EYES TO THE SKY

March 5 - 18, 2018 Venus, Mercury paired in evening twilight. EDT the 11th, Earth Hour the 24th

This colorful view of Mercury was produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign during MESSENGER's primary mission. These colors are not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but rather the colors enhance the chemical, mineralogical, and physical differences between the rocks that make up Mercury's surface. Image credit: MESSENGER - NASA, CARNEGIE SCIENCE, JOHNS HOPKINSThis colorful view of Mercury was produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign during MESSENGER's primary mission. These colors are not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but rather the colors enhance the chemical, mineralogical, and physical differences between the rocks that make up Mercury's surface. Image credit: MESSENGER - NASA, CARNEGIE SCIENCE, JOHNS HOPKINS
Viewing all five naked-eye planets might fit more easily into our days with the beginning of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) this coming Sunday, the 11th. Venus and Mercury appear in evening twilight, about half an hour after sunset, and sunset will be an hour later – artificially changed from 5:51pm today to nearly 7pm on the 11th. Saturn, Mars and Jupiter are visible in the morning, until about an hour before sunrise. Sunrise is at 6:24am today, necessitating a challenging 5:15am awakening to meet these planets, but on Sunday, the 11th, when sunrise by the clock is at 7:15, we’ll be rising at an easy 6 o’clock.
Brilliant planet Venus, at magnitude -3.9, along with modest Mercury, at -1.3m, are just emerging from the setting sun’s glare. During these early days of their appearance, an unobstructed view to the western horizon is of the essence. To observe the pair before they set, look for Venus, also known as the Evening Star, by 6:20 today (the planet sets at 6:56pm) and view by 7:45pm on the 18th. Mercury is to be found very close to the upper right of the Evening Star. Bring binoculars so that you may search for Mercury if its light evades you. Both planets climb higher every evening – becoming easy to spot – until the 18th when Mercury begins to drop in altitude. Venus climbs high into the springtime sky while Mercury disappears from view by about the 23rd.. Mercury’s brief appearance is its best in 2018.

 

Starting as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring ….people to take action for our planet….
Every year millions of people, businesses and landmarks set aside an hour to host events, switch off their lights and make noise for the Earth Hour movement.
A note from Earth Hour, which takes place on March 24 from 8:30pm – 9:30pm:
You can celebrate Earth Hour in any way you want. It’s entirely in your hands. Want to keep it simple? Go stargazing, host a candlelight dinner, or simply switch off your lights for an hour.  https://www.earthhour.org/

Comments

  1. Doug says

    Hi, I am in NYC and it is now 9pm. For the past few months, about this time in the evening, I view a very bright “planet” I face west and this object descending over the Manhattan skyline pretty quickly. Two months ago I figured it was Jupiter, now I am told Jupiter will not appear until a few more hours in the early morning sky?
    It cannot be Venus as Mars (or any other planet) is nowhere nearby. Can you please tell me what this truly luminescent neighbor is? Nevertheless All The Best, Doug F.

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