Monday, May 27, 2013

Dance of the planets - Jupiter, Venus, Mercury.

Three planets have been "dancing" with one another this week - Jupiter, Venus and Mercury. They get closer and closer to one another and before separating in the sky.

Tonight, 27 May 2013, they will form a nice tight triangle in our western sky.

How to look for it:

(1) Need the sky to be relatively clear.
(2) Venus will be brightest, followed by Jupiter and Mercury. Mercury is the dimmest and most challenging to spot. Need very clear skies.
(3) Need unobstructed Western skies where you can see at least 10 degrees above horizon.
(4) Use a compass to find and face West-North-West (WNW) - a bit more west of North West.
(5) Can try to go up a tall building and look towards the WNW. Do take note of personal safety and  do not illegally infringe on private properties.
(6) At about 7:30pm in Singapore, they are about a 10 degrees above horizon - approximately the height of your fist in your fully extended arm.
(7) They will look like stars in the sky with unaided eyes. May fit inside the whole view in wide-field telescopes and binoculars.
(8) Can try to photograph it with your phone camera. At least Venus should be bright enough if the sky is clear enough. With dedicated cameras, the appropriate settings and photography skills, all 3 planets may be captured even if the sky is just not clear enough to be seen with unaided eyes.

Good luck and clear skies!

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