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Astro Bob

A Bounty Of Beautiful Conjunctions

12 Jan 2019, 17:12 UTC
A Bounty Of Beautiful Conjunctions
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The moon passes Mars this evening (Jan. 12). If you look at the pair during twilight and then a second time several hours later, you’ll see that the moon will have moved eastward (to the left) in relation to Mars. Mars is also moving to the east as it orbits the sun at the rate of 53,600 miles an hour (24 km/sec) or more than 23 times the lunar rate. It only appears to move much more slowly compared to its neighbor because it’s so much farther away. Stellarium
Tonight, if it’s clear at your place, you can look up and see a thick crescent moon hanging below the planet Mars. Mars is our only bright evening planet right now. The others — Venus and Jupiter — are visible on the other side of the sky at dawn. The lunar crescent and Red Planet will be just 5° or three fingers held together at arm’s length apart tonight. When two bodies line up, one above or below the other, we say they’re in conjunction. In a week, it will be Venus and Jupiter’s turn — more on that in the coming days.
Conjunctions concentrate the sky’s bright jewels in a ...

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