The Magnitude of the Situation

7x50binos   This evening the planet Venus will be within about 2 degrees from the reddish star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion. This graphic shows the pair as they would appear through 7×50 binoculars. This part of the sky sets shortly after sunset and the sky is still relatively bright so the ‘viewing window’ for observing them is rather small. However Venus is shining very brightly as at -4.27 so even in somewhat bright skies it should not be hard to see. Antares, on the other hand, is a 1st magnitude star so Venus is about 5 magnitudes brighter than Antares. Each magnitude is approximately 2.51 times different so to go from 1st magnitude to the brighter -4.27 represents a magnitude difference of 5 times or 2.51 x 2.51 x 2.51 x 2.51 x 2.51 difference in magnitudes. This means that Venus is 100 times brighter than Antares, or Antares is 100 times dimmer.

   Click here to read about and see additional pictures of the ISS and Iridium flares.

   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

8 thoughts on “The Magnitude of the Situation

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