Venus reaches greatest eastern elongation today, which means it is at its furthest point from the Sun in the evening sky. Look for it after sunset as it forms a line of three “stars” with Jupiter and Regulus.
Telescopic observers get an added bonus – the planet is 50% illuminated and will appear like a half moon under medium to high magnification (100x or higher is best.) This is an excellent time to observe the planet as it will now begin to slowly drop back down toward the Sun. Continue your observations over the next few months and watch as the disc grows larger and slowly wanes to a crescent.
(Click on an image to enlarge.)
Images courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
01:03 UT – Dwarf planet Ceres is stationary prior to beginning retrograde motion. (Magnitude 7.8. Capricornus, pre-dawn sky.)
09:06 UT – Venus is at half phase. (50% illuminated, magnitude -4.3, diameter 23.4”. Naked eye, Cancer, evening sky. See images above.)
18:30 UT – Venus is at Greatest Eastern Elongation. (50% illuminated, magnitude -4.3, diameter 23.4”. Naked eye, Cancer, evening sky. See images above.)
The globular cluster M10 culminates at midnight tonight. (Magnitude 6.4. Ophiuchus, all night.)
Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are visible with the naked eye.
All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.
2015: An Astronomical Year
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