Pages: [1]   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Star of Bethlehem Reappears in 10 Days ??!!!  (Read 319 times)
Tommy T
Backcountry Guide
****

Reputation: +50/-2
Offline Offline

Posts: 2080



View Profile
« on: June 20, 2015, 02:38:02 PM »

Jupiter and Venus will come into conjunction during the nights of June 30 and July 1.  

Even better, it will happen just after sunset, low in the Western sky and will be a very easy visual occurrence.  The two planets, which are the third and fourth brightest astronomical objects (after the Sun and the Moon) will be visually so close together (about 1/3rd of a degree of separation)  that they will appear as a single, very bright object.

Right now, in the last half of June, the two planets are clearly the brightest objects in the sky just after Sunset ("just" after -- don't wait an hour to get out and look!) and are about 15 or so degrees above the Western horizon and clearly visible at just after sunset.  They look like this from my Salt Lake City street corner:



That was taken on June 18th.  The two will be a bit closer to each other every night and will be a bit closer to the Sun, so get out at Sunset and start looking.  Right now 1/2 hour after Sunset is probably a good time, if you have a clear view of a flat western horizon.  

Right now they are roughly 18 degrees apart -- by Sunset on June 30 they will look like a single very bright star.  If it's cloudy evening, the evening of July 1 should be just as good.  On those nights, you actually should start looking 1/2 hour or so before Sunset (remember Don't Look Directly at the Sun and always think twice or three times and very carefully before using binoculars or a telescope to look at anything even close to Sun).

This is a fairly rare occurance -- everything has to line up, at night, when your side of the Earth happens to be in darkness -- once in a lifetime, maybe.  We can run models of the solar system backwards and find that a similar event happened around 2015 years ago.

Observers in the East would have noticed two bright stars getting closer and closer together, as if an omen of something about to happen.  Finally the two appeared to merge and the observers might have started a journey westward toward . . . .?

Tommy T.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2015, 09:06:09 PM by Tommy T » Logged

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
                                                                             -- Pablo Picasso
Tommy T
Backcountry Guide
****

Reputation: +50/-2
Offline Offline

Posts: 2080



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2015, 01:08:43 PM »

I just want to re-emphasize the dangers of looking at the Sun through any kind of optical device:

We had a volunteer in the astronomy program at Chaco who permanently scarred his right lens by looking at the Sun through the view finder on his camera during an effort to photograph a beautiful Sun-set.

Tommy T.
Logged

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
                                                                             -- Pablo Picasso
Pages: [1]   Go Up
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal