Hey, Sky Fans!
Well, it’s overcast where I am, and it’s been a pretty busy day. Lots going on, but the good news is the rain has stopped, I’m over my flu thing, and I’ve almost finished reading The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck. Somehow I never managed to read this one all these years, and it’s really a great one, really worth tracking down. And later? The Back to the Future trilogy. I know. I said the same thing.
This is kind of time-sensitive. I’m going to make this quick so I can get the lentils cookin’, grab the wife and kids, and head off to futuristic 2015.
If you’ve been keeping your eyes on the skies in the mornings this last few days, you’ve looked out toward the other end of the solar system. Mars and Jupiter, both farther from the Sun than we are, have been dancing with each other. The Moon joined them earlier this week.
Well, the Moon’s still on its way across that stretch of sky. Tomorrow morning, Saturday the 13th, just before dawn, you’ll have a chance to see the razor-thin 11%-lit waning crescent Moon smack between two pairs of planets. Jupiter and Mars will be above it, while below, very low to the horizon, will be Saturn and Mercury. From our perspective, our line of sight will run toward the middle of the solar system, toward the Sun, to see Mercury, and then back out again to get to Saturn.
It’s a neat trick of perspective that lets us see the naked eye planet nearest to the Sun right alongside the naked eye planet farthest from the Sun. Pretty cool? You’re telling me.
So, there you have it, two above, two below, four planets. Only Venus is missing.
Here’s, for lack of a better term, some art all about it.
You can see that the Moon will be all cozied up alongside Antares, the brightest star in Scorpius, the giant astroscorpion. Roar!
Scorpions don’t roar, do they? Hm. Hiss? Baa? Aah-OOO-gah?
Like always when Mercury’s involved, you’ll need to look fast and low toward the horizon. It really should be a gorgeous show, though, and really worth checking out. I hope you’ll let me know how it goes.
Have a great weekend, and clear skies, everyone!