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Are you seeing a very bright object low in the western sky after sunset? It’s Venus, the brightest planet. VEnus now appears at its very brightest in the evening for all of 2010. Look outside shortly after sunset, and you can’t miss Venus. It’s an eerie light low in the southwestern sky. Venus’ brightness will surprise you if you’ve never noticed it before. It’s so bright that, around now, many people will report Venus as a UFO. But this is no exotic or unidentified object. It’s simply our neighboring planet in orbit around the sun. On August 20, Venus passed a hallmark of its year when it appeared at its farthest from the sun on our sky’s dome. Right now, Venus is approaching its brightest – what astronomers call its greatest brilliancy – in the western twilight sky. Venus’ illuminated portion covers the most sky on September 23, the same date as this year’s September full moon.
JUPITER AND URANUS: Jupiter is at opposition on Sept. 21st, meaning the giant planet will be directly opposite the sun, soaring overhead at midnight with dazzling brilliance. In a coincidence of interplanetary proportions, Uranus is at opposition on the very same night! Fredrik Broms of Kvaløya, Norway caught the two converging during a geomagnetic storm on Sept. 15th:
The Harvest Moon and the blazing planet Jupiter shine all night long tonight to commemorate the first full night of the autumn season. By common practice, we use the September equinox to mark the start of autumn, and call the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox the Full Harvest Moon. In 2010, the Harvest Moon comes only 6 hours after the September equinox. If you live in the southern hemisphere, the September equinox signals the beginning of spring, and this full moon counts as the first full moon of spring. The September equinox falls on Thursday, September 23, at 3:09 Universal Time. Converting the equinox time to North American clocks, that places the equinox on Wednesday, September 22, at 11:09 p.m. Eastern Time, 10:09 p.m. Central Time, 9:09 p.m. Mountain Time and 8:09 p.m. Pacific Time. For more on the equinox see yesterday’s program. For the moon and Jupiter to shine all night long on any equinox, these three events – the opposition of Jupiter, the equinox and full moon – all have to happen in close conjunction. In 2010, the three events follow one another like falling dominos, with the whole procession taking less than two days time. September 2010 presents the only time in your lifetime that you’ll be able to witness the moon and Jupiter’s simultaneous all-night appearance on the equinox. On this the first full night of autumn, watch the Harvest Moon and Jupiter as they sail westward across the sky tonight!
Originally posted by Sahabi
If I were ever a contestant on a game and had an astrology question, you would definitely be my "phone a friend!"
I have a question.
Are there any cosmic bodies, alignments, or times associate with "Peace?" Are there any things/times to be consciously aware of or observe to alleviate one of anger and increase peace and love?
Thanks in advance! Peace to you
Starting today – on January 27, 2011 – Saturn will begin to go in a retrograde or westward direction in front of the constellation Virgo. That’s a signal that the best time to see Saturn in 2011 has begun.
The planet Saturn – a golden world that appears to shine steadily on the sky’s dome – is rising in the east around 11 p.m. now. Saturn climbs upward through the night and soars to its highest point in the southern sky around 5 a.m. The beginning of retrograde motion means that Saturn will be rising earlier each evening with each passing day. It’ll soon be in a more convenient place for evening viewing.
Some four-and-a-half months from now – on June 14, 2011 – Saturn’s retrograde motion will end. Then Saturn will still be visible, but its time of best viewing for the year will be over. In other words, after June, Saturn’s maximum brightness for the year will be past. It’ll still be visible, but it’ll seem to have lost some luster.
Saturn is the 6th planet outward from the sun and moves more slowly than we do in orbit. Saturn now appears to be moving in retrograde – opposite its usual eastward motion – because our planet Earth, like a fast racing car, is now zooming by Saturn from the inside track. You know how, when you’re in a fast car on the highway and you pass a slower car, it can seem to be moving backwards? That’s the case here. As seen from Earth, Saturn will look like it’s moving westward through the stars – even though it’s really not.
The gloriously bright star Arcturus rises into your east-northeastern sky around 9 p.m. tonight. This yellow-orange beauty – like any brilliant star – sparkles wildly when it hovers near the horizon. Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation Bootes, which represents a Herdsman – though to our modern eyes, this star formation might look more like a kite or snow cone.
Arcturus’ appearance in the evening sky is a welcome sign in our northern climes, because it heralds the coming of the spring equinox, or first day of spring. After the equinox this March 20, the daylight hours will begin to surpass the nighttime hours in length.
Arcturus, like any star, rises 4 minutes earlier every day. Soon, the earlier-rising Arcturus will first beam at dusk, instead of nightfall or evening. Around the time that happens, spring will return to our northern hemisphere!