Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus...

..if you believe that sort of thing. I'm not sure that I do

Tonight the red planet reaches opposition, a moment when the Earth is between it and the Sun. It’s therefore at its biggest and brightest. It’s also visible all night, rising at dusk in the east and setting at dawn in the west. 
The opposition of Mars happens roughly every two years, though technically speaking, Mars is tonight bigger and brighter than at any time since 2003. Look east about an hour before sunrise on Wednesday morning and you’ll see the glorious sight of a very bright 76%-illuminated planet Venus shining 4.3° above a delicate 1% illuminated crescent Moon. [in the UK, you are advised to set your alarm for about 5.50am tomorrow]

Such a Moon is often called “the New Moon in the Old Moon’s arms.” You may see “Earthshine” on the Moon’s darkened limb. That’s sunlight being reflected off Earth and onto the Moon. It’s always there, but only when the Moon is a slender crescent can human eyes discern it.   

As the Psalmist says "When I look at the sky, which you have made, at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places— what are human beings, that you think of them; mere mortals, that you care for them? ...and yet, you do"



  1. And yet He does. So grateful x

  2. So that is what the line about the new moon in the old moon's arms in Sir Patrick Spens refers to... I've known the song for decades but never knew what that referred to... you learn something new every day!


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