After several mornings of overcast skies, Morning Stars Venus and Jupiter shine brightly in the predawn skies. Both planets can be seen well into bright morning twilight.
Brilliant Venus shines in the eastern sky in this 30-second exposure image seen from the Chicago area at 5:00 a.m. It has passed the star Regulus, the brightest in the constellation Leo the lion. Venus is rapidly moving to the east among the stars and each morning it appears farther from Regulus.
Bright Jupiter shines high in the southern skies, nearly overhead, among the stars of Taurus, nearly 80 degrees to the upper right of Venus. This morning the waning gibbous moon, overexposed in the image, is nearby. Aldebaran, the brightest in Taurus is clearly visible in the image above. Two star clusters, the Pleiades and the Hyades can be seen as well. The horn stars, Elnath and Zeta Tauri are seen as well, although Zeta Tauri is partly hidden in the image by the overexposed moon.
For our monthly sky watching posting, click here. Watch the planetary pair in the morning sky throughout the next several months. Read more about Venus as a Morning Star. (Click the images to see them larger.)