MOON, VENUS, JUPITER CONJUNCTION 12-01-2008
A brief observation report on the Moon, Venus, Jupiter Conjunction of 12-01-2008
Last week, the pairing of
Venus and Jupiter
was a beautiful sight in the clear evening sky at dusk. Unfortunately, a
large low pressure cell moved into the area about 3 days ago. It has
remained cloudy throughout.
Today, December 1st,
like clockwork, it snowed here in Carbondale Illinois. This morning when I
went to school around 9
AM, it was snowing moderately. None of the snow stuck however. It
just remained cold and cloudy. I had checked the Weather Channel on line for
the last two days, and their hour by hour forecast suggested that it would
remain cloudy till about 3 AM this coming morning.
I reluctantly accepted that
the conjunction would be clouded out.
However, at 5:30
PM I stuck my head out the door one last time to see if there were
any breaks in the clouds. I saw a brief glimmer of what must have been
Venus. I was encouraged, and put on a coat and went outside into the cold
air. I could see a few break in the clouds to the northwest. Gradually, a
bit here and a bit there, small clear patches would float over the trio. At
first I could only see Venus and some of the moon. Eventually, Jupiter
showed also, but never all three at once. More clear sky appeared. Entire
clear patches broke open over head, showing the Summer
Triangle, now like a great arrowhead pointing to the conjunction to
At last, all three appeared
at once! Still I could see no earth shine on the crescent moon, and the full
brightness of each object was variously dimmed, so that Jupiter would
be brighter than Venus, then the moon would be brightest, and so on.
Now a large patch of fully
open sky shifted toward the three objects. Most of the sky was now clear,
more or less. Only 20 minutes
before, it had been about completely cloudy. I was right on the edge of
the low pressure cell, just in time!!
The moon, Venus, and
Jupiter finally broke into completely clear sky, and their full brilliance
shone forth. They formed a dog legged line stretching through the solar
system. Their light was cheering in the cold air.
At that minute, a security
man pulled up his truck some dozens of yards away, its headlights shining
into my face and view of the glaring trio. They are building some houses,
and he was making sure no one (like me standing in the middle of this field)
was messing with their tractors. I said to him "Have you seen the
planets? The moon, Jupiter, and Venus! " I saw him turn to
look. "The bright one's Venus" I said.
He was an interruption to
my observing, but another bit of clouds was coming, and me and my dog were
getting cold, so I had to go in anyway. At least I had gotten to show the
event to someone who might have never seen it!!
Again, the Great
Spirit that moves all saw to it that another of his members of
creation got to behold his handiwork! Just to think, when I first stuck my
head out the door, it was completely cloudy, and here a half hour later, I
could see the group all the way back to my door.
conjunction of December 1, 2008 reported from Carbondale Illinois for the
Vega Sky Center.
Chris Turner signing off...