Monday, July 7, 2008

2 planets, one moon, one star: rare quartet seen in evening skies

In the Americas this show is still ahead, in Europe, Africa, Asia & Oz it's history: On the evening on July 6, the crescent Moon joined the planets Saturn and Mars - lined up with the bright star Regulus - for a nice celestial trio: Here are pictures taken by this blogger and others in Germany a few hours ago, while in Australia the view had been quite different, and two nights ago there was no Moon. • Meanwhile Jupiter is near opposition and has been imaged frequently, e.g. on July 6, July 3 (with Callisto and its shadow on the disk), July 1 (with Io and its shadow on the disk) and June 28. • And observations of Venus 1999 to 2006 appear in a report for the BAA.

In other news here are amazing hi-res images of the Sun (no spots, just granulation details) • and of comets Lulin (more) and Boattini (light curve). • An NLC animation of 2 July is contained in this story; these super-high clouds have been quite active recently, even at 48° latitude. • Finally, do you believe that this is an image of M 57 in broad daylight? A heated debate is going on right now ...

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