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2nd and 3rd Brightest Objects in the Sky meet!

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Uploaded on Jul 14, 2010

Venus, Mars and Saturn all visible in the early evening sky.
The Moon will be right under to Venus on the 14th,
Right under Mars on the 15th and
Past Saturn on the 16th by which time it will be approaching the first quater.

Look to the West, shortly after sunset and you will firstly see Venus, the Saturn and Mars will appear somewhat fainter and apparently further from the Sun.

Over the next month or two, you can keep track of the ballet of these planets in the evening sky. Venus will rise up past Saturn and Mars, before all three planets sink into the twighlight glow. What is really happening of course is Venus is undertaking us on an inside orbit, while we are burning off both Saturn and Mars on the outside orbits.

Anyways its a great time to not only identify these planets but to get a feel for their movement too.

As for if you actually want to take a look at these things. 3in (~80mm) is probably the smallest scope you will want to consider. That will show you the rings of Saturn, and the phases of Venus over the next few months. Mars is v. small at the moment, and I couldnt really even resolve it as a disk, but at its closest it will show some detail on Mars. It will gives spectacular views of the Moon, and will show the moons of Jupiter and detail on Jupiter.

The cheapest I could find a scope like this is the 'Firstscope'. Celestron made them for the '2009 year of astronomy' and I think there is a surplus, cos the are now selling them on amazon for about $35.

This time I actually get the scope on the moon, and it gives some pretty good views. I also get it on Saturn. Just pointing the camera in the eyepiece is okay, but its not as good as what you see. After I have 'wavelet' processed the video using a free program called Registax (a sort of primitive adaptive optics... lucky frame stuff) it gives something that is actually pretty close to what you will see. Rings of Saturn are almost edge on at the moment, and it's not at its best. When the rings are fully open, Saturn is always a show stopping, jaw dropping sight. Anyways, it gives you an idea of what you will be able to see with one of these 'Firstscope' things, a 76mm Newtonian reflector.
http://www.astronomie.be/registax/

Bigger scopes will show you more, but to be honest you will need to learn how to use a scope first, and something like this celestron Firstscope thing will give you this feel.



The software used to make this video is free, and is called Celestia.
http://www.shatters.net/celestia/

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