Planets

Have a look at the West­ern sky, just after the sun has gone down, and you’ll see a pret­ty amaz­ing sight… Both Jupiter and Mer­cury are sit­ting up there next to each oth­er. In fact, the sky is still slight­ly blue andthese plan­ets will prob­a­bly be the only thing vis­i­ble in the sky at that time.

Is it just me, or is it real­ly cool to see and recog­nise plan­ets amongst the 70 sex­til­lion stars in the night sky (that’s 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, in a recent count by Aus­tralian astronomer Simon Driver).

A lit­tle tip for telling the dif­fer­ence between a plan­et and a star is, plan­ets don’t real­ly twinkle/sparkle, they just kin­da glow. And don’t for­get to check out Mars lat­er on in the night – real­ly, check it out from around 9pm any night as it ris­es in the East.

Imag­ine impress­ing that per­fect he/she on a roman­tic Fri­day night by say­ing “See that red look­ing star up there, well it’s not actu­al­ly a star, it’s the plan­et Mars, and it’s the clos­est it’s been to Earth in record­ed human his­to­ry.” Score!!!