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Centaur
2010-Jul-04, 09:04 AM
Mother Nature is set to begin choreographing a marvelous dance of the planets throughout this summer. You’ll be able to watch the performance evolve over several months in the western sky after sunset. The cast will include the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars and Saturn along with the bright stars Regulus and Spica.

I’ve created a 95-second animation demonstrating their interplay over a period of 95 days. It can be seen by going to my astronomical webpage at http://www.curtrenz.com/astronomical then clicking the link there to the Dance of the Planets.

Here are my predicted closest geocentric angular approaches among the involved celestial bodies. UT is the time zone for Greenwich; several hours must be subtracted for the various North American time zones. PA is the position angle of the first mentioned body relative to the second one as measured counterclockwise from celestial north.

July 10 at 11:50 UT
Venus at PA 23° will appear 1.00° from Regulus

July 25 at 13:21 UT
Mars at PA 205° will appear 0.15° from Beta Virginis

July 27 at 20:44 UT
Mercury at PA 207° will appear 0.28° from Regulus

July 31 at 06:25 UT
Mars at PA 205° will appear 1.76° from Saturn

August 8 at 10:35 UT
Venus at PA 209° will appear 2.73° from Saturn

August 19 at 04:36 UT
Venus at PA 219° will appear 1.88° from Mars

September 1 at 02:02 UT
Venus at PA 210° will appear 1.00° from Spica

September 5 at 22:11 UT
Mars at PA 23° will appear 2.07° from Spica

Your photos and descriptions of this set of events would be welcome additions to this thread!

mahesh
2010-Jul-04, 10:26 AM
Mother Nature is set to begin choreographing a marvelous dance of the planets throughout this summer. You’ll be able to watch the performance evolve over several months in the western sky after sunset. ...
Oh Heavens! What a lovely animation Mr Renz!

Thank you for the details and the great graphics. I love the way Saturn's rings open up.

It's good to see you here again, Mr Renz. Have been missing you.

tusenfem
2010-Jul-04, 11:00 AM
Cool! on my birthday there is going to be a nice constellation of planets! See if I can capture it with my camera.

Roger E. Moore
2010-Jul-04, 02:51 PM
Way cool. Thank you!

Swift
2010-Jul-04, 05:43 PM
Very nice animation. The trio of Mars, Venus and Saturn around August 9 is very nice.

Robert Tulip
2010-Jul-05, 06:33 AM
Planet Positions for 2010 (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/98512-Planet-Positions-for-2010)shows relative positions in the July-August dance of the planets.

Centaur
2010-Jul-19, 07:23 PM
You’re welcome, Mahesh, Tusenfem, Roger & Swift; glad you appreciated it. I calculate that the trio of Venus, Mars and Saturn will be its tightest on August 8 at 09:33 UT with a greatest separation between pairs of 4.6°. Enjoy the show!

Perikles
2010-Jul-20, 12:00 PM
You’re welcome, Mahesh, Tusenfem, Roger & Swift; glad you appreciated it. I calculate that the trio of Venus, Mars and Saturn will be its tightest on August 8 at 09:33 UT with a greatest separation between pairs of 4.6°. Enjoy the show!Thanks for that, my binoculars have a field of 5 degrees, so they will fit nicely.

mahesh
2010-Jul-25, 12:14 PM
...I calculate that the trio of Venus, Mars and Saturn will be its tightest on August 8 at 09:33 UT with a greatest separation between pairs of 4.6°. Enjoy the show!
Thanks very much for your observation Mr Renz. I wish for y'all, clear skies and good seeing.