Astronomy

2016: August 15, Venus and Jupiter

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As Venus emerges from the sun’s brilliant glare, it is 12 days before the Venus-Jupiter Epoch Conjunction of 2016 with the two appear to pass fractions of a degree apart.  (See this article for more details.)  Tonight Jupiter and Venus are 12 degrees apart.  Mercury is nearly in between them.  It is rapidly disappearing into the sun’s glare.  Mercury appears in the morning sky, making its morning appearance of the year in late September and early October.

The chart above shows the planets at 8:30 p.m. CDT as seen from the Chicago area.  For your local circumstances, look west about 40 minutes after sunset.  Venus is very low in the western sky.  Binoculars may be need to first locate it.  It is easily spotted without optical aid once it is located.  Jupiter is the bright star to the upper left of  Venus.  Locate Mercury with binoculars.

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