This is a month of exciting celestial body motion. Right now in the early evening, if you look to the west after dusk, you’ll see two bright star looking things. Those are Venus (the lower, brighter one) and Jupiter. If you’re lucky enough with a good view of the horizon, as the sun goes down, you’ll be able to spot Mercury in the mix. Uranus is close in apparent distance to Mercury, but it’s so low and still too bright to see unaided.

Fast forward another week – around the dreaded (think: Julius Ceasar?) Ides of March — and the moon will join the Venus / Jupiter pass and they’ll all be shining within a few degrees of each other. Definitely something to be looking forward to! Let’s try that again — what’s that mean? It means go outside and don’t miss it – March 15th-ish! Report back here with what you saw! Yes, it is that exciting!

This past week while returning from a conference, I was able to snap a few photos out of the optically scratched extra goo-encrusted crud of an Alaska Airlines flight. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch any zodiacal light, but wow it was beautiful!

Wonderful sunset from 36k feet...

Wonderful sunset from 36k feet...

Jupiter and Venus

Jupiter and Venus from 36k feet!

Mercury, right after dusk

Mercury, right after dusk from 36k feet

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