Saturday, June 02, 2007


My current flirtation with amateur astronomy has continued and with each evening, I'm learning more and more about how to navigate the sky. Tonight, I had the rare pleasure of spotting Mercury! It is only visible for two short periods during the year (in the evenings). I have now seen four of the other seven official planets (along with Venus, Jupiter and Saturn). In terms of constellations, tonight I learnt how to find Libra (my sign) and Virgo. I confirmed Leo.

When I was a young teenager, I had a fascination with astronomy but didn't have the resources or persistence to gain the knowledge. Now I'm amazed that I had never seen constellations like Scorpio, which along with Orion, is very identifiable. The difference has probably been the internet (where the information is a click away) and a radio programme (Radio Live, 12pm Saturday).

Probably the best aspect of this is that I have more awareness of our place in the solar system and universe, breaking the geocentrism of the mind. I looked out to Venus and Saturn (which will be in conjunction at the end of the month) this evening and suddenly realised that the Earth would be moving between where they are now.

Now I can't wait for the blazingly bright full moon to wane and thus darken the sky so the stars will come to the fore once more.

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