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You Can Enjoy A Skywatching Triple Play This Week

Postby sunnyd » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:55 pm

Story : http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46486262/ns/technology_and_science-space/

Anyone out under the stars in the early evening lately likely cannot help but notice two brilliant objects dominating the western sky: the planets Venus and Jupiter.

Venus, because it is closer to the sun than Earth, never strays far from the sun in our sky. Jupiter, being outside the Earth's orbit, can appear anywhere along the ecliptic — the path of the sun, moon, and planets across the sky. Venus and Jupiter are gradually growing closer, and will pass each other on March 13.

The moon, meanwhile, is making its monthly trip around the Earth and will pass these two planets on Saturday and Sunday this week (Feb. 25 and 26). The moon appears close to Venus on Saturday night, and then near Jupiter on Sunday night. The view on either night will be what astronomers call a triple conjunction.

The sky map of Venus, Jupiter and the moon for this story shows how they will appear during the celestial triple play.



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