These tango-ing planets…

March 18, 2012 § 11 Comments

Venus and Jupiter though together lo these many days (years) and just “past peak” in the spotlight which is not over yet, are in our western sky at nightfall and, aside from the moon, which is not yet part of their neighborhood, they are the two very brightest “things” in the night sky. 

Jupiter is slipping downards, as we might describe it and Venus is on the right. How it shines and shines! However, the picture below, is that of a very recalcitrant photographer. I confess to beeing too lazy to go in the house to get my glasses, much less the tripod that would have quelled the apparent unsteadiness in my photo below (you cannot cheat “high speed” photos).

No binocular or telescope is necessary for viewing however as the two planets dance in the westward sky, to be joined on the 25th-26th, by the neatest little slice of moon. Remember to look over your shoulder, to the southeast, to see Mars in its rusty glory, not to be outdone as a sky celebrity.

If the oddly summer-weather-in-winter allows more nighttime clarity, this forthcoming trio might be better captured this week from our backyard.

In the meantime, Venus and Jupiter smack of an odd romance, a scientific delight and just a whole lot of awe for those can drop everything they know to just stare at the sky.
We don’t mind being dangled, sometimes, on the brink of the universe.

(You can’t tell in my picture – you can’t tell anything! – but Venus is a bit of a football shape and will imitate the phases of our moon, as well, according the Sky guy on NPR.)

For a really nice, nearly fairytale-esque picture, go here:

Better yet, go outside and stand there, looking. If your weather is anything quirky like ours, you’ll likely only need a sweater.


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§ 11 Responses to These tango-ing planets…

  • Typehype says:

    Oh, my, this is quite magical! I love the minimalism of your photo. Makes me want to paint it. I clicked on it for a larger view and the ghost images to the right appear to be reflections of the planets. More magic! I’d like to get in my car right now and drive far from the light-washed city sky, if only to see the stars come out tonight. Sigh.

  • shoreacres says:

    No need to drive anywhere to see these! Last week, right in the middle of Houston, they were so bright they looked like planes with their landing lights on.

    For a truly magical take on them, check out this image that shows them just “cat’s ears” apart!

  • Dale says:

    Very nice Di.

  • Beautiful! And happy Belated Birthday to you! I was thinking of you on your special day and meant to send an email… and then didn’t… I hope you had a wonderful day!

    We are having summer-in-winter weather, too. It’s in the 60s right now! At 6:20 am! That is unheard of!

  • RL says:

    Looking to the heavens always dwarfs me, my ego, my earthly mental and material constructs, blasts a cavern through my tiny sense of time and space! How uplifting to look up!

    Thanks for sharing. And don’t forget Mars, the red planet almost directly opposite in the sky from Venus and Jupiter…clearly red and never blinking…

  • marmeladegypsy says:

    Love it to the max! That’s one heck of a conjunction — Venus planet of Love, Jupiter, planet of big, expansive things, Moon with emotion — I think the couple married under this conjunction will have a passionate and emotional marriage! Of course, with Mercury retrograde, it’s no wonder my computer keeps doing weird things!

    And when was your birthday, my friend? Shame on me for not knowing! I hope it was very, very happy.

    • oh says:

      Hi, Jeanie! Aha – you love the planets, as well! And is it really ok to blame Mercury for my wonky laptop? sheesh, it’s driving me nuts. I’d be glad to blame that little planet.

      B’day was great! We’ll celebrate (again) when we all get together later this year, ‘k?

      What do you think of the Cupcake label wines?

      • marmeladegypsy says:

        I had the Merlot last night, actually — Someone brought a bottle to dinner a few weeks ago and we cracked it open last night before Les Mis as we already had a bottle opened that night. I thought it was pretty good and the price was right (well, this was a gift, but even if bought…) and World Market ALWAYS has sales! Probably had better but have DEFINITELY had a whole lot worse!

  • Arti says:

    Guess I missed the show. Now, when’s the rerun? Another n years? But thanks for your photo, and those from the links you’ve posted here and Linda’s. Wow, I’ve really lost my chance to see something spectacular.

    • oh says:

      Hey, Arti! I don’t know when this happens again – in 11 years, I think. Overall, it’s nice to look up and actually recognize something. I’m not very good at the night sky and only have 5 or 6 things I can pick out. So I’ve been loving this planet dance. Ah, but you! you have gorgeous skies. (I am a lover of western Canada. Can’t help it! It was love at first sight…and scent!) I’d probably be looking up all the time and bumping into fir trees.

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