Monday, 13 July 2015

Star-crossed

On the 30th of June, I looked up at the sky and saw two bright stars really close together almost as though they were touching each other. This piqued my curiosity and I immediately set out to find out what was happening. Thanks to Google, we now have everything we need at our fingertips. The enormity and resourcefulness of this reservoir of information and knowledge never ceases to amaze me! I salute the infinite potential of the world wide web!


Turns out, Jupiter and Venus, the sky’s brightest and second-brightest planets appeared in the evening sky throughout June 2015 and they were drawing closer together every evening! On that particular day, the 30th of June, they were staging their closest conjunction until August, 2016. Venus passed Jupiter in late June/early July and on that day Venus and Jupiter were less than one and a half degrees apart. These very bright planets were hard to miss because Venus and Jupiter rank as the third-brightest and fourth-brightest celestial bodies, respectively, after the sun and moon.


 At the time, especially on the nights of June 30 and July 1, we witnessed the closest Venus-Jupiter conjunction. A conjunction is an apparent phenomenon caused by perspective only and there is no close physical proximity in space between the two objects involved.Venus is currently about to pass between the sun and Earth. Meanwhile, Earth passed between Jupiter and the sun in February, 2015. So Jupiter and Venus are nowhere near each other in space. Yet, to the naked eye, as we look outward from Earth, we see these two planets aligned on nearly the same line of sight.


This phenomenon made me wonder about destiny, doom and the inevitability of star crossed lovers. And I marveled at how similar we all are to these celestial beings. Passersby in the night sky, on the roads, on the world wide web. Sometimes just walking past, oblivious to each others existence, once in a while crossing paths and occasionally, colliding head on, only to eventually go our separate ways. So, as dusk turned into darkness, I stared in awe at the night sky and bowed down to the limitless possibilities of the universe and the boundless potential of the world wide web. That night I went to bed a little starry-eyed and dream't of the time  Jupiter leaned over to kiss Venus....... and missed.