Undoubtedly there are some of you that have already noticed the sliver of a moon rising just after dusk in the southwestern sky the last few nights. And maybe you've also noticed the two bright stars in the same general vicinity, only higher. The moon is the moon, but the stars aren't stars at all. They're planets.
The brightest is Venus, as you might guess. The other one is our largest planet, Jupiter. And just after dusk on December 1st, they're all getting together for a party. Venus and Jupiter actually pass each other in the night on November 30th (that's tonight), but you can witness their closeness for several days after, and tomorrow night, the moon will be right there with them, making for a most dramatic celestial event. It will begin about 30 minutes after sunset and continue until they all three set about 2½ hours later.
Unfortunately, we'll be experiencing cloudy skies here, but we still enjoyed what we saw last night as we left Walmart while out and about, doing some Christmas shopping. We heard others talking about it too, as we passed by them.
If any of you are lucky enough to witness the event tomorrow night and are able to snap a photo or two of it, maybe you could post it on your blog and let me know through the comments here. I'll post links to your blogs so those that have to miss it (like me) can still see what it looked like. Venus and Jupiter won't come this close to each other again until March 2012.
They actually aren't close at all. On December 1st, the moon will be 250,000 miles away from Earth, Venus will be 93 million miles away, and Jupiter is way out there at 540 million miles.
Sunita in India has some wonderful photos of the event on her blog, The Urban Gardener: A Smilie Over Mumbai!_______________
Joy in Ontario, Canada took a few and posted them on her blog, GardenJoy4Me: Squiggles in the Sky ... or is it down to me?
Amy in British Columbia, Canada has posted a crystal clear photo on her blog, Blossom: Magical Night Sky.
Astronomical facts taken from Astronomy.com
Here is a good simulation of what it all looks like on each night.