Monday, December 29, 2008

Planets and Moon Lineup

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A nice crescent Moon once again lined up with three planets today: Bright Venus at upper left, and below and right of the Moon, Jupiter sits over Mercury. Around 5 p.m. today I loaded my camera and tripod and started driving looking for a nice foreground subject. I live in Missouri, but only a half mile from the Kansas border, so I started driving west into Kansas along country roads. I couldn't find anything I liked and I was running out of time, but around 6:45 p.m. I found this nice pond in Paola, Kansas. It's actually the Waterworks pond for the town of Paola.
Tomorrow, the Moon glides 13 degrees further east and closer to Venus, then on New Year's Eve, it will be sitting above Venus, 3 degrees away. Mercury also moves eastward. Not by much, but enough so that it will be only 1 degree to the left of Jupiter. The two planest look close together but are really pretty far apart. Mercury is a little over 93 million miles from us, but Jupiter is 6 times further away, 558 million miles distant.
Hopefully, the skies will stay fairly clear.

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