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Post Info TOPIC: February 2008


L

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February 2008
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Friday's morning sky is worth getting out of a warm bed around 6:15 a.m. and going outside into the cold and dark.
Venus and Jupiter will be less than a degree apart.
Venus is so bright that it's easy to recognize. Jupiter is also very bright and is easy to find right next to Venus. Only the sun and the moon are brighter than Venus.

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L

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The first day of the month starts off with a beautiful planet pairing in the eastern sky.
Early in the morning the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, rise together before the sun with a small waning crescent Moon in attendance.
The two planets have been drawing together over the past couple of weeks and on Feb. 1 are the closest together from our point of view. Venus is 338 million miles closer to us than Jupiter and much smaller (over 1,000 Venuses would fit inside Jupiter) yet it outshines the larger planet.

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L

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Saturn is in its opposition once again (Feb 24th), making an easy target for everyone. With small telescopes, nothing is more stunning to look at than this ringed heaven.

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The rings will be edge-on next year, so February is the last chance to watch Saturn in its full beauty.

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L

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Jupiter and Venus are converging in the morning southeastern sky. The two bright planets will have a close encounter on February 1st.
The two planets rise about two hours before sunrise. From now through the end of January, the two planets will noticeably converge, until on Feb. 1 they will be separated by just over one-half degree.
Jupiter will shine at magnitude -1.9, and will appear only 1/7 as bright as magnitude -4.0 Venus.
Two bright planets will then be joined by the moon.
On Monday, Feb. 4, the two planets will be joined by the moon.

JupVen-2008-2-1-8h20m
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JupVenMoon-2008-2-1-8h20m
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L

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Astronomers at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute alert all early morning risers to a spectacular meeting of the two brightest planets on the morning Feb. 1.
Venus, the brightest of all the planets, has been dominating the predawn skies in the east since early September.
The second brightest planet is the giant Jupiter.
On the morning of Feb. 1, these bright planets appear together low in the east before sunrise. As they rise about 5:30 a.m., they will be only 0.6 degree apart. While this will not be close enough together for them to appear as one object to the naked eye, nevertheless this close conjunction, as astronomers call it, will be quite spectacular.

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