Looking Up: It's A Wonderful Light

Dec 9, 2019

A few months ago Saturn and Venus had an early morning meetup. Now they meet again in our evening sky. Saturday morning, February 16, 2019 – over Cape Santiago lighthouse, Batangas Philippines.
Credit JV Noriega / earthsky.org

This week on Looking Up Hal informs us about a beautiful cosmic conjunction in our evening sky.

There are things in our Colorado night sky that are really interesting, and there are things that are really beautiful to look at, and there are some things that are both. For the next few days, we get both!

The gorgeous planets Saturn and Venus will appear, from our point of view on Earth, to be very close to each other in the night sky. There actually about a billion or so miles apart, but from our perspective, they are close and wonderful to look at.

Venus is the third brightest object in our sky, after the Sun and the Moon, and it doesn’t disappoint. You will see a dazzling star-like object in the south west, about an hour after sunset. Through a telescope, you can see the phase of Venus, much like our Moon’s phases. And next to the super bright Venus is the dimmer, but amazing Saturn. Through even a small telescope (and some big binoculars) you can make out the rings of Saturn, composed of trillions of chunks of dust, dirt, and ice. For many astronomers, these are the two prettiest objects in the sky, and they are both hanging out together. Check them out!

If you’d like to take a closer look at Venus, Saturn, or any of the other wonderful and amazing things in the sky, please visit csastro.org for a link to information on our monthly meetings and our free public star parties.