Sunday, February 12, 2012
First Star That I See Tonight
Burning in the western sky just after sunset is the planet Venus. You can't miss this bright, earth sized object if you have clear skies and an unobstructed view of the west. Yes, you may need hot coffee to warm you during the observation but the sight is worth the effort. Good binoculars or a small telescope will be able to resolve the planet's disk for you. Venus will be placed in the west for a few more weeks so you should have a chance to see it.
Also, just 30 degrees east of Venus (currently) is the solar system's largest planet, Jupiter. This massive planet can also be resolved in good binoculars or a small telescope. In fact Jupiter's four Galilean moons can often be seen. Jupiter and Venus will appear to move closer to each other from our vantage point until mid-March. Now is a good time to check celestial mechanics at their best. Good viewing. Know that.