Astronomical advice please

Renard

Guest
When I'm out in the morning at the moment there is a bright star in the east which is about the last to disappear before it gets light. Does anyone know which one it is? Maybe the morning or eastern star? I suspect it might be a planet, perhaps Venus?
 

Cycling Naturalist

Legendary Member
Location
Llangollen
If it's red it's Mars. If it is brighter than any star and brilliant white, then it's Venus.
 

Pete

Guest
Venus. Current magnitude about -4.1. Try getting a fix on it and see if you can keep it in view with the naked eye, even after sunrise (around 8am at the moment). Most people can manage that if the skies are clear: this is the only planet for which that feat is possible.

Incidentally Mars is prominent in evening skies at the moment, not morning. Look high in the east, you can't mistake it.
 

radger

Über Member
Location
Bristol
sounds like it's probably Venus.

This seems quite good for identifying stars etc, as you can set the time you were looking, and your latitude/longitude etc. And the horizon has pigs and tractors on it, which is a nice touch
 
stellarium is a great free planetarium program if you want to know more about what's out there at any given time (available to download for most operating systems) and as others have said it is venus that you have seen.
you don't need fancy telescopes, just some bino's opens up the sky greatly:smile:

cheers, velocidad :tongue:
 

Pete

Guest
Patrick Stevens said:
If it is brighter than any star and brilliant white, then it's Venus.
Not quite correct. Jupiter (not visible at this time of year) also becomes brighter than any star and appears white.

In fact this is also true of Mercury, but that is a difficult planet to spot since it remains close to the sun and is never seen against a completely dark sky: I have only seen it a few times.
 

Pete

Guest
velocidad said:
you don't need fancy telescopes, just some bino's opens up the sky greatly:smile:
Quite correct: I usually advise potential astros (and that includes you, Arch :tongue:) to spend plenty of time with the binos before going over to a full-blown 'scope: a lot easier to get the hang of and very rewarding for those who just want to find out what a lot of stuff there is up there. People who buy a telescope too early often get frustrated and give up.

stellarium is a great free planetarium program if you want to know more about what's out there at any given time (available to download for most operating systems) and as others have said it is venus that you have seen.
True, for casual observation I would advise Stellarium, too. For my own, more serious and technical work, I use Cartes du Ciel but that is more scientific-oriented and not quite so 'pretty'. It is also a free download (it's in English) and amazing value!
 

papercorn2000

Senior Member
Hey, you could try following it BJB, you never know what you may find at this time of year!:tongue:

Mind and take some gold, frankenstein or grrr!
 

Cycling Naturalist

Legendary Member
Location
Llangollen
Pete said:
Not quite correct. Jupiter (not visible at this time of year) also becomes brighter than any star and appears white.
As the post used the key words "at the moment" I confined my reply to those objects that he is likely to see now.
 

jonathan ellis

Well-Known Member
Location
London
and may I add that the ISS is fairly visable tonight
Date Mag Starts Max. altitude Ends
Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
7 Dec -0.4 17:17:31 10 SSW 17:19:37 18 SE 17:20:35 16 ESE

this is for London, i've been on night shift so havent seen the sky yet
(I guess its cloudy!)
 

JamesAC

Senior Member
Location
London
velocidad said:
stellarium is a great free planetarium program if you want to know more about what's out there at any given time (available to download for most operating systems) and as others have said it is venus that you have seen.
you don't need fancy telescopes, just some bino's opens up the sky greatly:ohmy:

cheers, velocidad :tongue:

Can you get a mounting kit for your handle bars? :tongue:
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Pete said:
Quite correct: I usually advise potential astros (and that includes you, Arch :tongue:) to spend plenty of time with the binos before going over to a full-blown 'scope: a lot easier to get the hang of and very rewarding for those who just want to find out what a lot of stuff there is up there. People who buy a telescope too early often get frustrated and give up.
I should point out that I've recently asked Pete for aome astro help by PM, so he's not just randomly picking on me....

I have bins, but I don't think they're very good ones, so everything is a bit shakey/fuzzy. Or it might be my eyes...
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
BJB said:
When I'm out in the morning at the moment there is a bright star in the east which is about the last to disappear before it gets light. Does anyone know which one it is? Maybe the morning or eastern star? I suspect it might be a planet, perhaps Venus?
Bear in mind it may not be a star at all...it could be a satellite. Some people dont realise you can see them....watch it carefully. If it moves slowly..but faster than everything else..its probably a satellite.
Guy at work asked something similar a few years ago...

Look how bright that star is..he said.
Nah...its a satellite..i said
Fcuk off...he said. You cant see a satellite !!!!!!!
Course you can i said.

Never could convince him...hes absolutely adamant to this day i was pulling his leg :tongue::tongue:
 
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