Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Sometimes it's just quiet around here, and that's a good thing. The world swirls around, that outside world, and our world, on different orbits. Or maybe I'm just in an orbit of my own.

I did see three red boats today, a sailboat, a dinghy and this boat, which is sort of strange, red not being a huge boat color. I don't think it portends anything, but if it does, I'll tell the story.

There is another quiet thing happening, but it's pretty spectacular. Look up in the sky each night from today until December first and you will see the convergence of Venus, Jupiter and the moon. Right now, it's Jupiter and Venus doing the dance, but the moon will join in as a crescent soon enough.

Here are a couple of snippets from an article about it:

Starting Thanksgiving evening, Jupiter and Venus will begin moving closer so that by Sunday and Monday, they will appear 2 degrees apart, which is about a finger width held out at arm's length, said Alan MacRobert, senior editor at Sky and Telescope magazine. Then on Monday night, they will be joined by a crescent moon right next to them, he said.

Look in the southwestern sky around twilight - no telescope or binoculars needed.

The three celestial objects come together from time to time, but often they are too close to the sun or unite at a time when they aren't so visible. The next time the three will be as close and visible as this week will be Nov. 18, 2052, according to Jack Horkheimer, director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium.

You don't need to wait until Thanksgiving though, you can start tonight or tomorrow. By the way, if you aren't familiar with Jack Horkheimer, you should make yourself familiar. He's probably opened up the sky for more people than anyone else (well, that guy who made the telescope was pretty awesome too) alive today. Jack is funny, brilliant and down to earth, keeping the wonder alive in the science, a rare gift. Check him out.

I took this a little after 6 p.m. our time, which is Atlantic Standard, no daylight savings time here (thank goodness - fall back we'd get but spring forward? ain't gonna happen). 427 mosquito bites and one gigantic cloud drove me inside. Maybe later tonight or tomorrow will be better. Truly better would be to go out and see for yourself. I mean, are you going to be around in 2052? Time's a wastin' then! Go on now...scoot!

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