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Moon, Venus, Jupiter put on sky show
Early risers will get a treat from the heavens Sunday if the weather cooperates â€“ a view of the crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter in close formation.
Bob Victor of Palm Springs, Calif., a former astronomer at Michigan State University, told The Desert Sun the grouping can be seen from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. Venus will be near the horizon to the east-northeast with the moon to its left and Jupiter somewhat above.
Earlier this year, the same group was visible in the western sky just after sunset.
“Now Venus and Jupiter have switched over to the morning, and they’re having another approach. Usually you have to wait more than a year,” Victor said. “They closed in on each other on July 1, but they’re only slowly pulling apart.”
Venus and the moon are so bright they will be visible even after the sun rises.
While the trio can be seen well with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope will allow viewers to see that Venus has a crescent shape because only part of its sunlit side is facing Earth.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International