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Weekly Cosmos Report - Baja Night Sky #87

Date: 16/02/2016

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016

baja cosmos

1) There are 5-6 days left to see the 5 planets in the morning sky from 5:45-6:15am. First find Venus in the SE, the brightest object in the sky. Mercury is to the lower left. Saturn and Mars lie along the ecliptic, the arc from Mercury through Venus to bright Jupiter high in the west. These five planets will appear together again in the sky in the west just after sunset, August 13-19.

2) The Southern Cross is now low in the south between 3 and 4am. If that is too early for you, try to locate the False Cross near the same place around 10pm (9:30 in a week, 9pm in two weeks, 8pm in a month). Look high in the south for Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. When Sirius is directly in the south, the second brightest star Canopus is directly below it near the horizon. Canopus is a star used by interplanetary spacecraft for navigation. Do you see why? Just to the lower left of Canopus, lying on its side on the horizon, is the False Cross. You will have to wait until 11:15pm to see it directly in the south. The true Southern Cross constellation stands upright when it reaches the south meridian. That bright "star" high in the east is the planet Jupiter.

3) Turn and look to the north. The Big Dipper, standing on its handle, should be easy to find. The last two stars in the Dipper's bowl point west to the North Star at a distance 5 times the distance between them. It is 24 degrees above the horizon which gives us our latitude here in La Ventana.

Have a great day! Tom at BajaNightSky@gmail.com.

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