Astronomy Picture of the Day

Three Planets by the Sea

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#76597 by @ 03.07.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Three Planets by the Sea


On Tuesday, June 28th, the setting Sun flooded the horizon with
a beautiful warm light in
this view from
the beach beside the pier at Brighton in Adelaide,
South Australia.

The Sun also illuminated three planets gathered in the
western sky,
Mercury, Venus, and Saturn.

From this perspective
Mercury is at the
highest point in the celestial triangle, brilliant
is just below, and Saturn
stands farther to the left and below the
close pair.

Of course, the planets only appear close together on the sky
but are actually quite far apart in space.

The orbits
of Mercury and Venus are both interior to
Earth's orbit, while gas giant
Saturn lies in the outer
solar system, over nine
astronomical units
from the Sun.

Late next week,
Venus and Mercury will share western
skies with the young
crescent Moon.

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