Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stargazers (Because Planet-Gazers Just Sounds Weird)

Finally! After forgetting about it several nights in a row. Then remembering too late at night a few more. Then several cloudy nights. We got to see two of the three planets that are visible and lined up right now!
The big kids and I did anyway. It has been our quest for the last few days.
Last night while driving around looking for a good spot to stargaze I did catch a brief glimpse of all three. From top to bottom, Mercury, Venus, and  Jupiter, all in a diagonal line with each other! But Jupiter is only visible for a few minutes after sunset, and it is very low on the horizon, so it is easily obscured by trees, buildings, or even lights in a far away horizon.
Tonight though our obstacle was very low laying clouds along the horizon. But we got to see the other two beautifully.
We found the perfect spot atop a crosswalk over the interstate! So while we waited for the planets to emerge through the beautiful sunset, the kids entertained themselves by signaling the under-passing truckers to blow their horns. And they got plenty of nice, loud honks!
It was a fun evening! And free (except for the ice cream cones). If you feel so inclined, and can find a spot that you can get a high enough view of the horizon, all three planets will be visible in the western sky during and just after sunset. Jupiter will only be visible for a few more days.
Happy stargazing!
Totally giddy with every honk!
Venus was the only one bright enough to get a picture of. You can see it in the middle of the legs of the top clouds shaped like an X.

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