of no fixed subtitle
November 29, 2008
Venus, Jupiter and the crescent moon are converging
over the next few days. Should be visible at dusk everywhere in the world (except Antarctica).
15 years ago
OK, but what lottery numbers do I need to play?
No dusk here at this time of the year. Sorry. Thanks for playing.
I saw that last night - the NASA description pretty much nails it. Spectacular.
I demand a shout-out.
Had a ground fog with (fairly) clear skys. Pretty spectacular, guys.
Lara, that is sublime.
Cloudy here all day, misting at sunset. Boo. I hear we're in for cloudy weather all week, too.
That sucks - pretty cloudy here too at the moment though it's supposed to be fine through the week.
The Universe Literally Smiles on Australia
Behold! The heavens smile upon the Trackrakon.
Last night I happened to glance through a window and see this up in the sky, one planet over another in a vertical line so bright in the dusk. I don't know what it is, but when I was a kid I was fascinated by the stars, but I never thought they were very beautiful. They were cool, because they were so far away and you could learn things about them, but as far as I was concerned they were just a bunch of little dots. Now, for some reason, a pair of planets hanging in the sky like that literally takes my breath away.
My favorite astronomy fact: We`can identify more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth. Plenty of room out there.
Here in London we've been wrapped in a soggy cloud-blanket all weekend, but today is sunny, so there might be decent viewing conditions tonight. Let's hope.
So, so glad I live in a large city and have awesome streetlights to see instead of ugly old useless stars and such. Hooray for progress! Seems appropriate that I just finished reading last month's "Why we need night" article in Nat. Geographic just a few days ago. The article mentioned that, before the advent of artificial light, Venus would literally cast shadows on clear days. I mean, can you imagine? We were up north for Memorial Day weekend, just my aunt and my wife and I that night, lying on a blanket on the shore of Lake Superior, staring at the stars. It had been so long since I had actually seen the Milky Way that it seemed almost unreal, this dusty smear of brilliance against the velvet black... and when I looked through my binoculars, I immediately handed them to my aunt and had her focus on a dark section of sky, and she gasped just as I had, and handed them to my wife so she could also see the infinity of sparkling diamonds glittering in the "empty" sections of the sky. I had to drive 10 hours to see that. It was worth it. But no one should have to go that far just to see the stars. When we can't see out, we focus inwards, and instead of collectively yearning for something greater we argue and fight and demand more from our planet than it has to give. Maybe tonight I'll finally get a pellet gun and shoot out the blazing lights the asshole developers installed in the parking garage down the block, like I have threatened to do since noticing that it is daylight in my backyard even at 3 in the morning...
I recall fondly the
blackout of 2003
and all of the media reports about how people had a ball that night. They had candle-lit outdoor parties with guitars replacing louder fare, and everyone in the cities who hadn't seen stars as they should be seen were given a cosmic treat that they talked about for days. I think one day each year we should purposely shut down the grid and let people experience the true night. It's better than god.
A few days ago I noticed the two bright stars 'lining up', weird how the mind fills in the blanks to create that kind of patterns. Checked out with an skygazer program,
and identified them.
Last night saw the crescent moon coming near them. That's what I thought: 'Uh, they'll form a smiley face tomorrow'. I'll try to take a few shots tonight.
I saw this tonight on the way home. Just as well I can drive whilst not looking at the road.
I think one day each year we should purposely shut down the grid and let people experience the true night. It's better than god.
In hippie-dippie Stratford, they turned the blackout into an annual thing. I think participation is purely voluntary, though, and restricted to the downtown.
Yeah, there's nothing like gazing into a black hole at night is there, cappy, mon brave?
We are all in kit's gutter, but only some of us get to see stars.
Of all the pollution we face, light pollution is perhaps the most easily remedied...
International Dark Sky Association
Let's all join the Monkey Wrench Gang!! *cheers Ed Abbey*
pictures from around the world.
Last night I looked up and thought wow, that's pretty special... I wonder what I'm seeing? And now I know. You guys are the best. I live where I do in part because there's good night visibility. I'd go mad without it. The constellations are like old chums. And once in a while the sky puts on a show... definitely "better than God" as Ralph nicely states.
The clouds finally cleared last night - and this was quite a treat!
I recall fondly the blackout of 2003 and all of the media reports about how people had a ball that night. They had candle-lit outdoor parties with guitars replacing louder fare
The block I lived on in Manhattan was quite a feast to behold. Yes, a ball was to be had! Arms from dark nooks groped at passersby. Bricks took out a few storefront windows (it was a cheery festival, shuffling through shards of glass in the pitch black). I especially enjoyed the whistling bottle rockets at 4am that lit the sidewalk with a trash fire. The unknown persons scaling my fire escape were a delight (too bad they never partied with my baseball bat)! Oh, and how can I forget the Escalade posse that thumped multiple 50 Cent songs simultaneously!?
You can find me in the club, bottle full of bub...
Yes, please take me back!
As it happened, my block turned out to be one of the last in Manhattan to have power restored. While everyone else was back to "normal life", I was stuck improvising a battery hook-up to power my cordless phone base - and licking ice cubes I scored from a bodega. Fun times!
So hey we actually had a clear night last evening and while walking to the train home from work, I looked up and saw the moon, Venus and Jupiter. Nothing else was bright enough to show up in the blue-black sky. I was still impressed. Made my wife look too. She said "neat" and then asked me why I was trying to change the subject. But I'm glad we both saw it, anyway.
Yeah, I had a clear night too. Missed the closest point of the convergence but was still impressed at the sight.
Sky Show Friday: Biggest, Brightest Full Moon of 2008
Now a bright spot appears on Venus
I'm sure glad there's a bright spot on Venus, because there hasn't been many lately in the northern hemisphere on Earth. (Hmmm, we call Venus our evil twin? That's NUTHIN' compared to what they say about us.)