Monday, May 18, 2009

A Pretty Morning for Early Risers

This week we get treated to three nice bright objects gathering in the morning sky. Venus and Mars are joined by the Moon the next few days. No telescope required...just go outside and look east. Venus will be very bright and easy to spot. Fine the Moon and draw a line through Venus. Keep going and Mars will lie (roughly) along that line to the lower left of Venus. Here is a star chart for Wednesday morning (May 20th) generated using Stellarium (click to embiggen).

Sky Chart for the morning of 5-20-09
Sky Chart for the morning of 5-20-09

The view is looking to the east. Tuesday morning the Moon will be farther away (to the upper right) and Thursday they will be the closest with the Moon just above Mars. Groupings like this really let you see how the Moon moves from day to day (Venus and Mars also move, but significantly slower than the Moon!)

I usually don't get up early enough to see these...especially in the summer (the lack of daylight savings time in Arizona means I have to get up even earlier than most!) but I hope some of you can enjoy it.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.


Beejay said...

cloudy and rainy here this a.m., Hale. Couldn't even take my walk. Boo-hoo.

OrbsCorbs said...

My schedule has been screwed up for weeks, it seems. Yesterday was no exception. When I finally went to bed around midnight, I decided to not set the alarm and just let myself sleep. I woke up at 9:45 this morning. Sheesh!

Anonymous Mom said...

this is so beautiful

kkdither said...

Alas, while the skies might have been clear, my eyes were cloudy ;>