Tonight's sky offers unique sights of planets and 'glow'

Monday, Dec. 26, 2011 9:22 AM
Last updated 9:27 AM
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You may have seen “The Da Vinci Code,” but have you seen the Da Vinci glow?

It will be a sight to see this evening at dusk, as “Earthshine,” or sunlight reflected off the Earth, generates a ghostly illumination of the shadowed moon along with the crescent that will be in direct sunlight, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports.

Astronomers named this visual effect “the Da Vinci glow” after Leonardo Da Vinci, who first figured it out.

This will not be the only celestial light to brighten the evening sky the day after Christmas. Venus will be prominent in the deep blue twilight, and the giant planet Jupiter will appear above it, in the constellation Pisces, NASA says.

Forming a triangle, the two planets and the moon will be the brightest lights in the night sky.

They can be seen with the naked eye, but a telescope will improve the view: “With a simple triangular sweep, you can see the clouds and moons of Jupiter, mountains and craters on the moon, and the fat gibbous form of Venus,” NASA says. “Rarely can so much amateur astronomy be done with so little effort.”

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CabisKhan
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CabisKhan 12/26/11 - 06:02 pm
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And the comet Lovejoy will be

And the comet Lovejoy will be visible ascending in the eastern dawn sky before the sun.http://spaceweather.com/images2011/23dec11/lovejoyfromearth_strip.jpg

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 12/27/11 - 12:33 am
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I was blessed to see this

I was blessed to see this during my drive home tonight. Beautiful!

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