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Friday, 5 December 2008

Stunning Sky During the Early December Evenings

Space Weather News for Monday, Dec. 1, 2008

When the sun goes down, step outside and look south.  Beaming through the twilight is one of the prettiest things you'll ever see--a tight three-way conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the crescent Moon. The event is visible from all parts of the world, even from light-polluted cities.  People in New York and Hong Kong will see it just as clearly as astronomers watching from remote mountaintops. Only cloudy weather or a midnight sun (sorry Antarctica!) can spoil the show.

The great conjunction offers something extra to Europeans. For more than an hour on Monday evening, the crescent Moon will actually eclipse Venus. Astronomers call such an event a "lunar occultation." Venus emerging from the dark edge of the Moon is a remarkably beautiful sight.  Sky watchers across Europe will be able to see this happen.

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