Monday, January 26, 2009

Snow angels

Never too old for snow angels.
Last year around this time my friend Anne came out to make some snow angels.

It is snowing. I ski the 'beach trail' and with that fresh snow the skiing is excellent again. My skis scraping the ice underneath. Nothing really much to tell. All is grey and white. Towards the North-West there is some stripes of blue sky above the mountains.
I hear the birds, but barely see them.
This weekend the Grosbeak male was brilliant red. It is mating season and i suppose their colors show more.

What else was brilliant this weekend;

Venus! Yes that shining star,(planet) in the South-West in the evening. Apparently it was at its highest point in the sky last Wednesday. Now slowly going down until it disappears in March, till it becomes a morning star again.
It will get brighter though, in the next weeks. According to something i read (i forget where) on February 19 it will be most bright.
I always have to somehow wrap my mind about these things to understand it fully.
But i think this is how it is. Venus spins around the sun closer to it then us. Venus is coming closer to us. We are both on the same side of the sun. Where its shape actually becomes more crescent, because it is so close to the Earth on Feb 19 it is most brilliant. Picture the spinning of the solar system. Pfff when you get it ,i'll get it.
Christopher noticed i had gotten some of the facts wrong, i took those out. And do you want to understand it better, please read his comment below here, click comment.
I hope i get this right; but we only see Venus in the evening or morning, because it spins closer around the sun then we do. So we actually have to face towards the sun a bit in order to see it.

I'll just enjoy watching it, its out again as i am typing this


christopher said...

Now I want to teach you about Venus, how she moves, but it's not really my job. So forgive me.

Yes, it is a little hard to understand. The majority of the educated used to think the solar system was centered on the earth, that the cosmos was all about us. This was some time ago but finally the minority view of a sun centered, heliocentric solar system triumphed because it was simply true. And it solved many problems of planetary movement.

Venus never gets very far from the sun, is always closer to it than to us, but when it crosses in front of the sun in relation to us then it is literally larger and can become brighter I guess because of that. So yes, it is often brighter perhaps in crescent, both waxing and waning because it is so much closer.

Venus in full phase will always be on the far side of the sun, most distant from us, and so much smaller in the sky. But Venus in full phase or in new phase will be hard to see because it is then in the daylight sky. Venus can be seen best when it is farthest from the sun in relation to our line of sight which would mean nearer the quarters. I believe first quarter is morning and third quarter is evening but don't quote me on that one.

There is more to it because of something called celestial latitude, how the planets do not line up precisely in the same plane, even though they are close.

I learned these things long ago and don't think about them that much. I might've gotten some of it wrong.

sticker said...