Venus and Jupiter are fast disappearing into the evening twilight. Where once, just a short time ago, they remained above the horizon for hours after sunset, they now set just ninety minutes or less after the Sun. Observers in the northern hemisphere are rapidly seeing their chances for observation vanish with the twilight itself.
Take the opportunity tonight to see the two planets with Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo the Lion. Those in the United Kingdom may have difficulty spotting the star in the darkening sky, but the further south you live, the better your chances of catching the trio. If you miss them tonight, try again on the 18th when the waxing crescent Moon will join celestial threesome.
Images courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
05:21 UT – The almost new Moon passes Mercury. (Mercury: 91% illuminated, magnitude -1.4, diameter 5.3”. Gemini, not visible.)
06:05 UT – Venus passes Regulus. (Venus: 22% illuminated, magnitude -4.5, diameter 40.5”. Naked eye, Leo, evening sky. See images above.)
08:26 UT – The almost new Moon passes Mars. (Mars: 100% illuminated, magnitude 1.6, diameter 3.6”. Gemini, not visible.)
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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