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Bright planet in the West sky?

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posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 10:34 PM
Hey guys, I've recently noticed a bright light in the West sky, here in Michigan, and I do believe it's a planet because it isn't sparkling like a star. I was just wondering if anyone knew the name of this planet? I guess it could only be Mars, Jupiter or Saturn, right? I know Venus is in the South sky, and right now it's just as bright as the planet in the West sky.

I don't have any telescope to check it out and don't really know how to look for something like this on the net. Any help is appreciated.

Btw, are there any decent telescopes under $500 that you'd recommend for someone who's just starting to get into this subject?

posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 10:40 PM
speaking of stars and telescopes. I was just on this site called which is an online observatory. Pretty cool stuff. You should check it out.


posted on Apr, 23 2007 @ 11:31 PM
You are right about that being a Planet.
The Earth, has a "hot sister" named Venus.

It's exceptionally bright right now, and is high in the sky, even at sunset, you get about another hour of viewing time.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 12:25 AM
I saw it as well, and thought it was odd that it was so bright when I could see no other stars even before dusk.

So is it Venus ?

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 12:26 AM
I don't think it's Venus, unless Venus isn't in the South-East sky? I've been seeing Venus in the south-east sky for several months now, but this new bright light is to the west.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 12:38 AM
Here's a good page for you. It's got all kinds of good information about the Solar System for April.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 01:25 AM
Try this too.


This came from the thread that's Stickied at the top of this forum.
"So you see a bright light?"

I plugged Michigan into the Viewer, and it shows Venus, setting nearly due West. Check it out it's pretty cool

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 01:39 AM
I checked that site, and all I see in the western horizon over Lansing, MI is the planet Saturn. I guess it is Saturn because it show the moon has just passed Saturn, which matches exactly what I see outside, right now. I was not able o find Venus in north, east, west or south over Lansing, MI, but I did have success when I looked over the skies of Paris, France (I think it was northern horizon).

Btw, thanks for that link.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 01:44 AM
If you plug in about tomorrow at sunset (I used +20 hours) and West, from Lansing Michigan, you can find Venus. I just did. Saturn and the moon are together, and if you drop to the right and down, Venus is to the right of Betelgeuse. Just above Aldebaran.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 01:47 AM
oh, sorry.

I screwed up with my past/present tense.
I set it for tomorrow, about 16 hours from now.
The yellow line is the ecliptic, so you should see the path it follows as it sets.

I'm trying to figure out what you are seeing in the south..It might be Sirius that you are seeing. If you've been seeing it for months, thats a good candidate.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 01:51 AM
Are you saying that Saturn, the moon, and Venus are all traveling along the same path? I'll check that map again tomorrow evening to get a clear image of what exactly I'm seeing. Thanks for all of the help, you guys!

Originally posted by spacedoubt
I'm trying to figure out what you are seeing in the south..It might be Sirius that you are seeing. If you've been seeing it for months, thats a good candidate.

Hmm, it seems like a planet to me because it's not really sparkling like a star. It's near Antares and is very bright, every night. It's always in the same position too, and I always thought it was Venus. Now I'm not so sure.

[edit on 24-4-2007 by Impreza]

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 02:06 AM

Yes, they all travel roughly the same path.

It's called the ecliptic. Think about it. You've seen models of the solar system,
all the major planets traveling along the same plane..Like a dinner plate.
Since the Earth is tilted, and you are fairly far North in Michigan, you have to look south to see that path..

The further south you travel, the higher in the sky that imaginary plane would appear.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 10:53 AM
venus can be seen at mid-day with the naked eye when its at greatest elongation from the sun.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 11:33 AM
Hey guys IMHO it's mercury. I have been observing it with a 60x spotting scope, and i can see craters and it has a flat spot on it just like Mercury.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 11:40 AM
Mercury isn't visible from Lansing MI right now though. So it can't be Mercury. You can only see Saturn and Venus.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 11:47 AM
I am a stargazer and the previous posters are right. It is Venus. It is almost due west. From where I am on the east coast you can see it just below the sun in the evening.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 12:30 PM
In answer to your other question there are some decent scopes at

Their brand is Orion but they also carry Celestron they have gear starting fairly cheap and going up to observatory quality 14 inch scopes

I personally own a Starmax90mm Mak-cassegrain scope it is small lightweight and
gets the job done. and for the price it gets the job done very well. I also use a zoom eyepiece which I have to say really enhanced my experiences when I started out I use it a little less now but it is still nice to be able to change your magnification easily. you'll have to decide what type of observing you are most interested in and go from there. There are many many sites on the web that can tell you everything you need to know to get what you are looking for.

Well all that said good luck in finding a good scope I would say keep it light if you can as this will make you more likely to drag it out on those cold winter nights when the viewing is the best and you can also drag it along on camping and hiking trips using nothing more than a small collapsible photo tripod.


[edit on 4/24/2007 by geocom]

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 12:31 PM
You need to get StarryNight Backyard. It's an awesome view of all the stars and planets from your own backyard.

It may cost a little bit of money but sure is worth it. Venus is the brightest planet you are seeing in the west. Betelgeuse & Aldebaran is there too. The moon and Saturn together.

Here's another good free site to stargaze. Just put in your zip code and check it out.

And of course Celestia is a free 3D space simulation that's pretty cool.

Good luck and happy star & planet hunting.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 12:36 PM
Yeah, I have been noticing a bright "star" in the north western sky as well here in Waco. I suppose it could be the "north star," but I don't know.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 01:31 PM
I've also been noticing something very bright in the western sky. I don't recall ever seeing a planet get that bright. It was right under the moon a few nights ago. Is it venus?

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