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.

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.

Pollux Impales Moon With Spear!

gemini-ani   Did you notice the setting full Moon this morning (Wednesday) with that bright star (Jupiter) above it? If you were out early enough the twin stars Pollux and Castor were visible above Jupiter. Tomorrow morning (Thursday) the Moon will have moved ‘up’ (actually eastward) toward the twin stars. And as this animated graphic set for 6:30 am CST (1230 UT) shows, the near waning gibbous Moon is looking like it has been impaled by the spear carried by Pollux. On Friday morning the the Moon will have moved further east and that morning will set alongside – off to the left – from the twin stars.

   Don’t forget that over the east to southeast horizon are the planets Mars and Saturn as well as two other prominent stars, Arcturus in Bootes the Herdsman and Spica in Virgo the Harvest Maiden.

   
dec19moon-jupiter   Tomorrow morning, Thursday, the Moon will be within 7 degrees from Jupiter and both will fit within the field of of 7×50 binoculars.
   
   
   
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.

It’s About Mars

Click on image to see full size

Click on image to see full size

   Tomorrow morning, 17 August, an hour or so before sunrise look toward the eastern horizon for the planet Mars to rise with the constellation of the Gemini Twins. Mars will be less than 5 degrees from the the star Pollux and easily see together with Mars within the field of view of binoculars as the inset to the graphic on the right shows.
mars jupiter   Shortly after sunrise Mars will reach an interesting position in its orbit relative to the Sun and the planet Jupiter. Both Mars and Jupiter will be at heliocentric conjunction with each other. Both planets will be at approximately 93 degrees heliocentric longitude.

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