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Category: Celestial Grouping


Try to spot the alignment of the five planets as the moon joins them this weekend!

January_30_2016_alignment

To view a larger image, click here. The event will be visible in the next few weeks, but the best dates to observe are from January 30 to February 6, when the moon joins the alignment. This image shows what the eastern sky should look like on January 30, 2016, at 5:30 am (Image generated using Stellarium).

The alignment of the five planets can be seen from anywhere in the country (and in most parts of the world). It should be visible for as long as you have a clear view of the eastern horizon, and there are no clouds to block your view. It also does not require any special equipment such as telescopes or binoculars. One may simply observe this event from home, from his or her own backyard, using nothing but the eyes.

To view the alignment, simply:

1. Wake up at 5:30 am (your local time) on January 30, 2016.
2. Face east (Silangan). If you do not know where east is, simply use a compass or ask someone to show you the direction where the sun rises (kung saan sumisikat ang araw).
3. Use the map to find the moon first. Once you’ve spotted the moon, it will be very easy to find the rest of the planets.
4. Find the “bright star” to the upper-right of the moon. That “bright star” is actually the planet Jupiter.
5. Find another “bright star” to the lower-left of the moon. That “bright star” is actually the planet Venus.
6. Use the map to find the rest of the planets: Saturn (yellow), Mars (red), and Mercury (white).

The alignment will still be visible in the next few weeks, but the best dates to observe are from January 30 to February 6, when the moon joins them (which makes it easier to locate the planets). As viewed from Earth, the planets and the moon appear to line up, but in reality, they are separated by vast distances.

Keep track of the ‘sky events’ that can be observed from your own backyard! To keep you posted on upcoming astronomical events, click here.
For previous observations, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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Jupiter_Venus_close_pairing_June26,2015

Starting today until the second week of July 2015, Venus and Jupiter can be seen like bright stars above the western horizon. No special equipment is needed to see the two planets. The photo above was taken at around 6:30 pm on June 26, 2015, from Rizal, Philippines. You, too, can see them for yourself. Read the instructions below on how to find Venus and Jupiter.

On the first and second week of July 2015, face west at around 6 to 7 pm and you will notice two bright ‘stars’ above the horizon. Those ‘stars’ are not actual stars, but rather, the planets Jupiter and Venus. You will see the two planets as a pair of lights in the sky (the brighter one is Venus and the dimmer one is Jupiter), very similar to what is shown in the photo above. You may observe the pairing of the two planets every day, but make sure to look at them on July 1, when the ‘gap’ between the two planets is smallest.

On July 18, the moon will join Venus and Jupiter to form one of the most interesting sights you can see in the sky: a ‘celestial triangle’. A recent ‘celestial triangle’ was seen on August 24, 2014. Your chance to see the next one will be on July 18, 2015. Simply face west at around 6 to 7 pm and see the moon, Venus, and Jupiter form a triangle as shown in the simulated image below.

Venus-Moon-Jupiter_July 18,2015

Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon form a triangle on July 18, 2015.

No special equipment is needed to see these events. Also, they can be viewed from anywhere in the Philippines. If you were able to witness the event or take a photograph of it, tell us about your experience by leaving a comment below. Clear skies!

To keep you posted on upcoming astronomical events, click here. Take a look at other similar, previously-observed planetary pairing and grouping here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

grouping-mars-venus-moon

Image of Mars-Venus-Moon celestial grouping on February 20, 2015, taken at around 6 pm from Quezon City, Philippines. Canon 450D, 50 mm lens, f/3.5, ISO 1600, 1/5 sec exposure. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano. For more celestial grouping images, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

venus-jupiter-moon celestial grouping

Image of Venus-Jupiter-Moon celestial grouping on August 24, 2014, taken at 5 am from Camarines Norte, Philippines. Canon 450D, 50 mm lens, f/1.8, ISO 1600, 1/10 sec exposure. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano. For more images of celestial grouping, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

 

Here’s an image taken shortly after Spica’s reappearance from the moon’s dark limb, captured using a 4-inch f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR, 1/500 sec exposure, ISO 400. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano

spica-occultation-march2013a

Lunar Occultation of Spica March 28, 2013

For more images of lunar occultations, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Close-pairing of the moon and the planet Venus visible in the eastern horizon at around 5 am on November 11, 2012, captured with a Canon 450D and a 50 mm f/1.8 lens. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano

Related Link: Celestial Grouping

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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