Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Venus and Mars Flirting

Last month, February 20-21 to be exact, was a pretty interesting couple of days to sky watch.  One of my daily emails from the astronomical site, EarthSky News, informed me that if I looked Westward about 45 minutes after sunset I would see this:

Well, who wouldn't want to see that kind of celestial conjunction?  So I prepped the camera and found the tripod and planned for an evening of "conjunctivitis".  Somewhere between receiving the early morning email and that evening I forgot the plan.  I asked the current Mrs. Blythe if she would like to join me in partaking of Rib City in St. Pete and she said yes.  So off we went, oblivious to the magic that was happening above, until i got out of the car and saw what I was missing.   This is what I was missing:

I scabbed this picture off the internet.  It is not mine.  I wish it was.  Credit goes to a Mr. Andrew Symes who had the good fortune to remember his plan and not be drawn to the best rib joint int he Tampa bay Area.  

OK, so I missed all the galaxial fireworks of the 20th.  Would I be able to remember the 21st and take appropriate action?  Why, yes, than you very much.

Before I show you my gems the next evening, which, by the way won't be in conjunction with the moon, but cool anyway, I thought I would display this graph.  If you could look down on the sun and planets this is how they would appear on the 20th, and to a lesser extent on the 21st.   Earth and the moon are the blue X to the upper left.  Now move straight across and you will see Venus with the feminine Zodiac sign and and moving further across is Mars.  See, almost in a straight line?  Thus a conjunction. 

The problem with a phenomena like this is that one picture pretty much looks like all the rest, so bear with me here.  I am showing a few of the pictures I took with varying degrees of tweaking with my camera.  Its a lot like shooting pictures of a model:  same thing only dressed differently.

As usual, keep looking upward.  We now resume our normal programming.  

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