Members of my "New List" as well as my Joke List received an email the other day about celestial objects in the evening sky. I send out various sorts of "mass" emails when something interesting comes my way. Those on my Joke List are likely to be very smart, a good sense of humor is indicative of high intelligence. Those who read my blog are also likely to be very smart, reading my blog is also indicative of high intelligence...
Anyway, Mother Nature this evening offered a nice spectacle. The planets Venus and Jupiter are close together in the early evening sky. Other than the moon, they are the two brightest celestial objects in the night-time sky. About a week ago, the moon was in their vicinity, but the two planets were further apart, so while interesting, it was not spectacular like a similar event last year.
Tonight, the two planets are closer. And the full moon came up. So, that was the news I sent out, that anyone living with a view of the sea to the east might be in a position to watch the full moon rise up out of the sea. Many of you know that I practice Tai Chi. I typically will practice my forms at about dusk. Twice (and only twice) I had been practicing a Tai Chi form when I saw the full moon come up from the ocean... I did not know at those two times that the moon was full... I saw (both times) an orange dot/spot. A minute or two later a horizontal piece of light. BOTH earlier times I thought (at first) that it was a cruise ship heading out at sunset. But, no, as the moon came up it quite clearly identified itself. Both times I was in awe.
TODAY I knew the moon would be coming up, so I came home early to practice, hoping to see this again. I started earlier than I thought the moon would rise (neglecting to Google moonrise time, tsk, tsk), so I started my various forms before it got dark (in the summer, the full moon can come up when it is still light). There were some clouds to the east, and I did not know where or when the moon would come up. As I worked my way through the forms, I did not see the moon. It became dark, Tai Chi is a little harder to do when you can't see the ground well, and the quality of my Tai Chi was suffering because I was looking for the moon from time to time... This time I had a false alarm..., this time it WAS a cruise ship.
So, I'm there thinking "Where y'at moon? Where are ya?"
When I ran out of forms, I decided to do one of them again, the one I hope to put up on YouTube before too long (perhaps when I am in Peru, Lily can film me there). As I was doing that last form again, I saw light in the sky to the east.
I do not know how much closer (if closer at all) Venus and Jupiter will get in the next 17 days or so. In about 17 days, the moon, Venus and Jupiter may be close together like two nights about a year ago, when I saw a tiny crescent moon (with "earthshine" light from the Pacific Ocean reflected up to the moon and then back to us on Earth) next to the two of them right after sunset. It was indescribably beautiful....
So, if you like amateur astronomy, look to the western sky in the evening, say around the 24th - 26th. Maybe you will behold a wondrous sight!