Bright Light In The Sky

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  • Member since
    January, 2009
Bright Light In The Sky
Posted by axpxjxc on Sunday, January 18, 2009 5:55 PM

For the past few nights I've been seeing this very bright light in the sky behind my house. It's moving, but it's going very slow. It takes hours before it moves where I can't see it anymore. I've heard that it's the Northern Star, but I really don't think that's what it is. I'm not very smart when it comes to stars and such, but it's very interesting to me anyways, and I'd absolutely love if someone could tell me what this light I've been seeing is. Thanks!!

cjw
  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by cjw on Sunday, January 18, 2009 6:07 PM

At what time were you looking? and in which direction were you facing? and what color was the light?

  • Member since
    November, 2007
Posted by astronig on Sunday, January 18, 2009 6:40 PM

  • Member since
    January, 2009
Posted by scorpiokar on Sunday, January 18, 2009 7:47 PM

Venus looks like that in my yard too. It's much brighter than any of the other stars when high in the sky and by the time it sets to my horizen it's an orangish color. I think Venus is in the southwest sky, but don't quote me on that!

Albuquerque, NM
  • Member since
    November, 2007
Posted by astronig on Sunday, January 18, 2009 8:23 PM

Moderator
  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Sunday, January 18, 2009 9:33 PM

Venus is at its best for the year during January and February.  It reached greatest eastern elongation on January 14th and will be at its greatest brilliancy around February 19th.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26459084/

http://idialstars.com/vge.htm

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

  • Member since
    January, 2009
Posted by axpxjxc on Monday, January 19, 2009 1:31 PM

The light that I see is bright, and white like a star. I never see it at any other color. It's the only thing in the sky that I can see that's that big and that bright. It's really pretty. I wonder why I never thought of the fact that it could be another planet! Thanks so much for all the help everyone. This was about to drive me crazy!

  • Member since
    November, 2008
Posted by Muxman on Monday, January 19, 2009 1:42 PM

Yes sounds like Venus. We viewed the planet last week Thursday at about 18:50 CAT with the naked eye and could actually see it in phase. It was still light outside and the viewing of the planet was much better than in the dark.

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  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Monday, January 19, 2009 2:05 PM

Venus reached dichotomy, or 50% illumination, at mid-month.  It's growing larger in apparent size but waning in phase as it heads for inferior conjunction on March 17 at 19:00 UT.

http://gegenschein.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/venus-begins-2009-brilliantly/

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

  • Member since
    May, 2005
When in Doubt, the Answer is Venus
Posted by Centaur on Monday, January 19, 2009 7:11 PM

axpxjxc

For the past few nights I've been seeing this very bright light in the sky behind my house. It's moving, but it's going very slow. It takes hours before it moves where I can't see it anymore. I've heard that it's the Northern Star, but I really don't think that's what it is. I'm not very smart when it comes to stars and such, but it's very interesting to me anyways, and I'd absolutely love if someone could tell me what this light I've been seeing is. Thanks!!

Welcome to the discussion group, axpxjxc. 

 

Whenever newbies come to an astronomical message board asking, “What is that bright object moving so slowly through the the sky?”, the answer is almost always the planet Venus.  It is the brightest celestial object other than the Sun and Moon.  If what you saw is in the southwest in the evening, then there’s your answer.  The North Star is almost due north and is not especially bright. 

 

Venus goes through a 1.6-year synodic cycle which is the period it takes to lap Earth.  During that time it alternates between being an evening star and morning star, i.e. seen during the hours after sunset or before sunrise.  On my astronomical webpage is my panorama of Venus’ current evening apparition.  To see it, click:  http://www.curtrenz.com/astronomical.html

 

Below is my more general graphic illustrating the relative positions of Venus, Earth and Sun throughout a synodic cycle, and how Venus appears to us at various points within it.

 

 

For astronomical graphics, including monthly wallpaper calendar, visit:

www.CurtRenz.com/astronomical


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