Night skies light up with beauty

This week’s skies offer some special night-time pictures, according to astronomers.

Skywatchers and nocturnal types can see some of the brightest planets in the solar system, but there’s something special about one of them, according to Lismore-based astronomer Dave Reneke.

“Go out at sunset and look north-west,” Reneke says. 

“Jupiter pops out of the twilight even before the sky fades completely black. This brilliant planet, surrounded by evening blue, is a spellbinding sight and looks great in a small telescope or binoculars.

“Jupiter is the largest planet and, like the other gas giants, doesn’t have a solid surface that we can see, just thick, 

poisonous clouds a thousand kilometres deep.” 

But there’s also other great sights to be found just before sunrise, according to Reneke.

He says if skygazers look east they’ll see an equally brilliant sight with Venus, the “morning star”, blazing brightly above the horizon. 

“Midweek the view improves because Venus and crescent Moon are converging, so close in fact that at times you can hide them together behind your outstretched palm,” he said. 

“These two brilliant beauties will climb over the eastern horizon in the pre-dawn darkness, and will continue to light up the morning twilight till after all stars have been washed from the sky.”

Reneke says Venus this month has been spellbinding – and the number one object reported for a UFO it’s so bright. 

Skywatchers and nocturnal types can see some of the brightest planets in the solar system, but there’s something special about one of them, according to Lismore-based astronomer Dave Reneke.

“Go out at sunset and look north-west,” Reneke says. 

“Jupiter pops out of the twilight even before the sky fades completely black. This brilliant planet, surrounded by evening blue, is a spellbinding sight and looks great in a small telescope or binoculars.

“Jupiter is the largest planet and, like the other gas giants, doesn’t have a solid surface that we can see, just thick, poisonous clouds a thousand kilometres deep.” 

But there’s also other great sights to be found just before sunrise, according to Reneke.

He says if skygazers look east they’ll see an equally brilliant sight with Venus, the “morning star”, blazing brightly above the horizon. 

“Midweek the view improves because Venus and crescent Moon are converging, so close in fact that at times you can hide them together behind your outstretched palm,” he said. 

“These two brilliant beauties will climb over the eastern horizon in the pre-dawn darkness, and will continue to light up the morning twilight till after all stars have been washed from the sky.”

Reneke says Venus this month has been spellbinding – and the number one object reported for a UFO it’s so bright. 

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