Stargazing: Venus joins Jupiter in the morning
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After a rare transit of the sun on June 5, Venus' orbital motion is now taking it west of the sun. Our sister planet now has emerged from the sun's glare and can be seen before sunrise as a "morning star" sitting just below Jupiter. After putting on a spectacular display for about nine months in the evening, stargazers who rise before sunrise can now view Venus in the morning sky for the next nine months before it returns to the neighborhood of the sun and re-emerges in the evening sky next spring.
This weekend look for Venus close to the east-northeastern horizon about 40 minutes before sunrise. It will be about 3 degrees above Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus, and 5 degrees below Jupiter. By the end of the month, Venus will rise almost 2 hours before the sun and shine at a dazzling bright --4.4 magnitude.
Over the next few weeks, a small telescope will reveal the planet's eye-catching crescent phase.
First Published June 18, 2012 12:00 am