Rare Christmas Star on Winter Soltice

On December 21st, Jupiter and Saturn will appear close in Earth’s night sky than they have since 1226 A.D. This December, Jupiter and Saturn will put on a show for star gazers that hasn’t been seen in roughly 800 years. Astronomers are calling it the Great Conjunction of 2020, On December 21st, coincidently the winter solstice – the two largest planets in our solar system will appear to almost merge in Earth’s sky. People may wonder what are those bright objects close together in the sky. For much of the year, Jupiter and Saturn have shared the same swatch of sky. Now you can find them both in the southwestern sky just after sunset, located some 20 degrees above the horizon at 6pm. Seekers of a celestial significance will likely see the whole event as some sort of sign related to the kind of year 2020 has been. But you don’t have to put any stock in astrology (nor should you) to revel in the astounding beauty of its conjunction.

The cosmic perspective is a precious reminder of our place in the solar system. And hopefully it makes us all feel a bit closer and more connected to our outer planets, even if the pandemic has us feeling apart than ever.

A Thankful Thanksgiving To All

The “ber” months (SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER & DecemBER) are winding down and the high Holidays are sliding quickly downhill as the days get shorter and shorter in these most uncertain times this last year. Many of us will be observing each one of the next 3 Holidays in uncharted territories as social distancing puts puts wedge between family and friends. I’m sure creative opportunities will be on hand celebrating traditions by electronic means with zoom and teleconferencing, and yes the feast will be most satisfying. We all earned it!

Stay connected this Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy the moments. And be thankful for the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Risky Blue Moon on Halloween. What are the chances?

The spooky season is upon us, and this one will be a little spookier.

The night sky on Halloween will be illuminated by a blue moon, the second full moon of the month. The relatively rare occurrence happens once every two and half years.

October’s first full moon is also known as the harvest moon that already appeared on October 1st. The second full moon or blue moon will be rising over the eastern horizon at sunset on Halloween night. It’s also the first time a Halloween full blue moon has appeared since 1944 according to The Farmer’s Almanac.

When a phrase “once in a full moon” was originally stated, it meant so rare you would be lucky (or unlucky) to see one in your lifetime according to NASA.

So if anything unusual happens to you on Halloween, there just may be a reason why.

Indian Summer

Now summer wanes into fall,

The heat and strife abate.

And coolness settles over all,

The sun lags so late.

Blue hazes obscures the farthest hill,

And thoughts like cattle hug the fold.

The peaceful air is bright and still,

Who minds this growing old?

Author Unknown

The hazy appearance of the fall days is produced by frost. When water freezes inside tree leaves it cracks the cells. The volatile hydrocarbon compounds are evaporated by the heat of the sun and the wind, and the skies have a bluish haze..

The Indians told stories about the haze and writers in the 1800’s recorded the legend of Indian Summer.

Time to Admire the Daffodils

After record breaking warmth this winter and March averaging 5 degrees above normal the annual display of daffodils are off to an early start this season and are enchanting the once dormant flower beds again. Nature has a way to soothe us at times of overwhelming anguish and anxiety with its show of beauty. As the landscape transition from winter gray to sunshine yellow, hope it just around the corner.

When outside I challenge you to find the hope of spring.