Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Jupiter and Venus

I will do a post in further detail later either this week or next after much research, however, I thought this would be something that people would like to see.

This week there is an astrological event taking place that hasn't happened in about 2000 years. Now these to planets have come close to each other during that span of time, but they have never been this close. Some believe this is the star of Bethlehem. It occurred during the time of the birth of Christ, and I can tell you from looking last night it is beautiful and bright! I can only imagine how gorgeous it would have been so long ago. Please look at the planets tonight. They appear approximately an hour after sunset in the west. They are extremely bright almost as bright as the moon. 

            Psalm 19: 1-3
Victory 91.5's photo.
         1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. 2. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

Article from Victory 91.5
Star of Bethlehem returns:
The time has finally come. The next week offers us what is probably the grandest pairing of two planets in our lives. It also is a near-replay of what some scholars believe was the most spectacular appearance of the Star of Bethlehem.
The most important night is June 30, for that is when the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, come closest of all to each other in the sky. They come almost as close to each other Tuesday as they did on June 17,2 B.C., when Magi in Babylonia or Persia would have seen the two merge into one single blazing light as the pair descended to the horizon in the exact direction of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
How close in the sky? Even if Tuesday night isn't clear, Venus and Jupiter will be amazingly close together for the entire week that start tonight. No close pairing of these brightest planets in our lifetime has been so prolonged. But how close is close, in the sky?
To answer that question, we must talk about "angular measure" in the sky.
Your fist at arm's length is about 10 degrees wide, your thumb at arm's length about 2 degrees wide. Venus and Jupiter will be less than 2 degrees apart all the way through the Fourth of July.
When and where to look each day? Look above where the Sun went down each day and you'll see the two planets. Venus is so bright now that you should be able to see it easily with the naked eye even quite a while before sunset, say 8 p.m. Jupiter is less bright, so you may not see it first glimmer into view until about 8:45 or 9 p.m.
Monday: Venus and Jupiter are close enough for their globes to be in the same telescopic view. By amazing coincidence, the two globes have almost the exact same apparent size these next few days, when they are closest in the sky. But Jupiter is fully lit while Venus is less than half lit (though far more radiant in surface brightness). 
June 30: The climax - conjunction day. A "conjunction" is a temporary pairing of heavenly objects. On this day of the actual conjunction, the planets are separated by only a third of a degree - that's almost seven times smaller than your thumb held out at arm's length. The two planets, Jupiter just upper right of Venus, will almost appear to have their rays touching on this incredible evening.
July 1: Venus and Jupiter still only a bit more than ½ degree apart.
July 2: Venus and Jupiter 1 degree part and most nearly side by side.
July 4: Planets 1.9 degrees apart.
July 5: Planets less than 2½ degrees apart.
July 6: Planets 2.7 degrees apart.
Fred Schaaf is a local author and astronomer. He can be reached at:

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