Celestial sightings

A celestial spectacle awaits astro-enthusiasts for the next three-four nights when Earth’s three neighbouring planets will be seen in the dark sky after sunset. Planets Jupiter, Venus and Mars

Published: 11th January 2012 12:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:12 PM   |  A+A-

A celestial spectacle awaits astro-enthusiasts for the next three-four nights when Earth’s three neighbouring planets will be seen in the dark sky after sunset. Planets Jupiter, Venus and Mars are closing in and can be seen in the sky from tonight, according to N Raghuanandan Kumar of Planetary Society of India.

“While Jupiter and Mars can be seen in the east direction till 1:30 a.m and 11:45 p.m respectively, Venus shall figure in west direction up to 8 p.m,” he said.

The alignment of these three planets will be visible to the naked eye, Kumar said, adding that the geometrical pattern will provide an opportunity to the sky gazers to click the celestial spectacle. One can also spot Saturn in the early hours of the day till sunrise in the eastern sky. These planets can be identified easily as unlike stars, planets do not twinkle.

A similar celestial feature also occurred in August and December last when Mars, Saturn and Venus, in conjunction with the Moon, were seen during the night.

Commenting on the phenomenon, Dr B G Siddharth, director of the Birla Planetorium in the city, said, “This alignment and the visibility of the planets isn’t very uncommon. Venus also called the Evening star, is usually visible.

However, the actual sighting of these planets depends on the atmospheric conditions over the city. In case of clear skies, Saturn can spotted much later in the night.” But as ill-luck would have it, it rained on Tuesday evening!! Keep your fingers crossed.

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