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dragon15066

What planet is this?

17 posts in this topic

My house faces east and I live in Western Pennsylvania. This light at night is amazingly bright. It is seen high in the sky, meaning above my house and behind it, just behind my house. I know it has to be a planet and I know someone knows what planet this is. In the video, I pull back the zoom so you can see the relation between the trees and the object. Please tell me what planet this.

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Posted (edited)

I'm going to guess it is Venus. That is only a guess, though, as I'm pretty sure Venus is said to be the brightest of the planets, and the one that is most frequently seen in the night sky.

Edited by Angel Left Wing

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Venus

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I do think it is Venus.It can even be Mars,but I don't think it is 'amazingly bright'. :tu:

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Posted (edited)

Venus is quite low in the western sky and only visible for a relatively short time after the sun sets.

The other planets easily visible before midnight are Mars and Saturn. These would be high in the sky, with Mars slightly higher from where you are. But neither of these outshines the stars the way Venus does. The brightest star, Sirius, is still quite high in the sky as it gets dark. It's the first to become apparent at dusk.

Edited by Arbenol68

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Try this program. Stellarium

Just plug in your coordinates (or city) and it will give you the names and position of nearly any celestial body. If you're interested in what you can see at night then I can't recommend this program enough. :tu:

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Posted (edited)

Jupiter has been very bright over the last few months. Moreso than venus which is often seen nearby.

edit...check out the photo gallery, Natural Phenonemon, top of first page, photo by Sarah_444

Edited by Englishgent

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My house faces east and I live in Western Pennsylvania. This light at night is amazingly bright. It is seen high in the sky, meaning above my house and behind it, just behind my house. I know it has to be a planet and I know someone knows what planet this is. In the video, I pull back the zoom so you can see the relation between the trees and the object. Please tell me what planet this.

What video?

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Posted (edited)

My house faces east and I live in Western Pennsylvania. This light at night is amazingly bright. It is seen high in the sky, meaning above my house and behind it, just behind my house. I know it has to be a planet and I know someone knows what planet this is. In the video, I pull back the zoom so you can see the relation between the trees and the object. Please tell me what planet this.

Err... so that would mean it was roughly WEST of you, right..? Right now (25 April 2012), at sunset where you live, Venus will be the very bright object about 35 degrees up from the horizon (about 3 and a bit fists at arm's length), and very slightly north of due West. It will set about 3.5 hours later, in the WNW. There are several other bright stars scattered about, like Rigel, Sirius, Capella, Procyon and Betelgeuse but Venus easily outshines them and is almost certainly the object.

Won't be Jupiter - it is now getting lost in the glare of the Sun (sorry EG!)..

Mars is much further up, and is reddish and dim.

BTW, Venus and the crescent moon should be quite a nice view tonight..

And may I too recommend Stellarium.. PLUS, how about folks get outside a bit more often and learn their skies? Not having a go at the OP, but it does seem in the good ole days, people took more notice of the night sky.. I find it fascinating to watch the (predictable and beautiful) dance of the planets, against the rotating backdrop of the stars that itself gradually changes with the seasons..

And yeah.. what video? :P

Edited by Chrlzs

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Err... so that would mean it was roughly WEST of you, right..? Right now (25 April 2012), at sunset where you live, Venus will be the very bright object about 35 degrees up from the horizon (about 3 and a bit fists at arm's length), and very slightly north of due West. It will set about 3.5 hours later, in the WNW. There are several other bright stars scattered about, like Rigel, Sirius, Capella, Procyon and Betelgeuse but Venus easily outshines them and is almost certainly the object.

Won't be Jupiter - it is now getting lost in the glare of the Sun (sorry EG!)..

Mars is much further up, and is reddish and dim.

BTW, Venus and the crescent moon should be quite a nice view tonight..

And may I too recommend Stellarium.. PLUS, how about folks get outside a bit more often and learn their skies? Not having a go at the OP, but it does seem in the good ole days, people took more notice of the night sky.. I find it fascinating to watch the (predictable and beautiful) dance of the planets, against the rotating backdrop of the stars that itself gradually changes with the seasons..

And yeah.. what video? :P

No probs Charles. It was just a thought, knowing how bright it had been over the last couple of months. :)

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Sorry guy's. I thought I uploaded it yesterday but the file is too big. The video can be seen at

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Oh well, I'll answer..

Yes, I went out tonight and sure enough there was the crescent Moon and Venus shining brightly in the early evening sky, right where I predicted it (allowing for me being in the southern hemisphere, of course)... :D

And yes, the video looks exactly like Venus too - right colour, right location, right slow movement. Knowing what camera was used might help us to give you advice, on how to turn autofocus off and manually focus.. When zoomed, your camera could not focus and settled on it being way out of focus (it almost got the focus right at about 0.02, but went straight past it.

Now, Venus has passed its maximum elongation (Mar 27 I think?) from the Sun and will now move back towards it slowly, until it gets lost in the Sun's glare and then begins to reappear in the dawn sky, to repeat the cycle..

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Mmm, perhaps it's Venus? (I kid, of course it is)

Venus is appearing very bright in the evening sky in the west these days. Jupiter was visible close to it quite recently but even no-where near as close. There was one night a few weeks ago where the moon, Jupiter and Venus looked great close together in the night sky. Jupiter seems to have dipped lower in the sky and I can't see it these days, maybe it's too close to the sun.

Anyway, I wanted to respond to this thread to also add my recommendation for Stellarium. It's a great resource for locating things in the night sky and answering questions like these about what bright star it was you saw tonight, etc.

http://www.stellarium.org/

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Sorry guy's. I thought I uploaded it yesterday but the file is too big. The video can be seen at

What time?

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The time was about 7:30 in the evening. Now that I know it's Venus, I sometimes replay it because it's just awesome to see . I hope everyone got to see the video though because I didn't upload it correctly before. HavocWing, I di remember seeing Venus with what I thought was a star for awhile. It's not there now so I guess it was Juputer. I just like looking up and knowing that they are planets and not stars. I'm not very good at astronomy so your imput is appreciated.

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Dragon, I congratulate you for getting out there, and seeing the awe in the heavens - Venus at its maximum brightness and elongation is a beautiful sight!

And while you were obviously having a problem getting that camera to focus, you had it on a tripod by the looks, and you even zoomed back to show us a bit of background - well done, and thanks for saving us from the usual seasickness..

:D

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