Mars Gets Tight With Neptune Tonight

Mars will do us a favor tonight. If you point your binoculars at the planet this evening, snugged next to it will be another planet  — Neptune. Neptune, the most distant planet in the solar system, will appear just a quarter of a degree (half a full moon) to the lower right of Mars. Find…
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Planets And Moon Serve Up Sparkling Sights At Dawn

If you’re out at dawn — and it’s not too hard to be with December’s late sunrises — face east to watch the celestial traffic this week. Tomorrow morning (Dec. 3), the crescent moon will stand just 4.5° above the planet Venus, which is currently at “greatest brilliancy” and shining at magnitude –4.9. These two…
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See Venus And Spica’s Seemingly Eternal Conjunction

If you head outside when the dawn light just begins to swell and look low in the eastern sky you’ll immediately notice a pair of bright objects. The “big” one is Venus, and sitting on top of it is the star Spica, Virgo’s brightest. They’ve been closing in on one another for days. Normally, the…
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Bye-Bye Venus, See You On The Flip Side!

Venus played the part of night light this spring and summer, shining every evening in the western sky. But in the past few weeks it’s drawn closer and closer to the sun until it’s now lost in the solar glare. Farewell friendly planet. We’ve talked about conjunctions before in the context of the moon being…
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Moon Makes A Move On Jupiter / New Lunar Craters Named After Iconic Photo

Only two days old, the evening crescent’s back. You can catch it tonight 20 minutes to a half-hour after sunset low in the southwestern sky looking about as thin as a bread crust. A little more than one outstretched fist to its left, look for Jupiter in the twilight sky. Tomorrow night, the moon will…
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