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Old May 26, 2013, 01:04 AM   #1
obeygiant
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View Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury this weekend



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Turn to the west-northwest sky after sunset through Thursday. An unusual event will occur just above the horizon: the tightest three-planet grouping until 2026.

Experts refer to the alignment of Venus, Jupiter and Mercury as the "dance of the planets.''

Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest planets, have been working their way toward each other this month.

Tonight, the third-brightest planet in the solar system, Mercury, will rest just to the upper right of Venus.

"Mercury and Venus can come close together fairly often,'' said David Kriegler of the University of Nebraska at Omaha physics department, because "they are inferior planets, or inside our orbit.''

"It is just the luck of the draw that Jupiter, in its journey across the sky, is in the correct position in its orbit to align with the inner two,'' he said.

Venus, Jupiter and Mercury will fit within about a 5-degree circle of each other. A stargazer should be able to view the three planets at the same time. For a better view, use binoculars.

The grouping will be at its closest Sunday night, when the planets will fit within about a 2.5-degree circle.
"May 26 is the best grouping, and tightest,'' Kriegler said.

After Sunday, Jupiter will gradually move down in the night sky. By early June it will fade away.

Kriegler said the dance of the planets is "not that rare, but seeing Mercury is a hard feat, since it sets so soon after the sun.''
Sunset will be about 8:45 p.m. the next few nights. The planets should come into their best viewing about 45 minutes later.
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Just FYI.

Last edited by Nermal; May 26, 2013 at 07:05 PM. Reason: fixed link
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Old May 26, 2013, 05:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by obeygiant View Post

Just FYI.
ill have a look tomorow, just saw this now
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Old May 26, 2013, 05:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by obeygiant View Post
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Just FYI.
Thanks for the heads up.

Just reassure me that this doesn't mean the end of the world, or anything nasty like that.
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Old May 26, 2013, 08:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by obeygiant View Post
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link

Just FYI.
Very interesting! I'll be checking it out in about an hour. Thanks for the heads-up.
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Old May 27, 2013, 01:21 PM   #5
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Ugh. Cloudy here all weekend.
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Old May 27, 2013, 02:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting the heads up; I must say, I love this sort of thing. It is something I find absolutely fascinating, and could read about it and think about it endlessly.
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Old May 27, 2013, 08:52 PM   #7
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Of course it's cloudy here. I may be able to still catch it this week when the trio of planets isn't so close together.

----------

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Thanks for posting the heads up; I must say, I love this sort of thing. It is something I find absolutely fascinating, and could read about it and think about it endlessly.
I feel the same way. Solar eclipses and comets are especially mind blowing for me.
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Old May 29, 2013, 08:48 AM   #8
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It's always cloudy here at night. I can't think of the last time I have seen a star at night. Same thing for planets too.
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Old May 30, 2013, 02:04 AM   #9
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It seems to be cloudy and rainy where I am most of the time during these astronomical events
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