September 1, 2014

AstroEvent: 4x Planets, 1xMoon, and a 12° FOV!

Looking eastward May 1st about 30 minutes before sunrise. (Created by the Author using Starry Night).

Where have all the planets gone? Four of the five classical naked eye planets are about to reveal themselves this week in a splendid fashion. As Venus sinks morning by morning towards the horizon, expect Jupiter, Mars and Mercury to emerge low in the dawn sky. The action culminates the weekend of April 30th-May 1st, when the waning crescent Moon approaches the grouping… use brilliant Venus as a visual “anchor” to guide your eyes to the fainter planets. On what date will you be able to spot each planet from your location? [Read more...]

Astro-Event: An Occultation of Venus.

(Created by the Author in Starry Night).

 

   Occultations are one of the few split-second events in the field of observational astronomy. Unlike most spectacles which may take longer than the average human life span, (the orbits of many double stars comes to mind!) An occultation of a star or planet can occur with abrupt swiftness. Such an event can serve as a calibration, a precise measurement in time and space of size and position. [Read more...]

Astro-Event: Venus at Greatest Elongation.

Venus earlier this year as seen from Astroguyz HQ. (Photo by Author).

Venus earlier this year as seen from Astroguyz HQ. (Photo by Author).

 

   Our nearest planetary neighbor is about to put on a brilliant dusk showing. The planet Venus reaches greatest elongation, or its maximum separation from the Sun as observed from the Earth on August 19th. From there, it will begin a long dive towards inferior conjunction with the Sun on October 28th, slendering in phase from half-lit to crescent and increasing in angular size as it does so. Venus is now the brightest object high in the west at dusk. Tonight on August 13th, a nice grouping of Venus, Mars, Saturn and the three day old Moon occurs after sunset. [Read more...]