Whatever else astronomy may or may not be who can doubt it to be the most beautiful of the sciences? ~Isaac Asimov, American writer and biochemistry professor
I guess I’ve always been fascinated by outer space.
The stars and far away planets — and the possibility, slim though it might be, of life existing there — are the stuff of the science fiction books I immersed myself in as a youngster.
And while my reading preferences might have switched to mysteries, I still find myself looking up, up, up — daytime or night.
Imagine my delight when I read that our solar system’s two brightest planets (Venus and Jupiter) would appear exceptionally close together April 30-May 1 — something astronomers call a conjunction.
Despite their close appearance, the two actually are 430 million miles (692 million km) apart! Doesn’t that just boggle your mind??
My research tells me it’s been since August 2016 that Venus and Jupiter have looked this close together — six whole years! — despite the fact that they generally have one conjunction per year. Still, you’ll have to wait until March of next year to see them snuggling in the sky like this again.
So get outside and enjoy the show because it won’t last long. Eventually, Venus and Jupiter will gradually pull away from each other as they continue their orbits around the sun.