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: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46734632/ns/technology_and_science-space/
Better yet, go outside and stand there, looking. If your weather is anything quirky like ours, you’ll likely only need a sweater.