Fumie's Sphere

Insights into the worlds of winemaking and nature

Conjunction March 5, 2012

Filed under: Nature — Thorpe Vineyard @ 5:58 pm

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As some of you already know, the brightest planet of our Solar System, Venus, and the second brightest, Jupiter, have been enjoying their rendezvous in the evening sky for a month or so. Now they are about to have their closest approach in the middle of March, between the 11th and 15th. You even don’t quite need the clearest western horizon to see this, as they are so higher up in the sky. Just look up to the west shortly after sunset to spot Venus (if you know where she is, you can even find her before the actual sunset). Then the mighty God, Jupiter, will emerge from the evening glow not far from Venus. The time is about right for the summer birds to migrate in; if it’s a warm evening, you may hear wood thrushes and nighthawks in the brush. Here, near the water, there may be a chorus of frogs from the Bay.

After enjoying the brilliant conjunction in the western sky, don’t forget to turn to the east. Now there is the red planet, Mars, half way between the eastern horizon and overhead. He is now the brightest in two years and visible all night long. If you step out a little later when the bright pair start to sink toward the western horizon, you will find Saturn rising in the east. He never gets as bright as other planetary siblings, but the subtle golden color always seems to have a calming effect. As the warm season just around the corner, get out and enjoy the beautiful scenes our Planets have to offer!

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