Venus and Jupiter This Morning, October 8, 2012

On a frosty, clear morning in the Chicago area, Morning Stars Venus and Jupiter shine brightly in the predawn sky. Both planets can be seen well into bright morning twilight.

Brilliant Venus shines from the eastern sky. In the 30-second exposure image, shown above taken a 5 a.m., Venus has moved well-past Regulus the brightest star in the constellation Leo. It is rapidly moving eastward compared to the stars. It moves through Leo and into Virgo this month.

Bright Jupiter shines nearly 80 degrees to the upper right of Venus, high in the south nearly overhead. The last quarter moon is nearly between Jupiter and Venus. The brighter lens flare at the left edge of the image above (click the image to see it larger) is from the moon, just outside the frame.

Jupiter shines against the starry background of the constellation Taurus. The bull’s brightest star is Aldebaran. Two bright star clusters, the Pleiades and the Hyades, are visible in the image along with the bull’s horns, Elnath and Zeta Tauri. The bright star Capella (Auriga) is visible as well.

Jupiter starts to retrograde this week.  It moves westward (toward Aldebaran and the Hyades) during the month.

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.)

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