Venus, Jupiter and the Moon will converge in the night skies over the next few days and promise to provide an amazing view.

Venus, Jupiter and the moon will converge in the night skies over the next few days and promise to provide an amazing view.

On Saturday November 29th, Venus and Jupiter will be less than 3 degrees apart in the Southwest after sunset.

Then on Sunday a slim 10% crescent Moon will appear and hover just below Venus and Jupiter – like the symbol on the Turkish flag but with two shining ‘stars’.

But the best night will be Monday 1st December when the now 15% crescent Moon moves in closer to form a triangle with Venus and Jupiter as opposing vertices. The three brightest objects in the night sky will be gathered so tightly together, you can hide them all behind your thumb held at arm’s length. See picture.

The celestial triangle will be visible from all parts of the world and will no doubt be widely photographed. Only cloudy weather can spoil the show.

For those of you with telescopes, and we know some of you have them here in the Fethiye area; you’ll be treated to a fantastic view. You’ll be able to see the moons and cloud-belts of Jupiter, the gibbous phase of Venus (69% full), and craters and mountains on the Moon. It’s a Grand Tour you won’t soon forget.

Finally, look up from the eyepiece and run your eyes across the Moon. Do you see a ghostly image of the full Moon inside the bright horns of the crescent? That’s called “Earthshine” or sometimes “the da Vinci glow” because Leonardo da Vinci was the first person to explain it: Sunlight hits Earth and ricochets to the Moon, casting a sheen of light across the dark lunar terrain.

By itself, a crescent Moon with Earthshine is one of the loveliest sights in the heavens. Add Venus and Jupiter and … well … it’s time to stop reading and get out that telescope.

With thanks to NASA for all this interesting stuff!

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