Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Jupiter–Venus Conjunction

Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest objects in the night sky (excluding of course the Moon), were very close tonight – just a third of a degree apart (for reference, the full Moon is about half a degree in diameter). We will not see a closer Jupiter–Venus conjunction until 2039.

I positioned myself at a spot whence, I calculated, I would see the two planets set over the Shard. But my trigonometric efforts were in vain; clouds obscured the view while the sky was still quite bright and the planets some distance above the horizon (at the upper left in the photo below). Oh well, I'll try again tomorrow.

Whenever I see Venus in the evening sky, I think of these lines from Terrapin Station by the Grateful Dead:
Counting stars by candlelight / All are dim but one is bright / The spiral light of Venus / Rising first and shining best...