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Venus and Mars are alright, tonight
Old 09-25-2020, 06:26 AM   #1
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Venus and Mars are alright, tonight

Actually, this morning, early. I thought of Paul McCartney.

At 6:45 AM CDT, about 1/2 hour before local sunup, Venus was shining brightly straight East, about 40 degrees up from the horizon. Meanwhile, Mars, with it's reddish glow, was also shining brightly straight West about the same distance up from the horizon. So the two planets were apart, shining happily for anyone to see at that hour.
And between the two, to the SSE, higher up from the horizon, was Sirius, the bright twinkling blue-white Dog Star.
So if women are from Venus, men are from Mars, they brought their dog, too. She must have selected the dog, as it was a bit closer to her

I did not know that Sirius is a binary system. Sirius B is a white dwarf, and the orbital distance between the pair A and B changes greatly (Wiki).

It was very peaceful looking at them.
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:35 AM   #2
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Very cool! Unfortunately, I live on a densely wooded lot so I tend to miss these shows of nature except when I happen to be at our mountain cabin where we can observe spectacular skies (with near zero light pollution).
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Old 09-25-2020, 09:00 AM   #3
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You can see Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn even in cities. Here is an image of Mars I caught in a home made telescope in DC about 20 years ago.
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Old 09-25-2020, 05:26 PM   #4
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You can see Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn even in cities. Here is an image of Mars I caught in a home made telescope in DC about 20 years ago.
I still recall seeing the rings of Saturn and the bands and 4 moons of Jupiter through a small telescope back in 1960. Though I had seen dozens of (much better) pictures in science books, seeing them for myself was one of those life-changing events. We don't get very good viewing here, but I still go out and look at what I can see from time to time. Of course, one of the best viewing sports in the world is just a couple hundred miles ESE of here. YMMV
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Old 09-25-2020, 06:45 PM   #5
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I still recall seeing the rings of Saturn and the bands and 4 moons of Jupiter through a small telescope back in 1960. Though I had seen dozens of (much better) pictures in science books, seeing them for myself was one of those life-changing events. We don't get very good viewing here, but I still go out and look at what I can see from time to time. Of course, one of the best viewing sports in the world is just a couple hundred miles ESE of here. YMMV
Top of Haleakala feels like you can touch the stars.
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Old 09-27-2020, 05:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Telly View Post
...about 1/2 hour before local sunup, Venus was shining brightly straight East, about 40 degrees up from the horizon. Meanwhile, Mars, with it's reddish glow, was also shining brightly straight West about the same distance up from the horizon. So the two planets were apart, shining happily for anyone to see at that hour.
And between the two, to the SSE, higher up from the horizon, was Sirius, the bright twinkling blue-white Dog Star.


Was up early that morning and noticed this too!

One of the first things, getting up early, before turning on the lights, is to open the windows, smell the night air, and see what clouds and stars and planets are to be seen...

Noticed Venus... the Morning Star... on one side of the house... and red Mars on the other... and in the back of the sleepy mind, wondered how often that happens.

Did not know to look for Sirius... but will look for it next time.

And now that fall is coming... the Big Dipper will be hanging closer to the horizon... in the cold air of nights as winter approaches...
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Old 09-27-2020, 02:18 PM   #7
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Was up early that morning and noticed this too!

One of the first things, getting up early, before turning on the lights, is to open the windows, smell the night air, and see what clouds and stars and planets are to be seen...

Noticed Venus... the Morning Star... on one side of the house... and red Mars on the other... and in the back of the sleepy mind, wondered how often that happens.

Did not know to look for Sirius... but will look for it next time.

And now that fall is coming... the Big Dipper will be hanging closer to the horizon... in the cold air of nights as winter approaches...
I still recall verifying that Venus goes through phases. I had my Sears Roebuck reflector telescope at about age 13. Additionally, the science teachers at my Jr High were keen on sharing their love of astronomy. What a great time in my life.
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Old 09-30-2020, 06:27 AM   #8
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The air must be pretty clear here, with the recent northerly flow. This morning about 1/2 hour before sunrise, sky is already blue to the east, saw one of the Dippers about straight South, West of Sirius.

Venus vs. Earth (seems like there should be a score with that!) - Some years ago, I kept my early morning exercise walk early, even through winter. For one of the seasons, Venus was a morning star. By early morning sky buddy. Then it disappeared . Became an evening star. Now, as the sun comes up later and it's not as hot walking, I'm shifting walk time later to after all the school buses are done for my colder season walk.

One of those early morning walks, I chanced to see my first longer-persistence meteor.
An evening this July, while out waiting for a pass of the ISS to go about straight overhead, didn't see anything. The TV weather guy got the day wrong that night. Turning to head in, saw a bottle rocket making a long bright streak from north to south, a big arc across the sky... wait, that's NOT a bottle rocket! Was the longest persistence meteor I ever saw. Doubt I'll come across anything like that again. Fast, but a long visible arc. Thinking about it know, I guess I can't rule out a large piece of space debris in a polar orbit re-entering. But it was moving pretty fast.

Space Shuttle - Typing this, made me remember that morning in, 2003? that I went out to watch the Space Shuttle re-entry. Was said to be the last time it would come close by us on landing path. Had seen it once at night close to the southern horizon, it was bright and gold then. This pass would be well overhead.

I got out there early enough, looking to the NW for it's appearance. Seemed late to me, when I suddenly realized it was closer to me, and very very bright, and not alone... odd. Could see the main object bright, and was being paced/trailed/flanked by a number of bright-white flare-like objects. Strange. Had camera and took a few quick pics. As it passed by and into the east, it's view was then blocked by a neighbor's two-story shed. I could have walked back further to see it still, but didn't. Turned around and headed back up to the house. Got inside house, starting to take off wet shoes, a tremendous sonic boom. Put walking shoes on, went for an exercise walk, trying to figure out exactly what I saw, as it was so different. Got back from walk, headed to internet to see if there was anything mentioned... oh... yeah . If I would have walked forward to clear the shed, I would have seen the explosion. It was incredulous to see people die, so swiftly, so silently as it went by. And did not realize it at the moment.
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