Sidewalk astronomy tonight in Monrovia

Morris Jones mojo at
Sat Jan 28 10:47:30 PST 2012

Last night we were spooked by the wind forecast, and opted not to set up 
in Pasadena. We're probably still a little touchy from the November wind 

But the wind is forecast to die down this afternoon, and we're planning 
to set up in Monrovia at Myrtle & Lime from 6:00 to 9:00.

If you've looked to the west after sunset the past few days, you've seen 
the great sky show of Venus, moon, and Jupiter, tracing the ecliptic 
across the sky. We'll get some up-close looks at the three of those 
tonight. Come early to see Venus; it will set first.

Venus is not very interesting in a telescope until it begins to reach a 
crescent phase. It's not quite there yet, but will be approaching that 
over the next couple of months. Otherwise it's mostly a featureless 
white ball that shows a little bit of phase like the moon.

When Venus is a crescent, people are always surprised that they aren't 
looking at the moon -- just as Galileo was when he first observed Venus 
in a telescope and began charting its phases.

Jupiter remains high and bright this month and next.

Best regards,
Morris Jones, Monrovia, CA

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