12 October 2009
The morning sky continues to be a busy place, showcasing just how much action is taking place in the Solar System. Saturn, a relatively slow moving outer planet is gradually rising up in the east, emerging each morning a minute or two earlier so that it will soon be a true morning star. As it graces the dawn sky just ahead of the sunrise, it is encountering the two fast-moving inner planets, Venus and Mercury. This week they have close encounters and beautiful alignments that will be a sight to see. The illustrations provide a sense of how far Venus and Mercury move over the course of just a few days. The passing of the waning Moon on the mornings of the 15th and 16th add a nice touch to an already impressive lineup of Solar System objects.