Saturday, 14 July 2012

Venus, Jupiter and the Moon are gathering in our early morning skies

Image: Stellarium 15 July 2012
(Click to Enlarge)

Venus is now our very bright "morning star" over in the east, before sunrise.
Jupiter is the not-quite-as-bright one a little higher, to the left of Venus.  The fainter reddish one now above Venus is Aldebaran, eye of Taurus the Bull, and over to the right of all this is Orion.

This weekend, the waning crescent Moon moves down through Taurus.  Look on:
- Saturday morning - Moon, Jupiter, Venus in (almost) a straight line
- Sunday morning - Moon just below Jupiter
- Monday morning - Jupiter, Venus and the Moon in a triangle
- Tuesday morning - last look at the old crescent, in a big triangle with Venus and Betelgeuse (shoulder of Orion).

A map of all this is at

The Moon will re-appear in the early evening skies as a thin crescent over in the west on July 20th, marking the start of the Islamic month of Ramadhan.  Look out for earthshine on the crescent.

Big Sunspot 1520 Releases X1.4 Class Flare

Huge sunspot AR1520, located front and center in the Sun's southern hemisphere, has released an X1.4 class flare.