"Earth Closest to the Sun this Week! Four Naked Eye Planets and A Lunar Eclipse Alert!"

Scheduled air date: 2000 Jan 03-09

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During the Northern Hemisphere's Winter, our Earth is at its closest point in its orbit to the Sun.  However, it is because the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun that we experience a cold season.  (Illustration from TheSky's Astronomy Tutorial.)

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The Waxing Crescent Moon progresses through First Quarter as it passes by Mars on the 10th, Jupiter on the 14th, and Saturn on the 15th.
(Shown about an hour after sunset for mid-Northern latitudes.)

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The brilliant planet Venus—the Morning Star—can be seen before sunrise in the Southeast.
(Shown about an hour before sunrise for mid-Northern latitudes.)

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

Copyright 1999-2006 by Software Bisque, Inc.