On the 10th of May, Mars, makes a close approach to the twins stars of Castor and Pollux in the constellation of Gemini. Watch throughout the month as Mars moves away, and Venus moves towards the pair. On the 30th, Venus will be in almost the exact same place as Mars was on the 10th!
Use the Quasar Publishing image above as a guide. To find out more about what to see in the night sky, grab a copy of their latest Astronomy Australia almanac at Quasar Publishing.
When to look: Sunset until 8.30pm, 10th to 30th of May
Which direction to look: Look to the north north west just after sunset for one very bright star and one red star, that’s Venus and Mars. Below the pair will be a fainter red star, Pollux, and a fainter white star below that, Castor!
A highly reflective atmosphere reflects almost all sunlight that reaches Venus’ cloud tops. Any that does make it through the clouds is unable to be radiated back into space due to the tremendous greenhouse effect present in the atmosphere. This results in the planet slowly heating. Venus has an average surface temperature of about 460 degrees Celsius! That’s hot enough to melt lead!