Sunday, September 28, 2008

9/29 - 10/4 — The view from Earth: The first 1 billion miles

Sun: As seen from our earthly perspective, our parent star lies in Virgo.

Mercury: The solar system’s smallest planet is moving between the Earth and the Sun. It can not be seen after sunset because appears too close to the Sun.

Venus: This bright Earth-sized world shines low in the west 30 minutes after sunset. It is swinging away from the Sun as it slowly catches up to the Earth, which it won’t do until late March 2009.

Moon: On October 2nd, the crescent Moon and Venus are separated by 10º, which is the same apparent distance that your fist has on your outstretched arm. In other words, your fist fits between Venus and the Moon.

Mars: The Red Planet is moving behind the Sun and won’t be visible again until March 2009.

Jupiter: At 7:30 p.m., the giant planet hangs low in the southern portion of our sky in eastern Sagittarius.

Saturn: This ringed world rises directly east at 6:00 a.m. It is in Leo.

Such is our view from Earth ...

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