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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

Me and my Budget Grommet Swedish Meatballs wanna know: Is there an astronomer in the house?

I was out doing a little star-gazing again. It wasn't long enough for me to wax profound and philosophical and stuff, but I did see a planet, or what I'm pretty sure is a planet. It was 9:15 PM in Livermore here. The planet was on a 45° line down and to the right from the moon. It was really bright too. I wonder which one it is. It's getting to the time of year when I'll be able to lay out in the back yard and gaze again. Fortunately, this house has a reasonably nice backyard for it. There's only one large tree.

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Get the demo, install it (Windows only, no idea if that's a problem), run it. Click the little globe on the left-side vertical toolbar, enter the closest city. Click the clock face, enter the date/time. Either the arrow keys to find the moon (just to the right and down, when I did it), or click Search | Planet... | double-click Moon.

Assuming you're in CA (there were 7 Livermores on Mapquest, so I picked the first one =] ), and that's near Los Angeles, the object you saw was probably Venus, at -4.5 magnitude (easily visible to the naked eye!) at about 10 degrees above the horizon and 65 degrees west of north (or WNW, for you old timers =] ).

Mars was also there, just below the moon, but much fainter at only 1.6 magnitude. I must say, the sky was *super* nice up here last night when we went for a walk!

The ZipCode here is 94550. It isn't the one down by L.A., unless you mean "relatively near" as compared to say, Ottawa.

Thanks for the link to the star map program. I'll have to check that out.

Well, a few degrees won't make much of a difference, and anyway, regardless of where in the USA you were, if the Moon was visible from at the time you listed (give or take a timezone or two), with 'something below and to the right', then that 'something' was almost certainly Venus. Woo. =)

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