Venus and Jupiter Light Up the Night Sky

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There is a lot to be seen in the pre-dawn sky right now. If you’re up just a little before sunrise the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, will continue to play around together. Something to watch for is how the thin crescent moon steps ever closer to the two planets finally settling in between the planets on Sunday morning. If your already up at that time you might also take a look at the fall constellations that are available and notice that we are heading on almost to the winter constellations. Derrick explains what this has to do with the age old expression “the dog days of summer”. Also, the sun is especially active as it works its way toward the peak of the sunspot cycle. The number of sun spots have been pretty steady and they are getting bigger and more intense. Just recently there were reports of X-class flares which are the most intense. Do to all this activity if your out somewhere where it is clear and dark you can take a look toward the northern sky and maybe spy the Northern Lights. For lots of great sky viewing don’t miss Night Skies in the Observatory programs on Thursdays at the Franklin Institute. All this and more on this week’s Sky Talk.[audio: st20120709.mp3]

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