Jupiter nearly touches Frost Moon

Sunday November 25, 2012

Special to The Eagle

It’s happening in the dark. Tomorrow and Tuesday, before daybreak and into dawn, planets Saturn and Venus nearly kiss. They climb above the east-southeastern horizon close together both days.

Tomorrow, dazzling Venus is ever so slightly above dimmer Saturn. On Tuesday, the ringed planet appears slightly above Venus, which is knock-out brilliant. By Wednesday, Venus trails Saturn, the space between them lengthening.

Even so, things don’t cool off at all on Wednesday. Celestial coupling switches from morning to evening sky, and it promises to be a fantastic sight.

Jupiter, at its brightest, and the full Frost Moon may seem attached to each other when they rise in the east-northeast at 4:36 and 4:37 p.m., respectively. They will appear, increasingly, as close as can be without eclipsing one another. The liaison lasts until about 10 p.m. when the largest planet in our solar system, looking tiny in comparison to our closest neighbor in space, the moon, pulls ahead as they travel the sky for the rest of the night.

On Thursday morning, find the setting Frost Moon and Jupiter in the west-northwest until practically sunrise, which will be at 7 a.m.

Likewise, in the southeast, the dynamic pair, Saturn and Venus, may be seen until the rising sun’s light overpowers them, close to 6:45 a.m. Add Mercury, below Venus, to begin the day with a rousing planetary line-up.

To contact Judy Isacoff, go to www.naturesturn.org


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