Crescent With Triangle

We’re on the trek home from my aunt’s funeral in Ohio today. Leaving the Greek restaurant (spanakopita!) just after sunset, the crescent moon made a lovely counterpoint to the triangle of Mars, Saturn, and Spica. Check out this western image tonight in the next hour if you can. The moon will be at the top of the triangle by tomorrow night. The triangle will remain a western sky feature for a few weeks longer.

This is a nice opportunity for newbie astronomers to note how Mars and Saturn “wander” compared to the background stars. Spica is the brightest in the constellation Virgo, and while not quite as bright to Earthling eyes, gives us an easy reference point to judge planetary movement. Our English word for “planet” comes from the Greek (πλανήτης, planētēs).

We got a very early start yesterday for this trip. Driving east on I-80, Jupiter was well overhead. Venus was a bright beacon. I thought I glimpsed Mercury low in the east before the lightening sky washed it out.

Keep your eyes on the sky–good things up/out there.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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