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April 23, 2009 at 11:55 pm #6902SymeMember
Ok, this morning being Friday 24th April. I was up at 4.30am after feeding our new born son.
I stepped outside and looked up and said WTF is that!
In the eastern sky (on the Gold Coast Australia) there was what seemed like a very bright star. Now I’m talking not your normal star in the sky which is a pin prick type. And I know Venus has been shining very brightly over the last few months. But this was more than that. It was almost like a very small moon. Basically it was not normal for the night sky, like VERY VERY noticeable! If you were up that time in the morning and outside then you would have to have been blind to not see it. Even if you were not Astronomically minded, you would look at it and go “well, that’s not right. I got out our binoculars (Russian warship type). The only thing I noticed of significance – apart from it being so huge (cause it’s pretty hard to keep a focus on stars at night through binoculars) was that it had a slight greenish tinge around one side.
I was hoping someone might have some insight into this. Maybe someone has one of those star programs that could tell me – yes it was in fact Venus and it just happened to be shining abnormally brightly due to some weird thing going on in our atmosphere and all the other gobbledeegook to do with Astronomy. Oh, and a side note, to the right as you looked at this supposedly star – was another star which was more noticeable than normal and it was a distinct RED – I am guessing this was Mars.
SymeApril 24, 2009 at 12:40 am #12293GaianMember
My husband and I have been watching this ‘star’ as well, except that we live in Arizona (western US) and it appears in the southwest sky at about 9pm. It spins different colors – red, blue, green, yellow – very fast. We viewed it through 16X binoculars, but it is nearly impossible to focus.
Mars is just to the north of this ‘star’ and is blinking red. I’m wondering if this ‘star’ is Venus, but I’ve never seen Venus like this!
GaianApril 24, 2009 at 1:52 am #12294SilverSurferMember
Mars, Venus, and Jupiter are all in the eastern sky at 4:30 am. On Friday, Mars is higher than Venus, which are both near the very small crescent moon. Jupiter is higher, and a bit more south.April 24, 2009 at 12:40 pm #12295SymeMember
But there was no moon last night.
And what accounts for venus, if it was it, to be like really huge. I mean huge like a small moon, not just a bright shining star in the night.April 24, 2009 at 1:53 pm #12296SilverSurferMember
Was this close to the horizon? If so, the atmosphere can act like a lens, making bright objects appear larger than they are. Also, re the no moon: the software I use isn’t very easy to change locations, so I just used the default location (mine). It’s probable that things look different there, and the moon wasn’t up.
If the pair of objects were higher in the sky, and a bit to the south of true East, the reddish object was more likely to be Jupiter than Mars. Both will appear reddish. Jupiter is above a very large, bright star right now, Fomalhaut. It is also very close to Delta Capricorni (although this one wouldn’t appear very large), and below a very bright Beta Aquarii.April 26, 2009 at 5:01 am #12297opalescentMember
I see a pair of very bright stars that cycle through several colors very fast. They are not so close to the horizon, but they are oddly different from nearby stars as they are a bit bigger and flash more than twinkle. One’s SW and the other WNW from my front steps. I’ve seen these on and off for the past couple of years. But I didn’t take very good notes as to when I saw them…April 26, 2009 at 9:31 pm #12298minifangMember
Venus can be bright enough to cast shadows here on earth, given the right conditions
# Saturday, May 2
# The Moon shines about 3° below Regulus during evening for North America, as shown at right.
# Venus in the morning sky is at its greatest illuminated extent: when its sunlit area appears to be largest as seen in a telescope (when it shows the most illuminated square arcseconds). This is about when Venus is at its greatest brilliancy.
Venus can be seen during the day http://www.fourmilab.ch/images/venus_daytime/
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