7.

  2. Dana

    I did, just before dawn and took a couple photos too. It was a lovely sight which made me forget about the bitter cold for a little while.

  3. Norman Sanker

    Hey Bob, this is an odd idea and question, but let’s see what you think. I’ve done a lot of pointing out Venus in the daytime, everywhere from national parks to parking lots to birdwatching outings. Here’s my theoretical question. On a day with good weather, Venus brighter than yesterday but still close to the Moon, in America, how many people see Venus in daylight, including those who might notice that point of light near the Moon without knowing what it is? Would you say a hundred? A thousand? Should there be “Daylight Venus Days” when the astronomical conditions are good and there’s a concerted effort to encourage folks to give this a try? Just a thought.

    1. astrobob

      Good question. My hunch is next to no one notices Venus even at it’s best unless they’re pointed to it. People might glance at the moon in the daytime going to work or school, but that’s about it. It takes “focus” or foreknowledge to concentrate and find Venus. I like your “Daylight Venus Days.” I’ve done blogs on finding Venus in daylight before. It’s a great idea to encourage people to look.

  4. Norman Sanker

    BTW Bob, I just noticed that the Old Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Antares are making a grand and graceful arc in this morning’s sky. Fantastic.

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