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back to article Jupiter and Venus get cozy in revealing late-night display

Be prepared to hear a lot of irritating New Age chatter about the planets being in alignment over the next few days, because some of them actually will be. Venus and Jupiter have been lighting up the evening skies in the last few weeks and are drawing closer and closer together, until Venus passes just 3 degrees north of Jupiter …

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Silver badge

Makes me wish I still had my old telescope.

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Venus & M̶a̶r̶s̶ Jupiter!

I've been watching this every night on my way home - it's an awe-inspiring sight.

Regards

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Trollface

According to my horoscope...

I should beware of falling double-decker busses, make sure I don't eat a box of nails coated in arsenic, not wash my hands in chlorine trifluoride and avoid making decisions about money, love, sex, what to eat, decisions, major airline purchases or crossbreeding bears & egrets. I will meet a stranger of a certain height and will encounter universal love and happiness if I happen to be a billionaire on holidays.

I am amazed how accurate these things are.

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Thumb Up

Re: According to my horoscope...

"And I gaze at the planets and wonder,

at the trouble and time they expend,

all to warn me to be careful,

In dealings involving a friend."

My Horoscope - Michael Flanders, 1955

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Silver badge

Wagers anyone that..

It will, as always, be effin cloudy...

Sat here with an 8 incher (telescope you sick pervs) and all i can see is di-hydrogen monoxide vapour through it....

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Re: Wagers anyone that..

Had a good look through my 8" last Wednesday. Pretty good, but seeing a bit iffy. Bands on Jupiter, plus Galilean moons, crescent Venus and red Mars. Sprogs were excited, which was the whole point.

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Anonymous Coward

..it's how you use it that counts

I've only got a 5 1/4 incher with UHTC. It's good enought so see some features on Jupiter and Saturn. Would love to upgrade to a larger one at some point.

Clear skies!

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Really clear last night

Hopefully the same will be true tonight, but the whole week is forecast to be cloudy so we'll miss the live show and have to imagine it using stellarium.

ttfn

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Anonymous Coward

Turkish flag

".. the crescent moon will sit alongside Jupiter .."

As in like the Turkish flag? Are the Turks planning anything special to celebrate - seems like a good opportunity for a Turkish party.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Turkish flag

They did say, last week, that they might annex the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus - the bit they've illegally occupied since 1974.

Possibly pissed off because it's part of the EU (although Turkey says it isn't) and they're trying to get in.

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So close and yet so far . . .

"In reality, Venus is around 150 million kilometres (93 million miles) from Earth and Jupiter is more than 600 million kilometres (373 million miles) further off,"

So one of them is further away from the other than we are - now I know the Caner fanbois& girls are graping at I Ching straws but this really does take the gluten-free biscuit.

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Anonymous Coward

SLR?

Anyone know if a SLR with a 200mm lens can resolve them? Or do I really need a telescope to be able to see anything other than a spot of light?

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Re: SLR?

Only one way to find out...

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Trollface

Re: SLR?

in the words of Harry Hill:

FIGHT!!!

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Stu
Unhappy

Re: SLR?

200mm??

Not really, It also depends on the MegaPixel count, but my Nikon D90 at 12mp can pick out only a few pixels of Venus I think it was, a round white dot of about 5 pixel diameter. and that's with my 300mm lens at full magnification.

I haven't tried lowering the exposure to try to pick out colour, but I suspect it'll be too small to bother with.

You could perhaps try a 2x teleconverter, but then you'll only get a slightly larger dot of pixels!

.

On the plus side its totally clear where I am tonight, should be quite a spectacle.

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Alignment?

Not very aligned if the gap is 3 degrees! You could almost stuff half a dozen moons* between them!

Also. Wot? No mention of Saturn which is also visible? Saturn rise is at 9:01 pm tonight.

Mars, is the reddest (well ok, amberest) I've ever noticed it too.

*earth's moon. Other moons are available.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alignment?

Thats no moon...

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Joke

Standard planetary joke

But can see Uranus?

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Re: Standard planetary joke

...only on a full moon!

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Gimp

Distant Suns

Good time to recommend the Distant Suns iThing app for people looking to navigate their ways around the skies. Really wonderful bit of software that I first used on my Amiga.

It's great for identifying stars and navigating your way around the skies. Then the app tells you how far away the star is and you suddenly feel oh so tiny and insignificant!

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Facepalm

Mr Cox, can you sum it up in one word?

"Amazing"

Thanks Brian.

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Re: Mr Cox, can you sum it up in one word?

> "Amazing"

> Thanks Brian.

Though the BBC licence fee payers had to fly him and a film crew to New Zealand for that quote.

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Yag
Alien

The planets are aligned!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

Ïa! Ïa! Cthulhu fhtagn!

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Devil

Re: The planets are aligned!

Now you've done it, mate, you woke him up (a bit too early for the Mayans)!

See what that leads to here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOHJUrcVdJk

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Joke

Re: The planets are aligned!

Sorry dont speak Welsh.

/coat

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Yag
Happy

Re: The planets are aligned!

Awwwww! So cuuuuute! :)

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Bronze badge

other bright things

It seems to be some kind of a festival of bright ones of the Northern Sky now: the beautiful Orion, Canicula (Sirius), Aldebaran ( α Tauri), Capella... Not sure if Pleiads are still seen though, but the twins Castor and Pollux are still there :)

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Re: other bright things

Pleiades are still up high in the early evening - Cassiopeia, Orion, Canis Major, Ursa Major, etc. are all easily visible right now.

As always, I shall plug the excellent (and free) Stellarium - the best bit of kit I've found for "what's that bright thing up there?", "what can I see tonight?" and "where is wotsit going to be?", with all sorts of advanced options whilst remaining blindingly simple to use: http://www.stellarium.org/

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stelllarium it is

Exactly, stellarium makes it easy to tell what is what. One of its plug-ins was even able to tell that a pretty bright rapidly moving dot was ISS. Alas, the urban sky pollution prevents us from contemplating nebulae.

Kstars and Celestia are also very informative.

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Age of Aquarius (song)

Mars is conjunct Jupiter about once every two years, and the Moon is always in the seventh house somewhere on Earth.

Hence, that particular part of the song from 'Hair' was just astrological patter, unconnected with the precession of the equinoxes.

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Anonymous Coward

A Minor Correction

The article states the distance between Venus and Earth is 93 million miles. If memory serves correctly, 93 million miles is the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Someone correct me if I'm wrong because the Universe is constantly in motion, but I don't think that figure is correct.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A Minor Correction

Have you never heard of an isosceles triangle?

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Quick proof

In the plane of the ecliptic points 93 million miles from Earth form a circle passing through the Sun and out beyond the orbit of the Earth. Since that circle intersects the orbit of Venus, at some time, Venus will be 93 million miles from Earth. It's just a a matter of waiting long enough.

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well i never

http://xkcd.com/1020/

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