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Name: Mahdi
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Country: Canada
Date: Spring 2012


Question:
So, the past few weeks I have been observing what I am pretty sure are Venus and Jupiter, from Ottawa, Canada. Venus is the brighter light on the right hand side, and fairly close to it is a dimmer light, Jupiter. I am sure the lights are the two planets because I have noticed significant change in the location of Venus. It used to be behind Jupiter in orbit, but since its orbital speed is faster than Jupiter's, it is now ahead of Jupiter. I am assuming that Jupiter is in retrograde motion because I have not noticed a change in its position. But the thing is, Venus seems to be moving upwards. Since it is a planet revolving horizontally around the Sun, and Earth is on an angle, should Venus not be traveling diagonally across the sky? 21.March.2012


Replies:
Dear Mahdi,

Good question, although I had to search awhile to find it lurking in your message. Jupiter is indeed in retrograde although it should be almost stationary now, preparing to resume its eastward course. Venus, as an inferior planet, does not move in the same way.Iti is now about as far from the sun in the sky as it gets. Venus is travelling somewhat diagonally, but it always stays on or near the ecliptic, as all solar system objects do.

Sincerely David H. Levy



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