If you see something like this tonight, it's not a new star

If you see something like this tonight, it's not a new star
The crescent moon passing by Venus (below) and Jupiter in 2008. Pic: Richard Mills.

Astronomy Ireland is ready to be inundated with phone calls and emails tonight from people concerned about the "new star" that has appeared beside the Moon.

However, the astronomy group is assuring people in advance that the brilliant object next to the full moon tonight is nothing to be alarmed about.

It is simply the planet Jupiter passing near our planetary neighbour.

Astronomy Ireland is encouraging people to go outdoors and watch for one night only the "beautiful spectacle" of nature tonight, and they are also setting up a giant telescope at their headquarters, just off the M50 in Blanchardstown, for people to see it.

They are also appealing for photographs or written accounts of what people see for a major report being produced for their magazine.

David Moore, Editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine, said: "Both these objects are an amazing sight in large telescope. The Moon is covered in mountains and craters and the telescopes are so powerful that you can see the individual peaks in the mountains in the centre of some of the craters, an absolutely amazing sight that people will never forget for the rest of their lives!"

"The planet Jupiter is transformed from the brightest 'star' in the sky into a beautiful disk showing its cloud belts, Great Red Spot, and its four giant moons, one of which probably harbours life."

Contact details on the society's website www.astronomy.ie.


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