What are those 2 stars !

8 years 4 months ago #92674 by dewsbury
What are those 2 stars ! was created by dewsbury
Hi,

Thomas (aged 9) and I (aged 50 and 3/4) are just starting out identifying stars and constellations.

We have identified the plough , the north star and also Orion (and his belt).

However, every night we see 2 very bright stars that we cannot identify. They are perhaps the brightest in the sky.

We are in Dublin (8pm) and the 2 stars are pretty much due West in the sky.

Any thoughts as to what they are?

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8 years 4 months ago #92675 by ColmB
Replied by ColmB on topic Re: What are those 2 stars !
This is most likely Venus and Jupiter, which are setting in the north west at about 11pm currently. Venus is the brighter of the two and lower in the horizon / further north. Even with an average quality set of binoculars you should be able to see Jupiter as a small disc with four of its brightest moons surrounding it as pins of light (just like stars). If you have an iPhone or smartphone there are great apps which help identify what you are looking at based on your location and time etc. you can get online programs such as stellarium also. Happy hunting!

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8 years 4 months ago #92676 by mykc
Replied by mykc on topic Re: What are those 2 stars !
Hi, delighted to see you taking an interest.

The two bright stars are actually the planets Jupiter and Venus (the brighter). Next Tuesday evening Jupiter and Venus will be really close together and will make a fantastic sight in the early evening sky. It's a great time for observing the planets right now, because Mercury is also visible low in the evening sky just above where the sets, Mars is a bright orange object in the East, and Saturn rises at around 10pm.

You might try the free programme "Stellarium" ( www.stellarium.org/ ), which gives a beautiful realistic image of the night sky, showing all the stars, planets, and constellations. It will help you identify what you are viewing.

You might also be interested in the "sidewalk astronomers" event held in Sandymount each month. Watch this forum for details of the next one. If you come along Thomas and you will be able to chat to the amateur astronomers there and see the moon, planets, star clusters, etc. through telescopes.

Enjoy the star gazing.

Mike

Celestron 280 mm f/10 SCT
CG-5 mount
Toolbox full of bits n' bobs
Thermal underwear

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8 years 4 months ago #92691 by dewsbury
Replied by dewsbury on topic Re: What are those 2 stars !
Gents,

Thanks for the responses.

The Stellarium tool is fantastic and confirms that it must indeed be Jupiter and Venus.

From a very simplistic point of view we now have, the plough, Orion, North Star and Jupiter and Venus.

What else is easy to identify? Can you suggest 2 or 3 other stars (or indeed planets!).

Thanks again.

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8 years 4 months ago #92692 by dmcdona
Replied by dmcdona on topic Re: What are those 2 stars !
Dewsbury (?)

Try looking for Mars - it'll be in the East. Stellarium will show you where.

For stars, try the Pleiades - near Orion in the SW

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