Saturday, May 18, 2013
Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will dazzle.
By Gary A. Becker StarWatch 874 for the week of May 19, 2013 Throughout this week three planets will be moving into position for what will become, early next week, the most stunning planetary grouping of the year. The assemblage takes place low in the west during evening twilight. The triad includes Mercury and Venus becoming more prominent because of their increasing distance from the sun, and Jupiter, which because of its slow orbital motion, will be overtaken and in conjunction with the sun on June 19. The week commences with the most difficult planet to see, Mercury, only nine degrees from the sun and setting about 52 minutes after sundown; Venus reaches the horizon only 15 minutes later. Jupiter, because of its distance from Sol, …
Friday, November 16, 2012
The Leonid meteor shower will peak on Nov. 17 and Nov. 20.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Patch Staff
Friday, November 16, 2012
Keep your eyes on the sky during the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 17 to 20, because that's when the famous Leonid meteor shower is expected to peak. These meteors are fast (about 40 miles per second) and can leave trails of smoke, according to Astronomy.com. They will appear to radiate from the constellation Leo the Lion and can vary in color. "Many Leonids are also bright. Usually, the meteors are white or bluish-white, but in recent years some observers reported yellow-pink and copper-colored ones," according to Astronomy.com. Here's one of the 10 coolest things to know about the Leonids, from Space.com: "Leonids are spawned by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. Every 33 years, it rounds the Sun and then goes back to the outer solar system. On each …
Friday, October 19, 2012
The Orionids meteor shower promises to be a show worth watching.
The offspring of Halley's Comet are about to put on quite a show in the skies of Newtown. Earth began passing through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet on Oct. 15, which gives us the benefit of the annual Orionids meteor shower—though you probably won't see much until a bit later. The shower should be at its peak Saturday night until just before dawn on Sunday. This year, the moon will be setting at approximately midnight, which will keep the sky darkened enough that—barring cloud cover—you should be able to see 15 to 30 meteors per hour, according to Astronomy.com. This is when and where the website indicates that viewing is best, according to Astronomy.com: What makes this shower so cool? First of all, c'mon—it's a show of shooting …
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
You'll probably be dead the next time this happens, so watch it on Tuesday evening.
A little after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, residents of our area will have an opportunity to witness one of the rarest predictable celestial events: a transit of Venus. Often referred to as the "Evening Star" or "Morning Star," Venus is the brightest natural object in our sky after the Sun and the Moon. As the second planet from the Sun, it's closer to the Sun than the Earth is. A "transit" of Venus occurs when Venus passes between us and the Sun in such a way that we can see Venus's silhouette backlit by the Sun's brilliant light. It last happened in 2004, but it won't happen again until 2117. Unless you plan to shatter some human longevity records, this is probably your last chance. Were Venus either large enough or close enough to block out the…