Trio Of Venus, Moon And Comet Catalina Lights Up The Night Sky

Posted: Dec 8 2015, 8:30pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Trio of Venus, Moon and a Comet Lights up the Night Sky
Credit: Maria LaRosa

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The unusual celestial event was so bright that it was visible with the naked eye.

Early Monday morning, waning crescent moon, Venus and a comet named Catalina met up and dazzled the sky.

The thin moon passed in front of Venus in an event called ‘occultation.’ The unusual celestial event was so bright that it could be seen even with the naked eye without binoculars. It began about 8 a.m. on the West Coast and remained visible till 12:30 p.m., during daylight hours almost throughout the North America.

The comet Catalina also joined the Moon and Venus in the act and it was just below the limit of naked eye visibility. The giant icy object from the outer solar system, also known as C/2013 US10, rounded the sun last month and is now heading to its closest approach to Earth next month. The comet rise higher earlier at night and provided the best ever glimpse of itself.

If you missed the celestial event on Monday morning, you can still catch the comet throughout the month of December and it will be even brighter than last night. Moreover, there will be many other treats heading your way throughout the week. Sky watchers can see a parade of planets early Tuesday morning, Venus followed up by faint Mars and incredible Jupiter.

On Wednesday December 9, early-risers can search for a famous double star cluster in constellation Perseus. The gathering of young stars, which are less than 10 million years old, will light up the night sky.

On December 11, a rare phenomenon, known as counter glow, will be seen glowing in the sky opposite from the Sun. The diffused patch of light will spread out between planets in solar system and will be best spotted around midnight.

Lastly, the annual Geminid meteor shower will peak late night hours of Sunday, December 13. Around 20 to 60 meteors are expected to drop per hour and should be easily visible under clear skies across the Northern Hemisphere.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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