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The Paths of the planets in the sky the Ecliptic


If you see a very bright star in -the sky and you cant find it on a star map then you are looking at a planet. Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can all be seen without a telescope and you can sometimes catch a glimpse of Mercury or Uranus.



The problem is knowing where to look. You can buy books that tell you where the planets will be every night. They don't stay still like the star patterns. One month they will be in one star group the next they will have moved on.


However they will always be close to the thick line on the map on this page. This line is called the ECLTPTIC. (don't confuse the word with eclipse)


If you search along this line at night and see what looks like a new star then it's probably a planet.



 
A VERSION IN WORD IS AVAILABLE ON THE SCHOOLPHYSICS CD
 
 
 
© Keith Gibbs 2013