Saturday, December 09, 2006

Three Planets

Photo-illustration from

From the Associated Press:

Planetary triple play this weekend

Stargazers will get a rare triple planetary treat this weekend with Jupiter, Mercury and Mars appearing to nestle together in the predawn skies.

About 45 minutes before dawn on Sunday those three planets will be so close that the average person's thumb can obscure all three from view.

They will be almost as close together on Saturday and Monday, but Sunday they will be within one degree of each other in the sky. Three planets haven't been that close since 1925, said Miami Space Transit Planetarium director Jack Horkheimer.

And it won't happen again until 2053, he said.

"Jupiter will be very bright and it will look like it has two bright lights next to it, and they won't twinkle because they're planets," said Horkheimer, host of the television show "Star Gazer. "This is the kind of an event that turns young children into Carl Sagans."

Where to look.
Use binoculars, but be aware that the sun will rise soon. Please take care of your eyes.

Also, the Geminid meteor shower is coming up and will be in full-force around December 14. This is one of the times when I wish I lived out in the country.

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