Say it Ain’t So!

   According to the web site Physics-Astronomy on May 16th the crescent Moon will be in a conjunction with the inner planet Venus and an outer planet, Jupiter, in a formation looking like a smiley face.

   This type of conjunction has happened in the past including one in 2 B.C. that has been suggested to be the ‘Star of Bethlehem’. More recently this triple conjunction did happen in December 2008, according to the article.
   Click here to see a list of future planetary conjunctions.

   Looking down from above the solar system on May 16th showing the orbital positions of Venus, the Earth, and Jupiter. From this graphic it shows that from the Earth you would have to look toward different directions to see either planet.

   No this will not happen.
   Here are reasons why this article about the conjunction is “fake news”.

   Venus is visible in the evening skies at sunset over the western horizon and sets around 9-10 pm local time. (Rises: 7:23 am – Sets: 10:24 pm)
   Jupiter is visible in the morning skies over the southern horizon and sets during the afternoon local time. (Rises: 12:45 am – Sets: 10:47 am)
   The article does not indicate which crescent Moon. Is this a waxing crescent Moon in the evening or a waning crescent Moon in the morning?
   The Moon is in fact a 22.8-day old waning crescent Moon in the morning skies. However the Moon is closer to Neptune and Dwarf Planet Ceres than it is to either Venus or Jupiter.

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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3 thoughts on “Say it Ain’t So!

  1. I’ve seen this mentioned in some article and have been wondering if I was misremembering the month or even the year. As you say – not tomorrow. I wonder how the mistake got started. I can’t imagine anyone making money off it, so it must [?] be some sort of silly error that got picked up [?]

    Liked by 1 person

      • I recognize that one. It pops up every few years. What surprises me is, people think Mars will suddenly one night be as big as the full moon, without thinking that if it was getting that close, it would be getting bigger every night. No concept of orbits.


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