Date: 11/21/20 6:01 am
From: Greg D. Jackson <g_d_jackson...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Not birds but still nature -- planetary show!
Thanks, Steve! This is (pun intended) opening up whole new worlds to me! 😁

Looks like both Neptune and Uranus are fairly close to Mars now, so
maybe I can use that to get to the right areas. Guess I need to download
a star chart on my phone to help, too. I found a cool site where you can
click on any planet and it shows the location in the sky on a timeline
from your location. You can slide the bar back and forth on the
timeline, too. Selecting either Neptune or Uranus and moving the bar to
early evening, it shows the position relative to the stars as well as
(unmarked) Mars. Since Mars is so visible now, it should serve as a good
starting point.



Greg D. Jackson

Birmingham, AL

On 11/19/2020 8:22 PM, swmavocet via wrote:
> Greg,
> Now that you've broken the mold, allow me to add Uranus and Neptune
> are also visible in the evening along with the other three
> less-distant easier planets.  Now that poor Pluto has been demoted to
> non-planet status, with binoculars ( for Uranus and Neptune) and a
> star map it is possible to see all 8 planets in the same day.  5 in
> the evening, 2 at dawn, and 1 at your feet.
> Finally, in a few weeks Saturn and Jupiter will pass so close to each
> other the distance apart will only be about 1/5th the diameter of the
> full moon.  This will be the closest together they've been visible in
> the sky since 1623, the year Galileo turned 5.!   It will be possible
> to see both in the same field of view through a low-medium power
> spotting scope or telescope.
> Keep looking up,
> Steve McConnell
> Hartselle, AL
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Greg D. Jackson <g_d_jackson...>
> To: AL Birds <ALbirds...>
> Sent: Thu, Nov 19, 2020 5:27 pm
> Subject: [ALbirds] Not birds but still nature -- planetary show!
> AL Birders:
> This is about nature, far away and remote nature, but not about birds
> (delete if uninterested).
> Debi and I were coming home last night about 7 pm. and saw that the
> crescent moon was in conjunction with a couple of planets in the western
> sky, one appearing to be Jupiter with bins (unfortunately no scope in
> car). When we got home I tried to see them with the scope but was
> blocked by trees, so we jumped back in the car and ran down to a little
> park near us without lights and with a clear view west.
> Through the scope (Questar ramped up to 120x) it was really a show! The
> crescent moon itself was, as usual, stunning when magnified, but the
> planets were even more special. Turned out the one closer to the moon
> was indeed Jupiter, with at least four moons easily visible and a couple
> of reddish bands on the planet itself. Even better, the planet just
> above was Saturn, turned so the rings were very visible and even one of
> the moons (? Titan) could be seen faintly. To make it even more special,
> Mars is still not too far from the Earth, and was easily visible much
> higher in the sky.
> I'm not an astronomer by any stretch, and people into this may yawn at
> this naive post, but I can't recall looking at the moon lined up closely
> with Jupiter and Saturn, with Mars thrown in as a bonus. Reading about
> it a little, evidently Venus and Mercury are both visible early in the
> mornings. So five planets are viewable now!
> I meant to get this post out earlier today. The moon-Jupiter-Saturn show
> should be visible immediately after dark and for the next couple of
> hours. I suspect this will be the case for the next few days. Just an
> FYI in case some of you are interested. Hey, you might hear an owl! (Had
> to throw in a bird reference!)
> Greg
> Greg D. Jackson
> Birmingham, AL

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