Stargazing: Venus and Saturn conjunction
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This week, early risers can see four planets in the morning sky about one hour before sunrise. Jupiter is low in the western sky, and Mercury is even closer to the east-southeastern horizon. The main celestial show in the morning sky, however, is the very close conjunction of Venus and Saturn.
If you have been observing Venus and Saturn in the morning sky, you may have noticed that dazzling bright Venus has been sinking lower in the sky at dawn while dimmer Saturn has been moving higher. Over the next five days, the pair will be within 5 degrees of each other but will make their closest pass Tuesday morning when they will be separated by less than one degree.
Look for Venus and Saturn Tuesday morning, 15 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon one hour before sunrise. One clenched fist held out at arm's length toward the horizon equals about 10 degrees. Stunning Venus is currently shining at a brilliant --3.9 magnitude, while dimmer Saturn shines at 0.7 magnitude.
-- By Dan Malerbo, Buhl Planetarium and Observatory
First Published November 26, 2012 12:00 am