01 February 2008

Gorgeous Dawn Sky

Sometimes the stars do in fact align and all is well. OK, perhaps not the stars but the planets, and suddenly they shine in the sky as the clouds and rain in San Francisco have miraculously disappeared just in time. The morning of Friday February 1st is one of those special moments when the brightest objects in the sky line up and make for great viewing. As Venus graces the morning skyline, it is being joined by Jupiter which is rising each morning higher out of the morning glare of sunrise. They pass very near to each other on the morning of the 1st and are about a half degree apart - that's about one full moon's width. But the moon is not far off, a crescent just up and to the right next to the bright star Antares in Scorpio.

The next few weeks will offer the chance to see the change in the lineup, as Jupiter continues to climb each day in the morning sky while Venus stays low on the horizon. That is because Jupiter, being considerably further away from the earth, moves at more the same pace across the sky as the sun, whereas Venus, being much closer, actually is speeding around the Sun and stays lower on the horizon.

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