Turn your gaze to the west just after the sky gets dark in the evening. The brilliant star low on the horizon is the 2nd planet from the Sun, Venus. Over the next few nights watch as Venus lines up with and then moves past the ‘twin” stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux.
Also note Mars quickly moving away from Regulus after their close encounter last weekend.
Now a little background info on the Venus-Gemini trio:
Venus magnitude -3.9 2nd planet from the Sun 0.95 Earth diameters 0.86 Earth masses 1.2 AU from Earth (180,000,000 km or 110,000,000 miles) Pollux magnitude +1.2 brightest star in constellation of Gemini K0 type orange giant star younger but more evolved than Sun 1.7 solar masses 8.8 solar diameters 32 times brighter than Sun may have an 2 Jupiter mass planet 33.7 lightyears from Earth (198,105,444,000,000 miles away) Castor magnitude +1.9 2nd brightest star in constellation of Gemini sextuplet star system (made up of 3 very close pairs) biggest star has 2.2 solar masses, 2.3 solar diameters biggest star is 30 times brighter than the Sun 51.6 lightyears from Earth (303,337,308,000,000 miles away)
Love the all the details you provide and the Stellarium sky map! Got some photos of this conjunction looking west over the Olympic Mountains in WA state. (Very lucky that it was clear.)
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