Jupiter and Mars continue their predawn dance in the southeastern sky, getting a bit farther away from each other with each morning. Saturn joins Mercury very low in the southeastern sky just before sunrise. Slowly over this week, Saturn and Mercury will swap positions in a dance of their own.
A waning crescent Moon joins Jupiter and Mars’ predawn dance on the 11th, appearing only 3°39′ away from Mars. The Moon will appear lower in the southeastern sky, getting closer to Mercury and Saturn each morning; it may be too thin and low in the sky to be seen on the 15th.
On the 13th, Mercury and Saturn will be separated by only 0°45′ of arc! And they will joined by the waning crescent Moon, and the red giant star Antares adds flavor to what must certainly be considered a multi-day “Megaconjunction” with the Sun, Saturn, Mercury, the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter all in the southeastern sky at the same time.
The Sun has 2 small sunspots – off-center, right and down in the image below.
The Sun’s corona, seen here in extreme ultraviolet, reveals coronal holes at both poles. The solar wind speed is 519 km/sec, with a density of 5 protons/cm3 – higher speeds, but lower density than last week’s post. SpaceWeather.com says this is causing aurora to ring the Earth’s Arctic Circle.
You can view the Sun in multiple frequencies, in near real-time here: SDO-The Sun Now
The Solar System
This is the position of the planets in the solar system simulated using NASA Eyes on the Solar System.
Apps used for this post:
Stellarium: a free open source planetarium app for PC/MAC/Linux.
NASA Eyes on the Solar System: an immersive 3D solar system and space mission app – free for the PC /MAC.