Sunday, November 30, 2008

Look To The Skies!

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.

Happy stargazing!

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
Here is a good simulation of what it all looks like on each night.


Unknown said...

Geez, I wish I could see it. It's supposed to be cloudy around here, but even if it weren't we've got so dang many trees I can't see through them. I took a couple of astronomy classes when I was in college. The planets were very interesting to study.

Unknown said...

Oh great picture and post. Thanks for putting this up. I saw it on the weather channel while in Indiana for Thanksgiving, but now I will try and see it here in Southwest Missouri now that we are home. Thanks Kylee.

Gail said...

Cloudy for the next several nights...sigh...but I will be hoping others will post! gail

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a clear picture Kylee. I saw the planets the other evening. It is cloudy here tonight.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Kylee, I'll check in a few minutes. It's been snowing here all day, though. This was very interesting, though! Thanks for the information!! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. :-)

Kylee Baumle said...

Cinj ~ Those darn clouds! Same here. But you can't use the trees as an excuse - drive until you get out of them! ;-)
I'm fascinated by all things in nature, especially those that I don't fully understand or those that bring out awe in me.

Rick ~ I heard about it on PBS a couple of nights ago. I usually forget! I hope you get to see it tomorrow night. If so, please take a photo or two and post them!

Gail ~ I hope so too, Gail! I'll bet someone (or two) will accommodate us. :-)

Lisa ~ Clouds here, too, unfortunately. I really love the night sky and when something unusual happens, it's all the more special!

Kylee Baumle said...

Shady Gardener ~ You have look just after dusk/twilight and what I read said it should be visible for about three hours after the sun sets. We had rain or snow all day today, too (no snow on the ground though). I think it's supposed to be the same tomorrow night, but maybe we'll get lucky!
We did have a nice Thanksgiving and I hope you did, too!

Anonymous said...

Kylee, sunset here was magnificent last night with the sky the exact same color as yours and, of course, the heavenly bodies in the same place. That tiny sliver of moon was barely noticeable at dusk, but as the sun finally disappeared, it was beautiful. I knew about Venus but did not know the other was Jupiter, so thanks for that! The bare trees against that gorgeous apricot sky is like a beautiful painting. (Coincidentally, we were on our way home from WalMart, too, though I might never shop there again...)

WiseAcre said...

Thanks for the heads up. I'll try but it looks like cloud cover tonight. Guess that's some form of Murphy's Law. If I didn't know the sky would be clear and crisp.

At least we dodged the bullet last night. We had a winter storm warning but it just fizzled out to be rain.

Anonymous said...

I saw them last night on the way home from our Thanksgiving trip. Will have to go out and look at them tonight!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

I'm looking, I'm looking but I'm getting all this water in my eyes, aka rain. And it's very overcast too so no planets to see, not even a moon.

Kathleen said...

Thanks for the reminder. I wanted to see this, but no sky show for me tonight. It is windy, spitting snow, and very, very cloudy. Burrrrr...

Kerri said...

Kylee, we just looked out and could only see the moon, down planets close by, only stars further overhead. But Sunita, in Mumbai, has a couple of neat photos of the three making a great smiley face :) They needed a smile! Go see!
Your photo is gorgeous!

Sunita Mohan said...

Kylee, your photo is so beautiful! I love those trees silhouetted against the sky and the colours blending from orangey to darker shades of blue. Lovely!

Thanks for dropping by my blog and of course, you're welcome to link to it. I'm so happy I managed to get a photo of the heavenly trio.

Amy said...

Thanks for linking to my post Kylee :) I didn't know I was photographing a rare event at the time - just that it was a very cool view from our back deck!

Unknown said...

Hi Kylee, the other day when I was looking around Blotanical i came across this post. Since then I've been star/planet gazing. So interesting to know what it actually was. I'm so glad I stopped by and I must do it more often. Cheers!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Kylee ! Your shot of the dusky sky is beautiful girl !!! .. I took a peak at Mumbai from Sunita .. and of course Amy's is amazing : )
We all took pictures .. even though mine are terrible .. I loved seeing such an amazing event .. and I hold it in my brain's picture vault ? LOL
Thanks for the link girl : )

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