23 March 2012

Young Moon, Jupiter and Venus shine in the West

The next few evenings feature a beautiful alignment of the two bright planets Venus and Jupiter, and the young Moon as it starts its monthly journey around the Zodiac. Every 29 days, the Moon makes a 1.6 million mile journey around the Earth, and as it does, it travels across the entire Zodiac, the band of constellations through which the Sun and planets appear to "travel" around our nighttime sky. Each month following the New Moon phase, the young Moon slips quietly into the evening sky, first appearing near the horizon as a thin sliver of light, and each night growing in size and distance from the setting Sun. This month, with Jupiter and Venus in close proximity, the changing view from one night to the next promises to be beautiful. Now all we need in San Francisco is clear skies!

Image courtesy of Sky & Telescope.

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