Venus and the Twins


   Over the next few evenings, June 7th to 10th, the inner planet Venus will pass the star Pollux, marking the head of one of the Gemini Twins. Pollux is on the left side as we view the ‘Twins’ face-on. This animated graphic is set for 10 pm CDT and shows the daily movement of Venus toward the east, combined with the daily motion of the stars toward the west as the Earth revolves around the Sun.


   The separation between Venus and Pollux will vary from about 4.5o to about 5.5o allowing at least these two to fit within a binocular field of view.

   
   
   

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.

Pollux Kicks it Back!


   Over the next couple of nights the 15 to 16 day old waning gibbous Moon will move past Pollux and Castor, the twin stars of Gemini, and Procyon the alpha star in Canis Minor, the Little Dog. With a little imagination or the animated graphic it’s not hard to picture Pollux kicking the Moon. Ok a lot of imagination, or the animated graphic!
Animated graphic shows the sky for December 15th and 16th a couple of hours after sunset.

   
   
   

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.

Moon Near a Beehive


   Very early Sunday morning October 23rd the 22-day old last quarter Moon will be a few degrees from the open star cluster M-44, or commonly known as the ‘Beehive Cluster‘. This should make for an interesting sight with binoculars despite the reflected light from the Moon.

   If you are not a late night observer but like me an early morning observer then the Moon will still be close to M-44 before sunrise. However at that time look south-southeast and high above the horizon. To the right is Procyon in Canis Minor and above the Moon are the ‘Twins’ Pollux and Castor.

   
   
   

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.

From Feet to Heads


   Over the last several days the Moon in its waxing phases has moved eastward from near the feet of the Gemini Twins to near the heads (sort of) of the Twins. By Wednesday May 11th the 5-day old Moon is about 14o from Pollux, the twin on the left as we view them.

   
   
   

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

Venus, the Gemini Twins, Jupiter, and of Course, a Lion

   During this month the planet Venus will move eastward past the stars of the Gemini Twins, in particular the stars marking their respective heads. Pollux on the left and Castor on the right. This picture was taken on June 2nd at around 9:30 pm MST from Tucson Arizona.
   Keep watching Venus because as the month progresses Venus will catch up with Jupiter, which currently is up to the left, east from Venus. By the end of this month Venus and Jupiter will be less than 1o apart. A little further east is the heart of Leo the Lion, the star Regulus, where Venus will be next month.
   
   
   
   
   
   
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.

Moon and Jupiter – 2 Parts

Click on picture to see it full screen size.

Click on picture to see it full screen size.

   I posted yesterday about a Moon-Jupiter conjunction this morning, and as usual figuring that for me the sky would be overcast. However last night when I went outside with Tyler the rising Moon and Jupiter were sort of visible behind some trees and some clouds as the banner graphic at the top of the page shows. So I grabbed my camera, tripod, and binoculars and despite some clouds managed to get some
Click on picture to see it full screen size.

Click on picture to see it full screen size.

interesting pictures of the Moon, Jupiter, and Orion as they rose behind the trees to my east. This picture is a series of 6 pictures taken within a span of about 2 minutes. The pictures were then stacked using the Star Trails software which in turn brightened the resulting picture as well as showing slight star trails.
That was part 1.

Click on picture to see it full screen size.

Click on picture to see it full screen size.

   This morning Tyler and I went outside, as usual, and even with some thicker clouds the Moon, Jupiter and the ‘twin stars’ Pollux and Castor were visible in the west. With clouds the Moon seems to become overexposed and blurred regardless of my camera settings however Jupiter and the twin stars were visible.
And that was “the rest of the story.”

   
   
   
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.

The Twins, Venus, and Vesta

Click on image to see it full size.

Click on image to see it full size.

   This evening, 22 June, look toward the west for two stars, more or less side-by-side. These are Pollux and Castor, the ‘twin’ stars of the constellation Gemini. Very close to Pollux, the left star, is the planet Venus, and less than 5 degrees away from Venus is the largest asteroid, Vesta. With 7×50 binoculars all three will fit within the field of view as this graphic shows.
   However, and this is a ‘big however’, Venus, and the others are not that high above the horizon around sunset as the banner graphic at the top of the page shows.

   The NASA Dawn mission has recently visited the asteroid Vesta and the spacecraft is currently on its way to the Dwarf Planet Ceres. Click here to go to the NASA Dawn mission web site.
   
   
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.