Planets and Stars in Motion

   Over the next several days (evenings) both inner planets, Mercury and Venus, are moving along their respective orbits approaching each planet’s eastern elongation. From the animated graphic you can see that the stars in the background, like the two ‘Twin Stars’ Pollux and Castor, are also moving but toward the western horizon. This is a regular motion of the stars caused by the Earth’s own orbit, revolution, around the Sun. As the Earth revolves the stars appear to move westward – a real motion not to be confused with the apparent motion of stars toward the west as the Earth rotates.

   On the evening of June 25th Mercury will pass within about 5-6o from the star Pollux.


Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

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