Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Venus has two companions
The closest planet to our Earth is currently Venus. This similarly sized world as our own is shining brightly in the west-southwest directly after sunset. Tonight it will have two companions with it: the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, Spica, and the red planet Mars. Spica will be just above Venus while reddish Mars lies to its right. Wait until 8:40 p.m. when the sky is dark enough before viewing them. Otherwise, the twilight will be too bright, obscuring the dimmer Spica and Mars.
On the evening of September 1, Venus will be just to the lower left of Spica. Mars remains to their right.
Such is our view from Earth...