All of the planets in our solar system were visible until Friday, November 13. Venus and Mercury were bright enough to see in the mornings. Meanwhile, people were able to see Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn during the night. Earth Sky, a website dedicated to giving the public daily updates on the cosmos, published a guide to viewing all of these planets.
Every planet in our solar system was visible this week; here’s why
According to astronomer and educator Joe Guzman, the visibility of the planets remains a cosmic coincidence. In an interview with CNN, he also detailed the reason behind this occurrence.
“It’s the dance of the planets around the sun. It’s a natural phenomenon, and it happens once in a while. it’s not rare, but it is infrequent. It just kinda happens that they’ll still on this side of the sun, but they’ll start to separate again soon.”
Pandemic inspires surge in telescope sales
With people stuck at home, they rely on little things to entertain themselves in seclusion. According to a report from Sky & Telescope, many people seem to have gained a newfound interest in the night sky. Telescope vendors and manufacturers report a surge in sales unlike any other experienced in the past.
Sure, there would be a bump in interest around a big event such as a total solar eclipse or a bright comment, but this remains unprecedented. Entry-level telescopes aren’t the only ones to drive these sales up. This includes Astro-imaging cameras, robotic telescope mounts, premium eyepieces, and other special equipment for advanced amateurs.
Asteroid skims Earth’s atmosphere
The asteroid – 2020 VT4 – skimmed the top of Earth’s atmosphere on Friday, November 13. However, astronomers only spotted it one day later. Estimated to be 16 and 36 feet (5 to 11 meters), the space rock also swept closes at just 4,197 miles (6, 754 kilometers) from Earth’s center (just 283 miles or 383 kilometers over the surface). The asteroid also traveled at a speed of 30, 014 miles per hour (48, 303 kilometers per hour).
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