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CURRENT SKY HIGHLIGHTS

Be VERY CAREFUL NOT TO OBSERVE SUN DIRECTLY!  INSTANT BLINDNESS CAN OCCUR!!!  Instruments can explode!!! Cease viewing before Sun actually rises 
if you're using binoculars or telescope!!!  

Hubble Space Telescope imaged Aurorae on Saturn in 2004, images two days apart and in UV band.  Aurorae on Saturn are more closely modulated by Solar Wind than aurorae on Earth and Jupiter, and persist for several days on Saturn.

PLANET and SKY INFORMATION:  (updated May 22nd, 2015)

Planet Parade:
Mercury is currently between Earth and Sun so not readily visible, will appear low in predawn sky briefly shortly.

Brilliant Venus hangs high in western post sunset sky, gaining altitude for a few more weeks, appearing to move eastward along the ecliptic, toward Jupiter.

Mars is lost in the sunset western sky, will not be readily visible for several months, reappearing in predawn eastern sky.

Jupiter is high in western sky, will rendezvous with Venus evening of June 30th as Venus appears to head for Jupiter.  Watch for this obvious "CONJUNCTION" of the two brightest visible Planets, keep in mind that Jupiter is actually about five times farther from Earth than Venus, and about ten times the diameter of Earth or Venus.  You'll be seeing one planet that orbits the Sun inside Earth's orbit (Venus), the other (Jupiter) orbits way beyond Earth's orbit, the alignment is just due to the chance positions of all three worlds.  Venus will have a conjunction with Mars later in the year.

Saturn, the yellowish dot, is now at "opposition" (opposite the Sun from Earth) so rises at sunset, is up all night, and sets at sunrise.

The Big Dipper is very high to the northwest in early evening, arc of handle points to bright star, Arcturus high in east.

Constellation Leo is high with bright stars Regulus and Denebola, and Spica marks the center of Virgo in southern sky, a short hop from Arcturus.  Early in evening, Scorpius rises with brilliant red Antares, yellowish Saturn is nearby.

Later in the evening, the Summer Triangle is visible in eastern portion of sky, featuring bright stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair.

Note the different colors of stars, why do they appear different?  (Think of electric stove burner element...yes, their temperature...reddish stars have outer temperatures vicinity of 5000 degrees, bluer stars in neighborhood of 20,000 degrees...why aren't there greenish stars?)


 
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