4 Planets, Moon, and Some Clouds

      This morning, despite some clouds the 4 planets and the 28-day old waning crescent Moon were still very visible as they rose over the horizon. How they (planets and our Moon) ‘line up’ as they currently are is a result of the 8 planets all orbiting the Sun in the same direction and from nearly the same level. By level I mean the plane of the ecliptic, the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. This is extended from the Sun’s equator outward spanning the entire solar system. The ecliptic is the reference for all solar orbiting objects when citing an object’s inclination.
    Inclination is by how much, in degrees, the object’s orbit is tilted or inclined from the plane of the ecliptic. This graphic shows the ecliptic, the Moon, and the planets illustrating their arrangement with respect to the ecliptic.

   
   
   

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

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