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The celestial trinity - Venus, Jupiter and the Moon came closer

A spectacular sight this evening is visible in the sky for a little over an hour, immediately after sunset or even a few minutes before, in the twilight light. Jupiter and Venus, which slowly got closer during the week, had a guest - the crescent moon and all three rushed together towards the horizon

Gathering at sunset, December 1, 2008. Photo: Yizhar Nebo
Gathering at sunset, December 1, 2008. Photo: Yizhar Nebo

The news was updated on December 2, 2008, time 00:50

We had to wait until the beginning of December to win this year's celestial show - a grouping of the three brightest bodies in the sky (besides the Sun) - the Moon, Venus and Jupiter. The show began last week every evening at sunset, when every day so far the three bodies came closer to each other and on the evening of December 1 they reached the maximum proximity in the viewing angle.

You have to look towards the southwest, then you see Venus and Jupiter side by side already in the twilight. The brightness of both makes the area in the sky a spotlight. Yesterday they were also joined by the new crescent moon (the beginning of the Hebrew month). The approach process was quite fast, a full moon in the sky every day (twice the width of the full moon). The smaller the distance, the greater the beauty.

Gathering before sunset as photographed in Tasmania, December 1, 2008 - ten hours before the observations in Israel. From the Universe Today website
Gathering before sunset as photographed in Tasmania, December 1, 2008 - ten hours before the observations in Israel. From the Universe Today website

The three bodies formed a kind of equilateral triangle, with the moon in the middle and Venus and Mars at the corresponding vertices. They will also be very close to each other. The heavenly trio was visible from almost anywhere in the world. Even from areas where the light pollution is great such as New York and Hong Kong, only full cloud cover and the midnight sun (currently in Antarctica) will interfere with the observation. With a small telescope it will be possible to see the humpback side of Venus (69% full), and the cloud belt of Jupiter.

By the way, when this trio reached the evening sky of Israel, the triangle flattened a little and while Venus and the Moon were close to each other, Jupiter moved a little further, as you can see in the picture on the left. In response to surfers' questions, why does the moon tilt to the left in this image and in observations from the country, as you can also see in the image above, the crescent moon tilts more to the right. According to Dr. Yigal Fatal, the chairman of the Israeli Astronomical Society, this is how a new moon looks in the southern hemisphere, this is because the moon is more or less above the equator, and it is seen at a different angle from the northern hemisphere compared to observations from the southern hemisphere. If the picture was from Japan for example, and not from South Australia, we would see the moon in roughly the same direction as it is seen from Israel.

For news on the subject on the Universe Today website

29 תגובות

  1. In several places it is claimed that this phenomenon is related to the star of Bethlehem, is this true?

  2. Oh ok, I checked, so the brighter one is Venus and the fainter one is Jupiter, despite the size of Jupiter it is just very far away (relatively)

  3. Even today you see Jupiter and Venus a little far to the right under the moon but smaller and my question is who is brighter than Jupiter? The greater, or Venus? the closer

  4. Since most of the planets orbit the sun in the same plane, and since the moon's orbit around the earth also intersects the same plane, planetary alignments are not uncommon, you may remember but in 1984 all the planets aligned in one line, and the occultists claimed that this was something that heralded the end the world and nothing happened from it.
    As there are more bodies that cluster together, the frequency of their meeting decreases.

  5. My dad said it happens once every three years and I managed to see 4 Noghan moons in my telescope today in the evening

  6. I don't understand... today December 2 has a very different shape than yesterday... the stars are far from the moon

  7. I didn't stop getting frustrated yesterday and wondering which planets these are, glad you finally found out for me 🙂 Thanks

  8. Ah..Michael I just now noticed that at the same time as the anthem of the song that was played last night by many of us, you brought the lyrics of the song..nice, thank you.

  9. Eran:
    What you "can understand" is actually a clearly wrong thing!
    The crescent moon (when you see it - that is, at night) is always directed downwards to one degree or another because it is always on the side of the sun and if it was at the top it would mean that the sun is up - which means that it is now daytime - which means that you don't see the whole spectacle at all.

  10. My dad already saw it a few days ago and we didn't know what it was, I told him it must be satellites so he said to me: "What the hell, it's"

    good day.

  11. I don't see the explanation for the reverse picture...
    I can understand that the crescent moon will be in the upper right part of the moon and not in the lower part like with us, since it is in the southern part of the earth. But when the sun sets, it still does so in the west, and not in the east, even in the southern part of the globe...
    Please explain again, and if possible then also with the help of drawings and illustrations for those who have difficulty like me...

  12. For respondent 4-Mr.):
    Actually there was an advertisement here and in other places in advance already in the evening and when I saw that it was advertised here I went outside and saw this beautiful constellation (looks a little less beautiful in reality in Israel than it looks in Tasmania in the picture) and it is very nice

  13. Exciting, thank you: "It's not a little, that Jupiter and Venus are alone, going to walk hand in the sky"..

  14. I didn't know about this phenomenon.. It's a shame you didn't publish something about it in advance
    We will wait for next year

  15. Apparently the report does not match what was observed from Israel or I don't know what happened here. Between 1730 and 1900 I watched the show. The peaks of the crescent were at approximately 2 and 7 hours when the dark part is on the left side - that is, the opposite of the picture. Venus was quite close and in front of the cusp of 7 and Jupiter was a little further away at 2 o'clock - not in front of the cusp, so the constellation is also completely different from what is described in the article. During my observation there was movement but the orientation remained more or less the same.
    I can be proud that even though I don't understand the stars and maybe because of previous publications in the science, I told my 8 year old daughter when I drew her attention to the show, she probably asked planets, probably Jupiter and Venus.
    It is quite a lot, that Jupiter and Venus alone, are going to walk hand in hand... in the sky.

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