At Dawn, Look to the East - No, Not For Gandalf; A Planetary Trio

| 24 Oct 2015 22:05
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"Look to my coming, at first light, on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East."

Okay, so we aren't talking Gandalf here, but we are talking about a planetary event that won't happen again until 2021. Venus, Jupiter and Mars will appear close together in the early morning sky for the next week or so.

The planetary trio, the name given any three bright celestial bodies appearing in the evening sky in close proximity, Will have Venus making the quickest trek across the sky over the next week, (as seen in the nice animated gif at right courtesy of Astronomy Now) because it is the closest to Earth. Mars will be moving the next quickest, with Jupiter almost stationary during the spectacle.

For the unenlightened, Venus and Jupiter are the third and fourth brightest bodies in the night sky after the sun and moon. So you should have no problem picking them out of the sky. Mars will be a bit tougher, so the darker the sky when you do your viewing, the better.

To give you an idea of what to look for, check out this awesome video of the event taken earlier this morning by Mike Busch:

The timing is perfect for Halloween, especially when you throw in the fact that "The Great Pumpkin" asteroid will be doing a "close" flyby of Earth soon after.

Source: EarthSky

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