Feb 15

Venus, the Moon & Mars with Jupiter Nearby: Finding Perspective in the Night Sky

Two Evenings with Kanab’s Stellar Vista Observatory: Tuesday, February 21 AND Monday, February 27

Perspective in life is so important. The earlier one can develop it, the more likely one can recognize opportunities embedded within the challenges our daily lives. Indeed, its so easy to lose awareness of our unique position as sentient beings living among all our relations; other people, and, as some cultures believe, all animate and inanimate things on Earth.

In reality, we’re inseparable from the existence manifesting itself all around us. A mild interest in astronomy can become life changing as we begin to understand that though we are individual beings exercising our will, we live on a finite planet hurtling through space, in a solar system powered by a star, embedded in a galaxy within a matrix of trillions galaxies in a seemingly infinite multiverse. Oh, the mystery, the magic, the wonder of it all! Recalling our place in this majestic and eternal reality can provide perspective within the sudden, unexpected and often stressful experiences of life.

A fun way to seek and begin to develop that elusive but all important ‘perspective’ in life is to look up, and look deep – into a starry night sky. One is bound to notice things not seen before, like the seasonal positions of constellations or the changing location of planets moving in their orbits around our sun. Peering into the infinite through binoculars and telescopes, we are transported into worlds of mystery and wonder, giving rise to thrills of joy coupled with curiosity, appreciation and humility.

If this sounds cool to you, mark your calendar for Stellar Vista Observatory’s (SVO) next free monthly public star party in Kanab, taking place on Tuesday evening February 21, beginning at 7:00 pm, at the Jackson Flat Reservoir boat launch parking area.

Watch our website if you suspect a weather related cancellation. https://stellarvistaobservatory.org/.

SVO invites Kanab residents and visitors to witness a conjunction of Venus and the moon, with the planets Jupiter and Neptune close by. On Feb. 21, a very young crescent moon appears a mere 5-1/2 degrees from the planet Venus, which itself appears just 8 degrees from Jupiter, forming a lovely trio in the western sky.

Among other celestial objects you may see through SVO’s powerful telescopes are the planet Mars, Orion Nebula, Pleiades (also known as the Seven Sisters), our nearest neighbor galaxy, Andromeda (2.5M light years away), and the famous Double Cluster in Perseus (7,000 light years from Earth). These two 6th magnitude star clusters exhibiting about 150 to 175 stars each are located just a few hundred light years from each other, quite a rare phenomenon visible from the northern hemisphere.

Conjunctions abound this month. Another one occurs on Monday, February 27, this time between the moon and Mars with Venus and Jupiter nearby. SVO invites you to join the fun. Observing equipment will be set up at the same location; Jackson Flat Reservoir boat launch parking area.

To learn more about SVO’s project to create a public educational observatory in Kane County, or to borrow one of SVO’s telescopes for your own use, check out our Binocular and Telescope lending program here: https://stellarvistaobservatory.org/discover-the-night-sky/.

About the Author:

Comments are closed.