Early Morning Sky Spectacular

Provided by: DAVE RENEKE

Attention all budding sky watchers, grab your telescopes. What you’re about to read might give you an uncontrollable urge to dash outside. The brightest planets in the solar system are on show and you can see them anytime this month. But, something is special about one of therm.

Go out at sunset and look north-west. Jupiter pops out of the twilight even before the sky fades completely black. This brilliant planet surrounded by evening blue is a spellbinding sight and looks great in a small telescope or binoculars. Jupiter is the largest planet and like the other gas giants doesn’t have a solid surface that we can see, just thick poisonous clouds a thousand kilometres deep.

Now, if you go out before sunrise and look east you’ll see an equally brilliant sight with Venus, the ‘morning star,’ blazing brightly above the horizon. Midweek the view improves because Venus and crescent Moon are converging. So close in fact that at times you can hide them together behind your outstretched palm.
These two brilliant beauties will climb over the eastern horizon in the pre-dawn darkness, and will continue to light up the morning twilight till after all stars have been washed from the sky. Hey, grab your Smartphone, hold it steady and see what a pic looks like.
If you miss it don’t sweat, they’ll still be close for a couple of days but moving further apart. There’s something mesmerizing about stars, moon and planets pairing up like this, its spellbinding astronomy. By the way, Venus at the moment is the number one object reported for a UFO it’s so bright. True!
Standing outdoors, mesmerized by our amazing night sky on a warm summer’s night or early morning, you might just forget all about the political dramas going on for awhile. At least the stars make sense. The Moon, Venus and Jupiter are the brightest objects in the night sky this month.


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