Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Venus is back!

Hi All,
Another beautiful  day with blue skies. That means that right after sunset you will be able to greet  returning Venus.

Venus hasn't been seen in our night sky since last June when she disappeared passing in front of the sun to visit the dawn sky. She is now back in the evening after peeking out from behind the sun as her orbit swings back to our direction.

Venus now appears far enough away from the sun to be easily visible as soon as it gets dark, already outshining Jupiter to its upper left

So, be sure to run outside around 8pm to see Jupiter and Venus lined up together with Mercury. You will need a clear view low to the west. Venus will be about 1 fist (5 degrees) above the horizon, and the other 2 planets on either side as shown above.

Mercury will be more of a challenge to see as it is only magnitude -1 (compared with 3.3 for Venus) but eagle eye hunters should spot it in our clear israeli skies. I got a call last night from  Andy Schwartz, who spotted the trio as he was  walking down the street. If your eye's aren't as good as Andy's you cheat and use binoculars (like I did).

Be sure to look for the trio for the coming night as they will dramatically change position till only Venus is left visible by the beginning of next month.

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