Monday, April 12, 2010

I Saw Venus this Morning

Mercury and Venus Over Paris
Credit & Copyright: Josselin Desmars

Explanation: Go outside tonight and see one of the more interesting planetary conjunctions of recent years. Just after sunset, the planets Mercury and Venus are visible quite near each other. Now Venus, being commonly discernible as one of the brightest objects in the sky, is frequently mistaken for an airplane. (Venus will set quite slowly, though.) Mercury, however, is dimmer and usually harder to find. Recently, though, Mercury can be found just to the right of Venus, appearing increasingly below the brighter planet over the next week. Pictured above, Venus and Mercury were imaged next to the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. ?A careful inspection of the image will further reveal that the bright object nearly below Venus is iconic Eiffel Tower

Okay, yeah. It's always been there I just haven't taken notice until this morning when I looked in the direction of the Eastern sky at 6h15 just before sunrise whilst a waning gibbuous moon made it's passage toward meridian. There it was, the morning (and evening star) shining very brightly. Reflecting about 70% of incoming solar radiation, it is the brighest object in the sky. Even when the sun is rising, light population isn't great enough to diminish its effects.

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