Friday, November 28, 2008

Keep Watching The Skies!

Besides the last line from the classic science fiction movie "The Thing" starring James Arness (Yes, the future Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke!) as an intelligent carrot, it is good advice the next couple evenings. As I posted earlier in the month (click here), Jupiter and Venus are in conjunction this weekend and will be joined by the moon on Sunday and Monday evenings.

After our winter storm yesterday, we saw lots of sun today, but as is typical of a passing low pressure area, we also had increased humidity and some intermittent heavy clouds. Being the optimist, I headed west towards Kitt Peak to get in some more observing, but once out there it pretty much socked in with clouds and in fact, the mountaintop sported a cloud cap. Compare tonight's view with the same shot from May, how it is supposed to look! I actually drove through some showers returning to Tucson...

It did clear enough to get a shot of the planet pair before they set into the western slopes of the mountain. Venus, the lower brighter one will pass the upper Jupiter this weekend. With a good pair of binoculars you might spot some of Jupiter's moons nearby it, but it takes a small telescope to show the disk of Venus just over half illuminated. But even the naked eye view is worth a trip out of the house!

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