Fun_People Archive
2 Dec
Good Heavens. Check Out the Planets Above

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue,  2 Dec 97 12:15:04 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Good Heavens. Check Out the Planets Above

Forwarded-by: "Jack D. Doyle" <>

Good Heavens. Check Out the Planets Above
By Will Lester, The Associated Press, Miami
December 1, 1997

 The moon and eight of the planets will be lined up in the sky this week like
 pearls on a string in a sight that won't be visible again from Earth for at
 least another century.

 "It's quite beautiful, an exquisite grouping of the moon and planets," said
 Jack Horkheimer, executive director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium
 and host of the public television program Star Hustler. "This is naked-eye
 astronomy at its best."

 Beginning Monday night and continuing through Dec. 8, the planets will
 appear in the southwestern sky in a line slanting upward from the horizon.
 From west to east, Pluto will be followed by Mercury, Mars, Venus, Neptune,
 Uranus, Jupiter and Saturn, with a crescent moon alongside.

 Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible to the naked eye,
 with Venus and Jupiter by far the brightest. A good pair of binoculars will
 be needed to see the small blue dots that are Uranus and Neptune. Pluto will
 be visible only by telescope.

 The planets will be similarly aligned in May 2000, but they will be so close
 to the sun that they won't all be visible from Earth. A computer analysis
 showed it will be at least another 100 years before so many planets will be
 so close and so visible.

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