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Picture and information from the "Toronto Star"Nov.29,2008.

A rare moment in the dance of the planets brings Jupiter and Venus in close proximity this week. A third event-the moon passing close by-will take place on Monday, December 1, 2008. Viewers in North america will join the spectacle a few hourws after the closest point, which will be visible in Europe at dusk (about 11 a.m. Toronto, Canada time).

The three tenors of the night sky will reunite, an event that may not be seen again for another 40 years.

A crescent moon will join Venus and Jupiter, which will have been slowly moving closer to each other, creating a triumvirate of the three brightest objects in the heavens. The planets will not be as close or as visible again, until 2052.

Second from the sun, and relatively close to Earth, Venus is covered in impenetrable white clouds that reflect 75% of the sun's light, making it the brightest planet. Jupiter, meanwhile-five time the distance of the Earth from the sun-owes its status as second brightest to its left.

Jupiter is twice as big as all the others combined and its diameter is 11 times that of the Earth's.

The sight will be visible in Toronto from about 5 p.m. to about 6:20 p.m. on Monday, 20 degrees above the southwest horizon. And the heavenly show would be hard to miss if it's a clear night.

The planets will be visible to the naked eye, separated only by a finger width held at arm's length. In reality, Venus and Jupiter are orbiting millions of kilometres away from each other.

On Monday, December 1, 2008 even the weakest binoculars should bring Jupiter's four planet-sized moons into focus.


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  • planetss
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Wow, how I wish I could enjoy this group hug of the planets Jupiter and Venus together with our romantic moon! I don't see a great portion of the sky from my apartment, but I will try to find out exactly when they can be observed ... you said at dusk, could be 5 pm then. Maybe I could see it from the office terrace, but there is light pollution there ...
Anyway I am fascinated by these events. Thank you, dear Inda, for the information!

Love and hugs.
Margherita 2Hearts

found this image that was taken at a similar event on Feb. 18th, 1999
We could not see the dance of the planets here in Toronto because we had a very overcast sky, however, the sky put on a happy face for many viewers around the world.

Stargazers from around the world captured images of rare planetary alignment of Venus, Jupiter and the crescent moon which created an illusion of a smile in the firmament.
Thank you everyone for joining me in the dance of the planets.

The sky did put on a happy face for some lucky spectators.

Some people in Katmandu had quite a good view of the happy face.

Sorry my image is so poor but I scanned it from the Globe and Mail newspaper and it did not turn out very well, however, you can see the smile Smile


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  • planetsmile
When there was also the moon I didn't see the show, but this evening I saw the brightness of Venus and Jupiter, still very close in the indigo sky. I tell you it was awesome!

Thank you for sharing that picture, dear Inda. It certainly gives the idea!


This was back in 1999 I guess but still Jupiter, Venus and Crescent Moon

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