Sunday, November 30, 2008
Best Celestial Sight of 2008
The early evening sky on December 1st holds something special. Jupiter and Venus are approaching each other and will be at their closest separation on that date. It is made even more remarkable by the addition of the thin crescent Moon, full with Earthshine. These three bodies in our solar system fit in the same field of view of a pair of binoculars giving a spectacular arrangement.
Even though they look like they are right next to one another, they are nowhere near each other in space. The Moon glows 250,000 miles away, while Venus and Jupiter respectively lie 93,000,000 and 540,000,000 miles from Virginia.
This all adds up to be the prettiest celestial sight of the year. Look to the southwest between 5:30 and 7:15 p.m. and you won't be disappointed!