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Space pic this week: Jupiter and Venus

Jupiter & Venus on 20 March 2012. Taken with my compact small camera.

No, they are not aircraft landing lights, but the two brightest worlds in the sky, Venus and Jupiter. I was amazed that I was able to see the two most brilliant worlds-the brightest lights of Venus and Jupiter pop out at evening dusk with unaided eyes. They are the closest in years – March 2012 and near the moon by the month’s end.

I just got off from work, and it was around 8.00pm AEDT in Sydney on 20 March. The two worlds look a little to the north of west as the sky starts becoming dark. I was lucky had my compact camera in my handbag, used the surface of my car to provide firm support for my camera. It is relatively easy to photograph such bright planets without the Moon light.

According to Sydney Observatory, “the position of Venus and Jupiter from 6 to 26 March 2012 low in the north-west can be seen in the sky. Each evening they are in a slightly different position with respect to each other. Arguably, the best sight will be on 26 March when the crescent Moon moves between the two bright planets. That will definitely be worth seeing and photographing. Conjunctions of Venus and Jupiter do happen every few years and are always worth observing. The most recent similar conjunction was the wonderful ‘smiley face’ one of 1 December 2008 when the Moon joined the two bright planets to form a smiling face.” If you are in Sydney – Australia, try this Monthly Sky Guides to help you find your way around the sky.

Good luck with observing the two close worlds this month in March 2012. No matter where you are on Earth now, you can’t miss these two worlds in the west as darkness falls! 😉


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