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Stars and planets in the daytime

Aquarius_sunrise

Tonight for February 22, 2015

Telescopic view of daytime Venus (l) and moon via NASA

Telescopic view of daytime Venus (left) and moon (right) via NASA

People often ask if stars are up there, beyond our blue sky, during the day.

The answer is surely yes, because Earth is a planet in space, surrounded on all sides by stars. The image at right is Venus and the moon, seen through a telescope, in daytime. Venus is the most commonly seen daytime sky object, after the sun and moon. Meanwhile, the feature chart at the top of this post shows the stars toward the southeast at morning in late February or early March. Of course you really can’t see the stars, but they are there.

The constellation behind the sun around now is Aquarius the Water Bearer. Every year, the sun passes in front of Aquarius from about February 16 to March 12. The stars cannot be seen because of the glare of the sun. But sometimes when there is a total solar eclipse and the sun’s light is blocked, stars can be seen in the daytime sky.

When is the next total solar eclipse in the U.S.?

There are other constellations up during the day today. They are the same ones, in the same relationship to each other, that you will see at evening six months from now … when Earth has moved halfway around in its orbit of the sun … and our night sky, not our daytime sky, is pointing out on this region of the galaxy.

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