Venus, Jupiter & Moon were smiling on Monday

Did anyone else see this on Monday night?

I did. It was great. Even better than shown in that photo (because the rest of hte moon wasn’t visible, just the crescent). I was driving home from work and – holy shit – the moon was smiling at me, with two eyes and a big grin. :slight_smile:

Never seen anything like that before. Then, I was extremely pleased when my wife, who I wouldn’t ordinarily expect to notice such things, asked during dinner, “did you see the moon smiling?” :slight_smile:

Anyway, I was pleased again, just now to run into this and learn what happened.

[quote]December 2, 2008—The heavens smiled down on Earth Monday in a rare celestial trifecta of Venus, Jupiter, and the moon.

The planets aligned—an event known as a conjunction—Sunday night, and were joined by a thin sliver of moon on Monday.

The rare planetary meeting was visible from all parts of the world, even from light-polluted cities such as Hong Kong and New York.

People in Asia witnessed a smiley face (above, photographed from Manila, Philippines), while skywatchers in the United States saw a frown.

The three brightest objects in the sky were so tightly gathered that one could eclipse them with a thumb, according to NASA’s Web site.

The next visible Venus-Jupiter conjunction will be on the evening of March 14, 2012, but the two planets will appear farther apart in the sky.[/quote] … photo.html

Um, yes. Sorry, MT, but Fox beat you to it…

Yep, I’d been waiting for that, although it was Tuesday night here no?.. damm short term memory… anyway it was really cool, Jupiter and Venus were both bright and visible well before sundown, blue skies with three glowing orbs… where’s the starwars emoticon?..

I was out for a bike ride and so got to enjoy it for a long time. Truly smiling. I couldn’t help but smile back everytime I looked up. I tried to get a pic but by the time I got home the moon was too low. I expected it would be out again the next night as you often see a planet and the moon stuck together in a pattern for many days but not this time.

Maybe because it was plastered all over the Chinese newspapers? :wink:

Doesn’t look happy to me.

They looked great again tonight, although the smile was gone as the planets were lined up with the moon (at least when I saw it).

Which planet is which?

I assume that the one on the left is Venus cause Jupiter is so far away no?

Just found this. My assumption was correct.

Reviving this thread, on another Monday evening, to say that Jupiter is brilliantly visible tonight—if I didn’t screw this up, as a large white light in the southern part of the sky.

It’s apparently closest to earth in 59 years. Wow!


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I noticed a very bright planet high in the sky just now.

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That’s what I was talking about. It was incredible!


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I read that with decent binoculars you can apparently make out the four big moons.

I succeeded in doing so in similar circumstances a while back - that’s somewhere on this site. I’ll be trying again.

With a little bit of squinting last night—it was brilliantly clear up on the roof of my apartment block—I could see them surrounding the planet. I have never seen anything like this!


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Saturn tonight; during Lunar Festival


I just got back from my roof. Jupiter is still brilliant tonight.


Right now, mid-way up in the eastern sky, Jupiter is brilliant: with 10x binoculars I can easily make out two of the moons, maybe three. (Unlike similar circumstances a number of years back, when I was only moderately convinced I was seeing the moons rather than some kind of visual artifact.)

The picture linked below gives a rather surprising perspective (at least to me) on just how far out the moons apparently are from Jupiter itself.

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Wow how close is it actually?

As close as it gets (well, a few days after as close as it gets).

This link for relative position, but super not to scale!

This link does a bit more with scale:

Getting pretty technical, with the distances: right now 3.96 astronomical units (earth to sun = 1 AU).