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post #6 of Old 03-24-2012
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Re: Catch Moon, Venus, Jupiter--great show up there

Don't forget Saturn, it's rising in the SE when Mars is high. By 2 AM Saturn is in the South, but lower than Mars was. If you follow the curve of the Big Dipper's handle, a bit more than the length of the entire dipper away will be a very bright star, Arcturus. Keep going the same distance again and you will see two bright stars, one twinkles a lot, the other is Saturn.

Saturn has been disappointing the last two years with it's rings edgewise, but they have opened up and are very visible. A couple nights ago it was clear here in Maine, and with my (20 inch diameter) telescope I could see the shadow of the planet "ball" cast onto the rings where they went behind the planet. Very 3-D looking and a wonderful sight with a telescope. A much smaller scope would also see the rings nicely.

It's fairly rare to have all the brightest planets visible in the same night. Unfortunately, it is supposed to rain tomorrow, so I think I will have to dismantle my telescope, which barely allows it to fit (in pieces) through my doors.

Last night I saw the moon through a small opening in the clouds, it was the thinnest sliver of crescent imaginable, close to the sun. Tonight it will be much fatter, but still thin. Tomorrow it should be by Jupiter, which has been rapidly sinking into the west as Venus even more rapidly climbed by it - and is now well above it.

Last edited by skygazer; 03-24-2012 at 10:02 PM.
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