You may have gotten up or will get up before sunrise and discover bright objects rising in the East. These are the planets Venus *very* bright and Jupiter, and below that, ruddy Mars.
Planet Portrait for Monday morning at 5:40 am local time – Oct 26 2015
This week-end marks the closest appearance of the two planets, a ‘conjunction’ as described by Fred Schaaf, columnist at Sky and Telescope:
Why are Venus and Jupiter so bright and Mars so faint by comparison?
“First, Venus is the closest of the three. On Monday the 26th Venus is 65 million miles from us, compared to Mars’s 208 million miles and Jupiter’s 560 million miles. Venus is also much nearer to the Sun than the other two, so it’s illuminated more intensely. And it’s covered with highly reflective white clouds.
Jupiter is much farther from both Earth and Sun, but it’s vastly larger than Venus, which goes a long way toward making up for its greater distance and weaker illumination.”
– See more at: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/venus-jupiter-conjunction-this-weekend-with-mars-too/#sthash.YxfICuYI.dpuf
What is the geometry that makes these planets appear so close (e.g. Venus, Mars, Jupiter conjunction)?
As shown below we see the path of the inner planets (above) and the outer planets (smaller scale, below.) Venus, Mars and Jupiter are located in the same direction from Earth and are visible at night because they are not in front of the Sun’s glare.
For more information on Planets see http://millstonenews.com/2014/04/night-sky-course-planets-earth-and-orbits-around-the-sun.html