Monday, 1 December 2008

Conjunction, Occultation of Venus, Lectures


Hi all,

1. CLOSE CONJUNCTION OF VENUS, JUPITER & MOON: On the evening of 30 November, Venus will lie just 2° below Jupiter with the Moon 11° to the lower right.

Next evening (1 Dec) the Moon occults Jupiter, with Venus just above right – see below.

On the following evening (2 Dec), Jupiter will lie 2.5°  to the upper right of Venus, with the Moon 11°  to the upper left. All these will be spectacular & beautiful sights, and lovely photo opportunities, especially with the Earthshine on the crescent Moon. Venus and Jupiter are the two brightest 'starlike' objects in the night sky, so this will be a real treat.

And you could also see a passage of the ISS - see for details.

2. MOON OCCULTS VENUS: December 1. The following times are for disappearance and reappearance, to the nearest minute:

Cork: 15.35 – 17.05

Galway: 15.32 – 17.03

Dublin: 15.37 – 17.07

Belfast: 15.37 – 17.07

The times for Belfast & Dublin just happen to be the same, to the nearest minute.

Disappearance will occur at the ENE limb of the Moon. If you can’t actually see the dark (actually Earthlit) portion of the Moon due to sky brightness, just mentally ‘complete the circle’ of the Moon’s outline, to see where the disappearance will occur. Reappearance will be at the West limb of the Moon.

Although disappearance occurs with the Sun above the horizon, both the 13.7% illuminated Moon, and brilliant Venus at magnitude -4.1 should be readily visible if the sky is clear. You should also be able to locate Jupiter 2 degrees to the North in binoculars or a wide field telescope.

The phase of Venus will be about 69%, because it is coming round from Superior Conjunction, on the far side of the Sun. Venus’s diameter will be about 16.5” (arcsecs), so any telescope will show it as a bit more than ‘half full’. Jupiter will be noticeably fainter at magnitude -2.0, but easily visible after Venus has reappeared, when the sky will be darker.


3. John O'Neill will give a lecture to the IAS in Dunsink Observatory, Castleknock, Dublin, on Monday 1st, at 8 p.m. Entitled "Wonderful Eclipses: The Greatest Saros", it will look at some of the best total solar eclipses to be seen.

4. Tuesday December 2nd: John Lally, TAS, will present the next talk entitled "It's Life Jim, but not as we know it". It takes place in the Presbyterian Church, High Street, Tullamore at 8:00pm.

All are welcome to attend, and admission is €2.00.

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley

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