APOD: Planets of the Morning (2015 Nov 26)

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APOD Robot
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APOD: Planets of the Morning (2015 Nov 26)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:11 am

Image Planets of the Morning

Explanation: Planet Earth's horizon stretches across this recent Solar System group portrait, seen from the southern hemisphere's Las Campanas Observatory. Taken before dawn it traces the ecliptic with a line-up familiar to November's early morning risers. Toward the east are bright planets Venus, Mars, and Jupiter as well as Regulus, alpha star of the constellation Leo. Of course the planets are immersed in the faint glow of zodiacal light, visible from the dark site rising at an angle from the horizon. Sometimes known as the false dawn, it's no accident the zodiacal light and planets both lie along the ecliptic. Formed in the flattened protoplanetary disk, the Solar System's planet's all orbit near the ecliptic plane, while dust near the plane scatters sunlight, the source of the faint zodiacal glow.

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heehaw

Re: APOD: Planets of the Morning (2015 Nov 26)

Post by heehaw » Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:52 am

I never knew that Regulus was almost exactly on the Ecliptic. A total solar eclipse very close to Regulus would be fun ... I wonder if one has ever occurred, or will ever occur? Sometime, for sure!

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Re: APOD: Planets of the Morning (2015 Nov 26)

Post by neufer » Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:13 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
heehaw wrote:
I never knew that Regulus was almost exactly on the Ecliptic. A total solar eclipse very close to Regulus would be fun ... I wonder if one has ever occurred, or will ever occur? Sometime, for sure!
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Planets of the Morning (2015 Nov 26)

Post by Ann » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:05 pm

heehaw wrote:I never knew that Regulus was almost exactly on the Ecliptic. A total solar eclipse very close to Regulus would be fun ... I wonder if one has ever occurred, or will ever occur? Sometime, for sure!
I don't know about solar eclipses, but I know that Regulus sometimes pairs up with one of the planets. Red Mars and blue Regulus make for a particularly lovely pair. In the picture at left by Chris Schur, you can just spot Comet ISON, too.

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Re: APOD: Planets of the Morning (2015 Nov 26)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:16 pm

heehaw wrote:I never knew that Regulus was almost exactly on the Ecliptic.
Regulus is alpha Leo. Leo is one of the twelve zodiacal constellations. Given that the zodiac is defined by the ecliptic, we shouldn't be surprised to find zodiacal stars close to the ecliptic. Spica (alpha Virgo) and Zubenelgenubi (alpha Libra) are also extremely close.
Chris

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lynx

Re: APOD: Planets of the Morning (2015 Nov 26)

Post by lynx » Fri Nov 27, 2015 2:58 pm

Sometimes known as the false dawn, ... ... the faint zodiacal glow ... known to poet Edward Fitzgerald as "... Dawn's Left Hand ... in the Sky"