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Treat for skygazers: Moon to be extremely close to Mars, Venus this month

In mid-September, when looking in the South around 10 PM, you can spot a bright star named Fomalhaut which lies 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Australis. The star is surrounded by a disk of debris and had itself a planet named Fomalhaut b, estimated to be no more than three times Jupiter's mass, which was discovered by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope back in 2008. However, the massive planet disappeared by 2014.

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 04-09-2020 13:33 IST | Created: 04-09-2020 13:28 IST
Treat for skygazers: Moon to be extremely close to Mars, Venus this month
(Representative Image) Image Credit: Flickr

Skygazers are in for a really wonderful treat this month as they will witness the Moon, the Red Planet (Mars) and Venus together along with a flickering star that once hosted a massive planet.

According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), on September 6, the Moon will be extremely close to Mars in the predawn sky, not more than they were back on August 9th but still a visual treat for skywatchers. They will appear in the same field-of-view if skygazers look with most binoculars.

On September 13, the Moon will be hanging above Venus before dawn with about 20 percent of its sunlit surface visible and by the next morning, the moon will move to the left of Venus with only 10 percent of its surface illuminated.

Video Credit: NASA-JPL

In mid-September, when looking in the South around 10 PM, you can spot a bright star named Fomalhaut which lies 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Australis. The star is surrounded by a disk of debris and had itself a planet named Fomalhaut b, estimated to be no more than three times Jupiter's mass, which was discovered by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope back in 2008. However, the massive planet disappeared by 2014.

The latest findings from a team of astronomers using Hubble said that Fomalhaut's planet wasn't a planet after all. What Hubble detected was likely a giant, expanding cloud of debris resulting from a huge collision of two small bodies made of dust and ice, similar to worlds you might find in our own Kuiper Belt, the study said.

It's going to be a really pretty spectacle this month!


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