Sky Spy: Enjoy Venus in a.m., Sagittarius in evening

2014-08-21T00:00:00Z Sky Spy: Enjoy Venus in a.m., Sagittarius in eveningBy Tim Hunter Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

On Saturday morning, look toward the eastern horizon.

At 5 a.m., ever-brilliant Venus will be 5 degrees above the horizon and another 5 degrees higher up from the horizon is bright Jupiter.

The nearly 28-day-old crescent moon will be just to the right (south) of Venus and Jupiter, forming a triangle with the two planets. Try to follow these three objects as they rise in brightening twilight.

Sunrise on Saturday is at 5:53 a.m. Try this exercise again on Sunday morning around 5:25 a.m. Venus and Jupiter should be visible in the bright pre-dawn twilight. Just above the eastern horizon will be a nearly 29-day-old moon. It will be a challenge to see, requiring a very clear horizon and clear skies. Have low-power binoculars at the ready in case you cannot find the moon with your unaided eye.

If this early morning viewing is not for you, or if you would like to add pleasurable evening viewing to your enjoyment this weekend, look south around 9 p.m. to see Sagittarius the Archer, one of the brightest, most interesting constellations in the sky. It will be as favorably placed for viewing in the evening sky as it can get. Sagittarius is supposed to be a centaur shooting an arrow. A centaur is a mythical beast with the body of a horse and the torso of a man. Of course, Sagittarius in no way looks like a centaur. It is usually likened to a “teapot,” with the spout pointing west and the handle toward the east. Its top points north. The Milky Way goes right through Sagittarius, and it has many star clusters and nebulae of great interest to astronomers. Give it a try.

Contact Tim Hunter at

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