An Astronomical Point of Reference

By Brian. P. Combs, although I’m sure I’m not the first to come up with this.

Many don’t realize it, but I’m a skywatcher. I love to look up in the sky to find a planet or a constellation, and when there’s something particularly interesting going on, I’ll take the SLR out to get a picture.

In early December 2008, there was a wonderful convergence between the moon, the second planet and the fifth planet, with the planets right next to each other to the south-southeast of the moon. I often post on my personal blog when such convergences are coming up, and several of my friends keep an eye on my blog to know what’s going on in the sky.

I have one friend who, no matter how good my description of the sky, can never find the sky event about which I am talking. Sure enough, the evening of this convergence came along, I was out with the camera and tripod, and I got a text message from this friends. He could find the moon, but try as he might, he couldn’t find Venus.

“By Jove!” I texted back.

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