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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Venus Returns In The Company Of The Slender Moon

Venus is back! To see it, all you need is a good view of the eastern horizon. Tomorrow morning, we’re in for a double-crescent treat because the the exceedingly thin lunar crescent (just one day before new) shines just 6° or three fingers above the eastern horizon. Venus will also be a wire-thin crescent about…
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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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Say Goodbye To Venus

Look to the west at dusk this evening and give Venus a goodbye kiss. If you haven’t noticed already, Venus has been practically MIA these recent weeks as it tracks back toward the sun at dusk. For now, the planet stands only about 4° high 30 minutes after sunset from my northern location. To spot…
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Solar Odyssey — The Parker Probe’s Sizzling Mission To The Sun

NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe on Aug. 12 on a mission to a star — our very own sun! You’d think it would be easy to drop down to the center of the solar system under the power of the sun’s gravity. Like rolling a rock downhill. No, no, no. It actually takes 55…
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