Venus at eclipse

Each year we make a list of what objects are visible in the evening sky throughout the year for our star parties. Working on the list for 2017, noted when Venus drops out of the evening sky. Rarely do we note much in the predawn sky, knowing most folks like to sleep in, but sometimes it’s fun to know what rises before the Sun.

On Eclipse Day, Venus will lead the Sun – and Moon- into the sky, only to be lost in the glare of the summer sun. Somehow, I think we’ll not be sleeping much the night before anyway, so I’ll plan to greet the dawn and Venus. She will be back, visible before totality as the sky slowly darkens..a challenge to see who can spot Venus first!

Following Venus is Mars, with Mercury on the other side of the Sun and Jupiter rising in the east. The only planet missing from the eclipse sky is Saturn.

shelby park view
Shelby Bottom Park view, Stellarium

The Greek names allow for some alliteration… Aphrodite leading Ares and Artemis, who will shadow her twin brother Apollo. Hermes following behind and Zeus off in the distance.

We know all these worlds – and our star – so much differently than the Greeks. But standing and watching the same way they did, the dance is still just as beautiful.