I guess by now you have figured out that I’m a sky-watcher. I don’t know enough to be an astronomer, and probably the most I can claim is that I pay attention. And although I could luxuriously sleep in Saturday morning, I do have a strong urge to witness the morning twilight lineup of the moon, Jupiter and Venus.
I don’t know that this is all that rare an occurrence, certainly not a never-again-in-my lifetime-moment, but I think my natural sense of order simply likes to see the other planets stand out a bit! I think it’s spectacular just because! The celestial three line up will be in the east Saturday morning, June 16th, and whether you observe from the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern, the moon is at top, Venus bottom, and Jupiter in between.
My daily guide, earthsky.org, informs me I will need a level and unobstructed horizon, and possibly binoculars, to spot the low hanging Venus. There’s a bonus. With binoculars I may expect to catch the earthshine on the dark side of the crescent moon. Might that be worth seeing? Well, my favorite quote at the moment comes from Jon Kabat-Zinn: “The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.”
So before I commit to waking early, I took a little walk around the premises to assess maximum viewing potential. If I can’t find that unobstructed view, I’m not sure that earthshine alone is going to get me out of bed.
Residential properties are lined with century-old trees. I wouldn’t want to sacrifice a one of them, but it is difficult to “look out” and see the horizon from anywhere on our property.
Can’t see too much sky through these trees next door…
Look who I spied! The neighborhood predator. If I hadn’t been looking to the west I’d never have seen him–he’s in a different tree this time.
Oh, and look at that! Remember the exterior shots of the church in the 1991 Father of the Bride? That’s the bell-tower and church filmed in the movie. The house across the street from us is being rebuilt…so while the lot is empty I can look straight through to one block over and just look what I can see!
So often we humans go about our business as though everything we do is SO critically important. I love the joke, “When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people are going to be shocked they’re not in it.” My looking up and appreciating the planets and the vastness of sky is one solid way to be reminded that I occupy just a very little bit of space in this vast universe. It’s all perspective!
Sophia and Karina are spending the night with us tonight, and by the way, they ARE the center of OUR universe, so something tells me that sleeping in Saturday morning may not be as big an option as I might like anyway. Maybe I’ll have a couple of binocular carrying companions staring up at the sky in the
middle of the night morning twilight. They would make the adventure complete!
Enjoy your weekend, and if you get the chance, don’t forget to look UP!