Thursday, June 25, 2015

lights in the distance

I have no idea what the American press is covering -- or uncovering -- these days.  Even with the internet, it is easy to feel beautifully isolated from northern politics down here.

But this is not a politics story.  It one of my look-up-in-the-sky-and-enjoy-life stories.

For the past three weeks, I have been fascinated with the little dance that the moon has had with Jupiter and Venus.  Each night, the two planets are the most obvious objects in the western sky, other than the moon.  And they will be putting on a show through July. 

We are about to witness one of those interesting astronomical events that happen periodically, but are nonetheless worth seeing.  On the nights of 30 June and 1 July,  Venus will appear to overtake Jupiter.

But that is not the most spectacular event this summer involving Venus.  I was walking the main street of San Patricio earlier in the week and noticed this conjunction of the moon, Venus, and Jupiter against the foreground of the swallows I discussed earlier.  [You may need to enlarge the shot to see the detail.]

Remember that shot on 18 July 2015.  It will be re-created when Venus is higher in the sky -- almost in conjunction with the bright star Regulus.  Jupiter will be close behind.  As will a crescent moon.

The true hobbyist (not me) might (and has) described the arrangement as "the crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter will all fit within a circle sporting a diameter of less than four degrees."  Or this breathless offering: "Don’t miss out on this close-knit celestial grouping on July 18, featuring the moon, Venus and Jupiter -- the brightest, second-brightest and third-brightest orbs of nighttime, respectively."

Suffice it to say, they will all be amazingly close.  It will be a night for you photographers to break out your equipment.  If I shoot from my courtyard, the cell tower will offer framing.

I intend to be there.  My suggestion?  Put it on your calendar right now.  I say that because unless I do it, I will completely miss the night light show.

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