Super New Moon, meteor shower and Venus visible to naked eye this week
There's lots of good stargazing opportunities this week.
Keep your eyes peeled for Venus, a meteor shower and even a Super New Moon this Sunday.
Spot Venus this week
On the morning of Thursday 12, Venus will be in its bright 'Morning Star' position just below the crescent Moon.
Look East before sunrise and you should be able to see planet Venus shining like the brightest star in the sky.
If you look slightly beneath Venus and to the left you may also spot Mercury.
Just before sunrise it should look like a small red dot but you may need binoculars to see it.
Northern Taurid meteor shower
If you're awake in the early hours of Thursday morning to see Venus you should also look out for the Taurid meteor shower.
It will peak on Thursday which means there could be five to 10 meteors shooting across the sky per hour.
This isn't as many 'shooting stars' as other meteor showers can provide but if you're already stargazing then it's worth a lookout.
Super New Moon
This Sunday will bring us a 'Super New Moon'.
This occurs when a New Moon forms at the closest point the Moon can be to Earth.
However, there won't be much to see as a New Moon is the phase in the Moon cycle in which the lunar disk is barely visible because it's such a slim crescent.
This means Sunday will be a great night for general stargazing because there will be less moonshine in the sky.
Here’s what you need to know…
- Venus is nearly the same size as Earth with a diameter of 12,104 km compared to Earth's 12,742 km
- Venus is so hot that the surface temperature can reach 471 °C
- It rotates in the opposition direction to most planets, potentially due to an asteroid collision
- The first man-made aircraft landed on Venus in 1996
- Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System
- It is the second brightest object in the sky at night
In other space news, an asteroid that's following Mars's orbit could be our Moon's 'long-lost twin'.
Nasa has announced that it's partnering with the European Space Agency (ESA) to create a floating Moon base for astronauts.
And, a huge asteroid nicknamed the 'God of Chaos' is gaining speed as it travels towards Earth.
Will you be stargazing this week? Let us know in the comments…
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