Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Was That -- Up in the Sky?

It was not two birds; it was not two planes; it was not two Supermen!  It was a beautiful sight and I didn't have my camera! Tsk, tsk!

This evening, just after sunset, I was driving west toward my stamping buddy's home and noticed two bright objects in the twilight sky.  At first I thought it might be airplanes with their landing lights on, but the objects appeared to be much closer together than airplanes usually are allowed to get -- and they didn't move.  My traveling companion and I decided that they must be planets, or stars, but we didn't know which ones.

Upon arriving at my friend's home, I commandeered her laptop computer and Googled "What stars or planets were in the western sky on March 15" and Lo! --  Good ol' Google!  It was  Jupiter and Mercury. (left and right photos, respectively - Images Wikipedia) Of course, what we saw didn't look like the photos above, since those were taken from space probes and huge telescopes;  they were much more beautiful, shining in the light cast on them from the already invisible sun.

These two planets will appear in close proximity for the next few days then (Jupiter, at least) will be gone from sight for quite some time.  I found the information at earthsky.org very interesting.  If the skies are still clear tomorrow night, I may get out my binoculars and have a closer look.

This day started out with heavy overcast and very chilly.  The Spring-like temperatures of last week have gone with the wind... literally.  However, though it's still very cool, the sun came out in full force some time after noon, and the skies cleared completely.  It turned into a beautiful, if brisk, day.

Since I didn't start composing this post until long after my bedtime, I'm ready to call it a night.

Tomorrow is also a day.


rhymeswithplague said...

The day started out here today with heavy fog and, try as I might, I couldn't keep my canine buddy Jethro from the foggy, foggy dew.

I will look for Jupiter and Mercury this evening if the fog and/or clouds allow.

StitchinByTheLake said...

We were on our way home from a meeting last night when I noticed them - for me they were a welcome sight because it meant the clouds were on their way out! I enjoy these gray rainy days because they're great for staying in and getting household chores done. But I'm looking forward to the sun and the warm and the bright. blessings, marlene

Arkansas Patti said...

Oh, maybe it isn't too late for me. I'll try tonight. Thanks for the reminder.
This morning was a bit of a start but hope it warms up. My raised beds are crying out for attention.

Patty said...

I'll have to check it out tonight, if it isn't cloudy. last few nights it's been rainy and cloudy. Yes, where's that camera when you really want it. LOL

Marvin said...

Our Tuesday sky didn't clear until late in the evening. Wednesday morning, despite a forecast to the contrary, it is overcast again. Should it clear, I'll have a look for Jupiter and Mercury this evening.

George said...

I hope you'll send some of that clearing weather this way. We've had cloudy, dreary weather for the last three days. Hopefully it will clear in time for me to check the western sky.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh how neat, Pat... Glad you saw them--and hope you see them again tonight. IF our skies clear, I'd love to see them also. My youngest son LOVE astronomy. I'm sure that he will be watching.


Anonymous said...

I have wondered what the astronauts think about when they look back at us on the blue marble in space? When I was a kid I used to look at the stars and planets and wonder who was looking at me from somewhere out there.

Peter said...

A friend told me that the moon will be passing closer than usual at the moment and I am hoping for a clear night to see it. All overcast and dripping today, but we might still be lucky later. I think that Jupiter is my favourite planet for peering at. With only modest binoculars, it is possible sometimes to make out some of Jupiter's moons. I always wonder if there is some form of life on one of Jupiter's moons, I think that one is thought to be covered in water??

Suldog said...

One of the things I love is to go out back for a smoke during the evening and see what the sky looks like that night. What with light pollution and all these days, sometimes it has to be something truly big that captures the eye. It's been too damn cold to do that lately, here, but in the summer it was Venus I was seeing, I'm pretty sure of that. I'll now keep an eye out for these two, if it's a nice night.