Moon in Conjunction with Venus, Spica, and Dwarf Planet Ceres

   Tuesday November 6th the 28-day old very thin waning crescent Moon will be near the inner planet Venus, the star Spica in Virgo the Harvest Maiden, and Dwarf Planet Ceres as they all rise an hour or so before sunrise. The waning crescent Moon has an apparent magnitude of -8.55 compared with Venus apparent magnitude of -4.32, Spica with an apparent magnitude of 0.96, and Dwarf Planet Ceres with an apparent magnitude of 8.18.

   
   
   

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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Venus at Inferior Conjunction

inner-planets-positions   Saturday August 15th the innermost planet Venus reaches its orbital position known as inferior conjunction. This is one of four points along an inner planet orbit, and at inferior conjunction Venus is between the Earth and the Sun – like our new Moon phase.

   
   
   
   

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.

Venus at Western Elongation

inner-planets-positions   Today Venus reaches the point in its orbit called greatest western elongation. As this graphic shows the inner planet Venus, or Mercury, is more or less at a right angle (90o) from the Sun and Earth at western elongation. From the surface of the Earth, your backyard, for example, Venus is to the right, or western side of the Sun and is rising before the Sun.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   At western elongation Venus, or for that matter Mercury the other inner planet, is as far out from the Sun as we see them and as a result Venus or Mercury will rise at the latest time in this orbit. Today Venus will be 46.6o from the Sun. From western elongation forward Venus or Mercury will be moving eastward toward the Sun and each day rising closer and closer to the time of sunrise. As the planet moves eastward it is moving further away from the Earth toward superior conjunction on the opposite side of the Sun. As the distance between the Earth and Venus, or Mercury, increases combined with the decreasing angle between the planet, the Earth, and the Sun, Venus or Mercury decreases in apparent size and also waxes through gibbous phase shapes but we never see it at a full phase since that is at superior conjunction.

   
   
   
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.