Astronomers have a rare treat in store on Monday night, as no fewer than five planets will appear aligned with the moon in the nighttime sky in an arc. Retired astronomer Harold Kozak made an appearance on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to describe what we can expect from the celestial show.
Kozak told Berman and Riedel that it’s best to wait until just after the sun sets on Monday night. “Wait for the sun to go down, then keep your eyes in the dark for about five minutes. Don’t look at any bright lights; you want to acclimate your eyes to the dark sky.” At that point, observers should easily pick out the crescent moon. “Above the moon, you will see Venus. It’ll look very, very bright, extremely bright. Below the moon, you’re going to see Jupiter. That will look bright, not as bright as Venus. If you look a little bit to the right of the moon, you will see Mars. It'll be much smaller, and it’ll be reddish.”
Kozak says there is a trick, though to seeing the other two planets -- you’ll need binoculars or a telescope to see Uranus and Mercury. And if you want to wait until just before sunrise, Saturn could also make an appearance in the sky, though not in the arc with the other planets.
UPDATE: The forecast for Monday night in New York calls for possible rain in the late afternoon until after midnight. However, Harold says the show will still be visible on Tuesday night... weather permitting, of course.
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