Hey, Sky Fans! Just a quick one today. I’ve got a bunch going on, but a friend I mentioned this to the other day just reminded me to mention it to you. Thanks, anonymous friend!
A lot of the talk lately has been about Venus disappearing from the evenings’ skies as it goes through inferior conjunction this Saturday, March 25. Inferior conjunction is, in this case, when the orbits of Earth and Venus line up so that Venus passes between us and the sun. From then, Venus will be in the morning’s sky, gone from the nights.
These last couple of days before the conjunction are going to be really great. If you can catch it just right, Venus will be visible for a few minutes just after sunset tonight and tomorrow, before it, too, drops below the horizon. These days, though, you can see it in the mornings, too, just before sunrise. Isn’t that something? Venus in the evening; Venus in the morning.
If you want to give it a shot, head out just before sunset tonight (March 23), and look into the dusk. Around where I live, sunset’s at about 7:10 P.M. If things go well, you should see Venus poking through the dusk a bit north of the sun. You’re going to have to look low above the horizon for it, and look fast. It’ll be gone in a blink.
Then, head out early, before sunrise tomorrow morning, Friday March 24. Venus will already be in the sky when the sun rises, again, to its north. Around here, that’s about 6:50 A.M. If you’re early enough, you should see be able Venus rising just ahead of the sun.
It’s the same deal Friday evening, March 24 and Saturday morning, the 25th, but the times will be a little different; dusk a little later, dawn a little earlier.
This could be a really incredible thing if you can see it, too, and I hope you can. I love these moments when you can see the solar system at work. It gives me a real sense of place, and reminds me that there’s so many other, incredible things going that you can see just by looking up.
I’m going to drag my family out of bed and see see what we can see. I hope you give it a shot, too. Clear skies, everyone!