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Moon, Venus and Jupiter in the pre-dawn East

I woke rather earlier than usual this morning (about 4:30 to be precise) and took a look eastwards from our bedroom window and what a spectacle! Despite the early hour, I grabbed my SLR and snapped the crescent Moon, Venus and Jupiter in near alignment. I posted the raw photo on Imaging Storm, but have done a labelled version for Sciencebase readers:

Skymania’s Paul Sutherland tells us that Venus currently makes “a brilliant spectacle in the morning sky” and I’d have to agree it was quite a site, crisp, clear, earthshine apparent in the horns of the crescent moon. Venus is also presenting a crescent but is big in the sky because it is slightly closer to us than at other times. Similarly, Skymania says “Jupiter is easy to see in the morning sky now, shining brightly in the constellation of Taurus”. If you have binoculars or a small telescope you will easily see its largest moons and maybe even details on the planet’s gaseous surface too.Skymania News and Guide – The night sky in August – northern hemisphere.

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