Sunday, January 2, 2011

Need some astronomical hep!


I have to go to work early today, so I'm up at 0430, right.  I go out back to let Sadie out & check her water (yes, she slept inside because of the firecracking ijits around here).

And, something in the night sky catches my eye.  It's bright.  REAL bright.  Living in town you don't see stars nearly as bright as out in the country, so this really caught my eye.

It's fairly low in the Southeastern sky.  Not like horizon low, but low.  Is it a planet or something?  Is it just a regular old star, and I'm imagining it to be brighter than it really is?

Does anybody even know what I'm talking about?


  1. I'm looking that way right now. Sorry, you're mistaken, it is daylight and you have been stricken with pinhole vision.

  2. What Jim said, Andy. If its remarkably - almost ridiculously - bright (for a "star") and low in the SE, then its almost guaranteed to be Venus.

    At least I always assume it is when I see it - like I did just before dawn a day or two ago.

  3. There was a time that I got up early to be "All I could be" but alas, not so much any more. No idea, just stopped by to wish you a Happy New Year.

  4. Venus was showing in the early morning sky in these parts yesterday.

    Or maybe its the mothership come to take you home, Andy!

  5. Ya, what BR said about the mother ship.
    I feel for poor Sadie. Had an Austrailian Shepherd that just got down right goofy when the neighborhood ijits got on their fire cracker kick.

  6. I'll bet it was the mothership. That picture with the cap was some sort of code.

  7. "Low in the southeast sky" in the early morning means it's probably Venus or possibly Mercury. Mercury isn't nearly as bright, so it's almost certainly Venus.

    Whenever anyone sees something in the sky that "is too bright to be a planet or star" it is almost always one of three things, in this order of brightness. Venus, Jupiter, Sirius. Jupiter can be very bright too. Saturn is usually never bright enough to grab your attention, and in those rare cases where Mars is bright enough to do so, it's so red that it is almost never mistaken for anything else.

  8. Hey y'all! Thanks!

    TD, I knew I could count on you.

    Deb, we've got a hound now temporarily...and he's so stupid that they don't bother him one bit.

    Jim: Real funny. Reeeeeeeeeel funny.

    Cosmic is my go-to-guy when it comes to this stuff, so I'm figuring it was Venus. Very little catches my failing eyes like this did, so I'm reckoning all y'all Venus Voters are on target.

    Thanks for the info.

  9. By the way, if you ever really want to know if something you are looking at is a planet or a star, if it twinkles, it's a star. If it's a planet, it doesn't twinkle. Unless the atmosphere is REALLY turbulent. The reason has to do with the width of the column of air the light travels through. Planets don't look any bigger than stars to the naked eye, but their light travels through a much wider column of air than a star's light does, so the atmospheric distortions which cause a star to twinkle are greatly reduced for planets.


Don't cuss nobody out, okay?