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05/25/2015 – Ephemeris – Venus will appear to approach Jupiter throughout June

May 25, 2015

Ephemeris for Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 9 minutes, setting at 9:14.   The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 2:34 tomorrow morning, and tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:04.

In a telescope the planet Venus is itself near a half phase.  Of course, Venus orbits the sun, not the Earth.  It will appear about at half illuminated when it’s at its greatest apparent distance from the sun.  Right now Venus is about half the apparent size of Jupiter, but it’s heading our way, so it will grow in apparent size.  On June 30th Venus will pass Jupiter, by then it will appear the same size as Jupiter, and appear less than the diameter of the Moon apart.  There is a coincidence between this conjunction and one over 2,000 years ago, and I’ll be investigating that in another month.  I’ll have hints at the June 5th meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.


Venus-Jupiter conjunction

Telescopic view of Jupiter and Venus at 10:30 p.m. June 30, 2015. The two planets will appear two thirds the width of the Moon apart. Both will fit easily in the field of a 50 power eyepiece. Created using Cartes du Ceil (Sky Charts).

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