Pagasa: Venus most visible on December 8

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star
Pagasa: Venus most visible on December 8
The Venus and the Pleiades star cluster conjunction as seen in the night sky of Quezon City on April 4, 2020. It occurs every eight years, according to PAGASA. The Pleiades star cluster is also known as "rosaryo" in the Philippines because it resembles a string of rosary beads in the sky.
Miguel De Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — The planet Venus will be the brightest star in the night sky this month, especially right after midnight on Dec. 8.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Venus will reach its greatest brightness at a magnitude of -4.7 on Wednesday at 12:09 a.m.

As a rare treat for stargazers, PAGASA said: “For the whole month of December, Venus can be observed in the southwestern part of the sky after sunset.”

Based on PAGASA’s astronomical calender of events for this month, Jupiter and Saturn can also be observed in the southwestern portion of the sky after sunset.

“However, in late December, Venus may be already difficult to observe as it is just a few degrees above the horizon,” said the state weather bureau.

Tomorrow at 8:49 a.m., the thin crescent Moon will pass 1°52’ S of Venus which means the exact moment of the Moon-Venus conjunction cannot be observed since it will occur at daytime.

“However, the close pairing will be visible after sunset at around 5:41 p.m. at an altitude of 30 degrees above the southwestern horizon,” PAGASA said.

The “close pairing” of the Moon and Venus may be observed until 8:13 p.m. Tuesday as they slink toward the horizon.

By then, the brightness of the Moon and Venus will be at a magnitude of -10.4 and -4.7, respectively, located in the constellation Sagittarius.

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