If you haven't been out to see it, the pre-dawn sky has been magnificent
with planets lately. Mojo and I had an observing feast Friday morning.
Four planets, moon, plus comet NEOWISE at dawn. Mars was big enough to
see a polar cap and albedo features through a telescope. Venus is a
gorgeous crescent right now. Jupiter had a Ganymede shadow transit --
where a black shadow marched across the planet's disk Friday morning.
Jut in binos you can see the Galilean moons orbiting the giant planet.
Saturn had open rings and a prominent Cassini division.
Even naked eye the view is gorgeous, with the four planets + moon
tracing a full-sky ecliptic.
Tonight: Mars and Moon near midnight. Saturn and Jupiter shortly after
sunset. Mars and Moon near midnight. Venus before dawn. Comet Neowise,
if you have an unobstructed northeast sky (which we don't, yet we Caught
a tiny glimpse as it clears the foothills Thursday morning. If you have
the horizon look NE on the horizon 45 minutes before sunrise. Don't
worry, hopefully this comet will become an evening object soon.
This month's NASA What's Up video has some info about these morning
Hang in there, astro team! Jane and the sidewalk astronomer gang
Jane Houston Jones, retired JPLer
Twitter: @jhjones @otastro
Astronomy, travel, music, food, cats