Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Look, Up In The Sky! It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's A Venus/Jupiter Alignment!

If you can, try to pry yourself away from the computer screen on the evening of March 13 and take a gander outside (that is, take a look outside, don't actually take a male goose out into the yard). If you gaze to the west just after sunset, you'll see something rare and beautiful: the alignment of the planets Venus and Jupiter.

There'll be no mistaking them, as they'll be the brightest (and probably only) objects visible in the sky at that time. On the 13th the two planets will appear just three degrees apart, which means nothing whatsoever to me but appears to be some kind of unit of sky measurement that's got scientist all excited. It's an uncommon sight that won't be repeated until 2036, which is too bad since the world's ending later this year and no one will be around to see it.

Venus of course was named after the Roman Goddess of Love, which is fitting for a planet who's temperature is a scalding 872 degrees and is covered by clouds of sulfuric acid. Jupiter is famous as being the largest planet in the solar system and possesses a gargantuan red cold sore on its lower equator.

Don't fret if you miss the show tonight; the two planets will still be unnaturally close all through the month.

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