Sidewalk astronomy tonight in Monrovia
mojo at whiteoaks.com
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.
Morris Jones, Monrovia, CA
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