Venus continues to brighten in the western sky after sunset this month. It’s caught under the feet of the constellation Gemini in the northern Milky Way not far from the splendid open star cluster M35 at mid-month. A pair of binoculars shows both in the same field of view. The bright planet reached its highest point above the horizon on May 8 and now slowly moves back towards the horizon each night on its way to an extremely close and photogenic encounter with Jupiter at the end of June [Read more…] about Venus BrightensShare This:
The tiny planet Mercury lingers in the western sky after sunset, still tangled in the lacework of star clusters in the constellation Taurus. The planet reaches greatest eastern elongation on May 7, 2015 at an angular distance of 21º from the Sun. Because of the angle of the ecliptic, this translates to a better view for northern stargazers who can see the planet about 10º above the northwestern horizon at 9 p.m. local time [Read more…] about Mercury Lingers in the Western SkyShare This:
It’s a good time for seeing planets. Venus moved past the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters in early April. Now it’s Mercury’s turn. In this image, you see the speedy little planet near the two famous star clusters on May 1, 2015. The Hyades star cluster is tangled in the branches at left. For the next week, Mercury makes its best appearance this year in the western sky after sunset. Venus is much higher above the horizon after sunset, and Jupiter higher still. Saturn rises in the east before midnight, its rings tilted dramatically, as it moves to its closest approach to Earth later in May.Share This:
The brilliant planet Venus is just over 2° from the Pleiades star cluster, while the V-shaped Hyades star cluster, which makes up much of the constellation Taurus, is to the left of Venus in this image. The constellation Orion is at extreme left. This image taken after sunset over the Ottawa River on a pleasant spring night on April 12, 2015.
Shining at magnitude -4.1 for most of the month, Venus is easy to find high above the western horizon as the Sun goes down. It outshines every object in the sky except for the Sun and Moon. The planet moves a little higher each night until early June.Share This: