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Thread: Celestial Show Set for New Year's Eve

  1. #1

    Cool Celestial Show Set for New Year's Eve

    A delightful display of planets and the moon will occur on New Year's Eve for anyone wishing to step outside and look up just after sunset.

    Venus, brighter than all other planets and stars, will dangle just below the thin crescent moon in the southwestern sky. It'll be visible -- impossible to miss, in fact -- just as the sun goes down, assuming skies are cloud-free.

    Soon thereafter, Mercury and Jupiter will show up hugging the south-southwestern horizon (just above where the sun went down) and extremely close to each other. Jupiter is very bright and easy to spot; Mercury is faint and harder to see, but it'll be apparent by its location just to the left of Jupiter.

    Jupiter and Mercury will set less than an hour after the sun, so timing your viewing just after sunset is crucial. You'll also need a location with a clear view of the western horizon, unobstructed by buildings, trees or mountains.

    All the planets, along with the moon and sun, traverse an arc across our sky called the ecliptic, which corresponds to the plane in space that they all roughly share. For this reason, you could draw an imaginary line from the general location of Venus and the moon, down through the other two planets, and the line would point to where the sun went down. This line could also initially help you find Jupiter and Mercury.
    Han: "We are all ready to win, just as we are born knowing only life. It is defeat that you must learn to prepare for"

  2. #2
    My 6 yr old g-daughter got a telescope for Christmas. I will pass this on. Thanks!

  3. #3
    Was that Venus showing near the crescent moon last night?
    Looking east towards the Atlantic. Very beautifull cloud formations last night as well - here in NJ.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DaleB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Tidewater, VA
    Venus is incredible tonight! It was something else last night too, garvey. i see it in the western sky, tho. Slightly south. (I live right on the ocean front in VA Beach so I'm certain the sea was at my back..perhaps the rotation carries it eastward also?).

    Santa brought us a telescope for Giftmas too, Bethany. I've been amazed this past week just what a 'backyard' telescope can offer. What a great gift for a youngster! Enjoy! I can't wait to learn more about astronomy. I'm hooked.

    He who hears not me but the Logos will say: All is one.

  5. #5
    was out with my girls telling them how far away venus is but on day they will get a better view from the moon [our moon] when we build a base there.
    Han: "We are all ready to win, just as we are born knowing only life. It is defeat that you must learn to prepare for"

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