Sunday, January 08, 2006

The planets in 2006

Wonder where in the heavens are the planets this year? Space.com takes a look at the visibility of all the eight planets during 2006. Only five -Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn- can be spotted with the naked eye. The rest requires binoculars. Pluto requires a telescope. This is what Space.com has to say about my favourite planet this year. From Space.com:
Saturn: Usually shines like a yellowish-white "star" of moderate brightness. It will be primarily a late-night/early morning object through much of January. By late January into February it will be visible most of the night and will continue to be a convenient evening object through the middle of July. It is at opposition to the Sun on Jan. 27 and will also have two close encounters with other naked-eye planets in 2006.

It will pass just over one-half degree from a much-dimmer Mars on the evening of June 17 and will lie a similar distance from the much-more dazzling Venus on the morning of Aug. 27. Saturn is located within the relatively dim stars of Cancer, the Crab. On February 2 and again on June 5, Saturn will be situated just below the beautiful cluster of stars popularly known as the "Beehive." The famous ring system is visible in telescopes magnifying over 30-power.

From mid-March until the beginning of May, the rings will be tilted at a 20º angle toward Earth. You should take full advantage of this circumstance, because, we won't see the rings tipped 20º or more to our line of sight again until the year 2014!

4 comments:

panda said...

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn- can be spotted with the naked eye. The rest requires binoculars.....only binoculars...sounds optmisstic.yeah!

dann said...

I need more than just reading this for me to spot the planets. I need your help IZ. So when you taking me for a night of planet spotting?

cece said...

make sure its just planet spotting dann. :oP

Cherilyn said...

Just planet spotting will be boring. Will fall asleep.

I want to see Saturn through a telescope. IZ!!!

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