Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beautiful Venus Shines Bright at Dawn

 Beautiful Venus shines bright at dawn in late April and May. Approximately forty-five minutes before dawn, Venus reigns as the 'morning star' on account of sinking into the glare of the Sun rising over the horizon. On April 30 and May 1 2011, the waning crescent moon and shining Venus will be in conjunction, giving a dazzling display of double beauty. If you own binoculars, this beautiful event will be accompanied with the conjunction of Mars and Jupiter, so literally, this is 'conjunction' week. Until August 2011, Venus will remain the beautiful 'morning star.' However, it will sink lower and lower in the horizon, so you should get p earlier each day to see it. Sunrise (in the Washington DC area) is (on April 30th) at 6:12 am, and (on May 1) at 6:11 am. This means you should rise about at 5:15 am to view Venus.

In this April month, Venus was the only planet able to be seen with the naked eye; you had to view the other planets with binoculars or telescopes. The other planets (Jupiter, Mercury and Mars) are much closer to the horizion and are difficult to see. But, the other three planets are climbing away from the glare of the Sun, whereas Venus is traveling into it. "That means some great planetary conjunctions before sunrise this coming May, so come back for regular updates!" writes This will truly be a great week for conjunctions, so stay tuned!

[Jupiter can be viewed much better in May in the morning, while Saturn viewed in the Evening.]

Moon, Venus and morning planets

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