October 2014
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  
News for Norther Colorado and the world

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sky Tonight—January 29, Moon and Venus still close before sunrise

Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science

Visit EarthSky at
www.EarthSky.org

phase29 Sky Tonight—January 29, Moon and Venus still close before sunrise29jan Sky Tonight—January 29, Moon and Venus still close before sunriseWake up before sunrise tomorrow (Sunday, January 30) to see the moon and the planet Venus – the two brightest orbs of nighttime – lighting up the dawn and predawn sky. Our sky chart shows the sky scene as viewed from North America. Elsewhere around the world at this hour, expect the waning crescent moon and Venus to be positioned a little differently in your sky.

Still, it hardly matters. In the wee hours tomorrow, simply look eastward – in the general direction of sunrise – for the lunar crescent. Near the moon, you will see Venus as the most brilliant star-like object in all the sky.

Of course, when we say that the moon and Venus shine close together, we really mean they occupy nearly the same spot on the sky’s dome. The moon and Venus are not actually close together at all. The moon, our closest celestial neighbor, lodges 1.3 light-seconds from Earth. Venus, the 2nd planet outward from the sun, presently resides some seven light-minutes from Earth.

Light travels at 300,000 kilometers (186,000 miles) per second. That is about 18,000,000 kilometers (11,000,000 miles) per minute. Can you calculate the approximate distance of the moon and Venus, given that the moon lies 1.3 light-seconds away and Venus at seven light-minutes?

If you have binoculars, grab them. If you are up at the crack of dawn or earlier, look for the soft glow of earthshine on the nighttime side of the moon. Watch for the moon and Venus to shine together in the dawn and predawn sky tomorrow, on Sunday, January 30!

When can you see earthshine on a crescent moon?

Written by Bruce McClure



Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL

EarthSky: Space

CHANDRA Photo Album

U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information center

Universe Today

StarDate Online

Sky and Telescope

National Geographic

Space Com

Simostronomy Blog

Amazing Space

The York County Astronomical Society

Scope City

James S McDonnell Planetarium

Print This Post Print This Post