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Κυριακή, 25 Νοεμβρίου 2012

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: The Celestial Convergence - Planet Jupiter Out All Night; Planets Venus, Saturn and Mercury Before Sunrise!


November 25, 2012 - SOLAR SYSTEM - The coming weeks are an awesome time to look for planets! The chart at the top of this post shows the planets Venus and Saturn closest together in the east before dawn on Monday, November 26. The planet Mercury is crawling into view now, too, in the eastern predawn sky, gearing up for a very interesting alignment between Mercury, Venus and Saturn next week. Plus, you can see the planet Jupiter anytime on these late November 2012 nights. Earth will pass between Jupiter and the sun next week, placing Jupiter in its best place to observe this year. All four planets – including Mercury – should remain in fine view for the next several weeks.
If you’re an acute observer, and have binoculars, you might even catch Mars low in the southwest sky after sunset. So it’s possible for you to see all five visible planets on this November night. By visible planet, we mean any planet that’s readily visible without an optical aid and which has been observed by our ancestors since time immemorial. In their outward order from the sun, the visible planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Brilliant Jupiter will be super easy to spot. It’ll be low in the east at nightfall and rising upward during the evening hours. It’ll be highest up for the night around midnight and low in the west at morning dawn. If it’s clear, you simply can’t miss Jupiter because it’s the most brilliant star-like object to light up the evening sky.
Jupiter is bright! You can see it easily. It will be up more or less all night, shining more brightly than any
of the surrounding stars. This photo of Jupiter is from November 18, 2012. Image: Carlos Colon Sr.
The only planet to outshine Jupiter is Venus, the morning “star.” At mid-northern latitudes, dazzling Venus and the fainter planet Saturn rise together in the east about two and one-half hours before sunrise. If you can’t see Saturn next to Venus with the eye alone, use binoculars or a low-powered telescope. Venus and Saturn will remain within the same binocular field of view in the predawn and dawn sky from about November 24 to December 1. Day by day, look for Venus to fall downward as Saturn climbs upward.

You’ll need an unobstructed horizon and clear sky – and possibly binoculars – to spot Mercury, the innermost planet of the solar system. This world rises about one and one-half hours before sunrise tomorrow (Monday, November 26) at mid-northern latitudes. Try looking for Mercury close to the sunrise point on the horizon some 90 to 60 minutes before sunrise. If you miss Mercury in late November, keep in mind that the closest planet to the sun will be coming up even sooner before sunrise for the next few weeks. Moreover, Mercury will brighten all the while. Bottom line: Starting tonight (November 25, 2012) and for the next several weeks, look for Jupiter to shine all night long, Mars low in the southwest at dusk and nightfall, and for Venus, Saturn and Mercury in the eastern predawn and dawn sky. - EarthSky
 http://thecelestialconvergence.blogspot.gr/

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