Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A spectacular evening sky.

WOW from NASA: " This story ends with the best sky show of the year--a spectacular three-way conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the crescent Moon. "

There is an audio option button--you don't even have to read it. Read/listen today.

Take your kids, your spouse/significant other, your self outside tonight and look at the sky toward the south west. You can continue looking for several evenings, early in the evening--so even the youngest can be up to see it. The ultimate will be the evening of 1 Dec; mark it down; go out; look up.


I noticed the conjunction of Venus & Jupiter last evening so I went to NASA to see what was going on. Apparently, we are in for a rare treat.

  • Dec. 1st (sky map) is the best night of all. The now-15% crescent Moon moves in closer to form an isosceles triangle with Venus and Jupiter as opposing vertices. The three brightest objects in the night sky will be gathered so tightly together, you can hide them all behind your thumb held at arm's length.
  • The celestial triangle will be visible from all parts of the world, even from light-polluted cities. People in New York and Hong Kong will see it just as clearly as astronomers watching from remote mountaintops. Only cloudy weather or a midnight sun (sorry Antarctica!) can spoil the show.
  • Finally, do you see a ghostly image of the full Moon inside the bright horns of the crescent? That's called "Earthshine" or sometimes "the da Vinci glow" because Leonardo da Vinci was the first person to explain it: Sunlight hits Earth and ricochets to the Moon, casting a sheen of light across the dark lunar terrain.

No comments:

Post a Comment