2019, January 30 and 31: Morning Star Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon


Brilliant Morning Star Venus, bright Jupiter, and the moon put on a second dazzling display during late January 2019.  The first occurred at the beginning of the month.  During the two mornings displayed below note the moon’s changing position during the two days.   The moon is heading toward its New Phase on February 4.

  • January 30: About an hour before sunrise, look in the southeast for Venus and Jupiter. Venus (m = −4.3) is 7.7° to the lower left of Jupiter (m = −1.9). The waning crescent moon (24.4 days old — past its New Phase, 24% illuminated) is 6.1° to the upper right of Jupiter.

 

  • January 31: An hour before sunrise, the waning crescent moon (25.6 days old, 16% illuminated) appears 2° from Venus with Jupiter 8.5° to the upper right of Venus. This morning the moon and Venus resemble the stylized rock art “supernova” petroglyph on an overhang in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.  The unanswerable question is whether the artist was admiring a close conjunction of the moon and Venus or the moon and the supernova of 1054. (Or of some other bright star or planet near the moon’s ambling.)  Take a look and ponder the possibilities.

 

The Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, “Supernova” Petroglyph. Photo E. C. Krupp, Published in Scientific American Blogs

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More about Venus and Jupiter:

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