Venus-Mars-Jupiter splayed in space

You may have seen, or contemplated, the three planets in today’s pre-dawn sky, with the Last Quarter Moon hanging above them. This is how they came to be so beautifully grouped for us.

sf161104VenMarJup

The blue line to the Aries symbol indicates the vernal equinox direction (our base o=point for measuring things in the sky). The other blue lines are our sightlines to the planets. There are actually three of these lines: the one from Earth to Mars is overlaid by the one from Earth to Venus. These two were in almost exactly the same direction on Nov. 3 at 8 Universal Time (3 AM Eastern American time). At that moment they appeared only 0.68 of a degree apart.

 

2 thoughts on “Venus-Mars-Jupiter splayed in space”

  1. BEAUTIFUL diagram describing how they all fit and fill in. I can almost feel our world rotating and spinning around our sun as this is all happening. It’s a cosmic dance, a tarentella, as I think I’ve once heard you call it, and to repeat to reinforce… La lune et l’ocean, dansent ensemble main en main.
    And for the others of you who comprend Francais.
    Why won’t a Frenchman have two eggs for breakfast?
    Cuz one is enough (un oeuf)

  2. It’s cool to see this diagrammed at a large enough scale to really see it. It’s also very cool to visualize these orbits while out looking at those bright points of light in the dawn sky. We’ve had a fair bit of clear weather lately (as well as one day of much needed rain), so I’ve been getting up early.

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