Friday, April 9, 2010

Venus and Mercury are Alright Tonight

Low in the 42N western sky at twilight are the planets Venus and Mercury in apparent close proximity to each other. With each successive night the Earth, Venus and Mercury configuration will drift further apart. Also note that NASA's MESSENGER probe is on its way to Mercury now after a series of flybys. In March 2011 it will become the first spacecraft to orbit the planet and begin extensive imaging activities. For now here is your chance to see three planets without leaving your backyard. Hint: you are standing on one of the three planets. Know that.