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Venus, Jupiter and the Moon in the morning
BY MARK ARMSTRONG
ASTRONOMY NOW
Posted: 14 July 2012


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Moon Jupiter Venue Graphic In pre-dawn skies, the Moon, Jupiter, Venus and the star clusters of Taurus the Bull make for a wonderful photographic opportunity mid-month. AN graphic by Greg Smye-Rumsby.

Over the next few mornings there is a beautiful sky scene in the pre-dawn eastern sky with blazing Venus and giant Jupiter joined by an old crescent moon against the backdrop of the great winter constellation of Taurus. The morning of the 15 July sees the Moon actually occult Jupiter from some parts of the UK, lying just to the north of the famous 'V' shaped Hyades open cluster. The brilliant red star Aldebaran, actually not a physical member of the Hyades, only adds to the splendour, with Venus just under three degrees north-east. Venus is simply a magnificent sight, a brilliant morning star shining at mag. -4.5 and sporting a 30 percent illuminated crescent phase through a small telescope. Jupiter is simply overshadowed despite its -2.1 magnitude. As July progresses Venus moves rapidly eastwards towards the border with Gemini with Jupiter making more sedate progress in the same direction. This is a great astrophotographic opportunity and Astronomy Now would love to receive any images. Send them to gallery2012 @ astronomynow.com

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