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    Thread: Venus and Jupiter Conjunction 2012

    1. #1
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      Venus and Jupiter Conjunction 2012

      For anyone in the northern hemisphere who has been looking up into the night sky for the past month you would notice the amazing luminous of Jupiter and Venus dominating the western skies after sunset. Mid-March marks a very nice conjunction for these two lords of the night sky as Venus transitions its way pass Jupiter on March 15, 2012. Although this is not really a rare event, previously posted by Oneironaut Zero back in 2008 and the next conjunction to occur in May 2013. However, what makes this conjunction quite special are a set of conditions that transpires this month for Venus. This month Venus is at it's greatest evening elongation which is it's furthermost angler distance from the dawning of the sun. Second, the angle of the ecliptic for Jupiter and Venus is at it's steepest for this month putting the planets 3 degrees from each other on the 15th of March. Mix these conditions together and you're in for a pretty nice visual treat as Venus and Jupiter's conjunction extends 5 hours after sunset. You can't miss it! Five planets are actually visible this month. Now get outside and look up!

      Here's a nice article on the event.
      Mars, moon cut in on Venus-Jupiter dance - The Washington Post

      EDIT: - I was on Stellarium and thought I'd just add these images for a little perspective.

      Last edited by Ne-yo; 03-07-2012 at 05:00 AM.
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    2. #2
      Terminally Out of Phase Descensus's Avatar
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      I've seen them all month. Even saw Mars about a week ago. Pretty cool stuff.
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

    3. #3
      LD's this year: ~7 tommo's Avatar
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      I made the Space Events thread for this sort of thing.
      Oh well.

      This isn't just the Northern Hemisphere. I've seen it in Australia too for a while now.
      Not sure it will be the same. Jupiter is still up the top here. But the moon already is below the horizon at this point, so I can get a very nice, bright view of the two planets.

      It seems that they won't swap positions though, which looks like what will happen in the Northern Hemisphere. Here it seems they will go side by side and then we won't be able to see them

    4. #4
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      I've got a good view of them from here in Florida. Brightest things in the sky.
      http://i.imgur.com/Ke7qCcF.jpg
      (Or see the very best of my journal entries @ dreamwalkerchronicles.blogspot)

    5. #5
      Xei
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      I didn't know which planets they were but a couple have seemed really bright recently.

      There was also a planet which looked reddish to my naked eye; I'm guessing it was Mars, though Mars is supposed to be pretty dim, which it wasn't.

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      Mars' closest approach to the Earth was a few days ago, so it's about as bright as Jupiter right now. Saturn is also trailing Mars close to the star Spica, it's easy to see all four planets in the same night.

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      LD's this year: ~7 tommo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by nightchild2012 View Post
      Thats so close! I'm a astrology believer.
      Get out of science and mathematics. Go post in religion/spirituality.

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      Quote Originally Posted by tommo View Post
      I made the Space Events thread for this sort of thing.
      Oh well.
      Sorry about that I completely forgot. I'll remember in the future if I post any more space events. Not sure if any of the mods can tack this thread on there but if they can, they are more than welcome to do so.

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      <span class='glow_9400D3'>saltyseedog</span>'s Avatar
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      whoa I saw this last night and thought: those are probably two planets.
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      LD's this year: ~7 tommo's Avatar
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      We're having stormy weather here
      I attached wheels to my telescope base 2 nights ago, and after that I couldn't be bothers bringing it outside as it took a while to get them on.
      Then last night was all cloudy and it looks like tonight will be as well. Hopefully I'll get a good look before they disappear below the horizon.
      Also want to get a good look at Mars , didn't even realise it was at it's closest orbit on the 5th Hopefully it's not too far away by the time the sky clears up.

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      Lucid Shaman mcwillis's Avatar
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      I have been looking at them the last few days with my Newtonian reflecter telescope. Initially I knew that Venus was Venus because of the size and luminosity and used the Starchart app on my iphone to find out that Jupiter was the nearby planet. For anyone that doesn't have Starchart it is an awesome application for smart phones.


      Please click on the links below, more techniques under investigation to come soon...


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      Nice, I was hoping they'd bring out Stellarium for smartphones, but this seems pretty good too.

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      Terminally Out of Phase Descensus's Avatar
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      I prefer Google Sky Map for Android phones. Uses the compass in your phone to find objects. So all you have to do is point your phone in the direction of whatever you're looking at and it'll tell you what it is. I haven't found an iOS app that does the same.
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

    14. #14
      Lucid Shaman mcwillis's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by BLUELINE976 View Post
      I prefer Google Sky Map for Android phones. Uses the compass in your phone to find objects. So all you have to do is point your phone in the direction of whatever you're looking at and it'll tell you what it is. I haven't found an iOS app that does the same.
      Starchart does the same, just point at the sky and it tells what is there. Also it has a great search function; select planets, stars, constellations and galaxies and it gives you directional arrows to find where it is in the sky.
      Last edited by mcwillis; 03-18-2012 at 11:25 PM.

      Please click on the links below, more techniques under investigation to come soon...


    15. #15
      Terminally Out of Phase Descensus's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mcwillis View Post
      Starchart does the same, just point at the sky and it tells what is there. Also it has a great search function; select planets, stars, constellations and galaxies and it gives you directional arrows to find where it is in the sky.
      I have Starchart and it doesn't do that. Does the fact that it's on my iPod have anything to do with it?
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

    16. #16
      Lucid Shaman mcwillis's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by BLUELINE976 View Post
      I have Starchart and it doesn't do that. Does the fact that it's on my iPod have anything to do with it?
      That must be the reason why. I have it on my iphone 4.

      Please click on the links below, more techniques under investigation to come soon...


    17. #17
      LD's this year: ~7 tommo's Avatar
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      I've been watching this conjunction. Tonight I got a look through my telescope.
      It's pretty humid here, so fairly blurry, but it was cool being able to see them both so close, as well as over the few nights I've been watching they have noticeably "rotated".

      Just need a dry night to get a better looks at Venus!

      Mars is also still looking very cool.

    18. #18
      Xei
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      How come the line they make is nearly perpendicular to the horizon? The UK has a latitude of about 51 degrees and the planets lie in about the same plane, so I can't work out why they don't make a large angle with the horizon.

    19. #19
      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      Consider that the tilt of the earth could be contributing. So if the the line between the poles were perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic, the line between them would be not perpendicular. However tilting it changes our perception of perpendicular.


      Supposition of course but easy enough to believe.
      Previously PhilosopherStoned

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      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      Also the planets are not in the same plane though they will tend towards being in the same plane as t->infinity. Any orbit will be in a plane but the planes have non-trivial angles between them. So if the conjunction is occurring at a point in the orbits where the angle between the planets is accentuated then we would expect a non-trivial angle between them.
      Previously PhilosopherStoned

    21. #21
      LD's this year: ~7 tommo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      How come the line they make is nearly perpendicular to the horizon? The UK has a latitude of about 51 degrees and the planets lie in about the same plane, so I can't work out why they don't make a large angle with the horizon.
      How big of an angle were you expecting? They're pretty high in the first two pictures of this thread.

      EDIT: Completely misunderstood what you were saying.

    22. #22
      Xei
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      I checked out Stellarium and it turns out that what I was thinking was right. When they're a decent distance apart it should make the kind of angle I had in mind. It's just that they were so close that the slight deviations from the plane gave them a pretty much arbitrary angle.

      I had a great view of Mars and Saturn tonight; I'd never actually identified them before, just guessed. But it's pretty easy to do at the moment by using the dipper as a reference. It's amazing how distinctly I could make out the red and golden colours respectively.
      tommo likes this.

    23. #23
      LD's this year: ~7 tommo's Avatar
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      Haha, I use the dipper as a reference for everything. I find it the most easily identifiable.

      Also, what do you mean they had a pretty much arbitrary angle?

    24. #24
      Xei
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      Just that they could take on angles nothing like the angle they usually make with the horizon as they passed by each other. If they were in exactly the same plane they would pass over the top of each other and the angle would always be the same.

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