Well, we missed this because of the “winter storm.” Anyway, they will still be very close for a few days.
From Sky and Telescope:
Saturday, January 10
Venus and Mercury are closest together this evening in twilight, 0.7° apart. Look low in the southwest about 45 minutes after sunset, as shown here. They’ll stay within 1° of each other through Monday.
– See more at: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/weeks-sky-glance-january-9-17/?et_mid=714345&rid=247497481#sthash.wEynlxv7.dpuf
This is from Tony Flanders at SkyandTelescope.com: “A remarkable series of events takes place low in the west-northwest shortly after sunset from late May to late June. It features the tightest three-planet grouping visible without binoculars until 2026 and an excellent apparition of Mercury.”
What does that have to do with Coupland you say? Well, it just so happens that Coupland is a great place to stargaze . . . or in this case, planetgaze, which, by the way, is my primary moniker on the Internet: planetgazer. Watching the planets is a wonderful pastime because you can do it without any special equipment and it’s a lot of fun to point them out to people. Most people pay little to no attention to the constantly changing skies, especially the night sky. I have made it a point my whole life to share my passion for sky watching with my family, my friends, and anyone else who will listen.
A great place to watch this particular night sky show is in front of the aptly-named Hilltop Storage on Powell Street. The skies may not be clear, or they could be hazy, and the lights from Austin, Pflugerville, and Round Rock don’t help. You might be interested to hear about the work of the International Dark Sky Association. Excessive light pollution can be avoided and even reversed!
Regardless, the skies are fairly dark above Coupland, especially toward the east. Perhaps there are a few folks in Coupland who have nice telescopes and wouldn’t mind sharing them a few times a year for some star parties. The Universe is truly an awesome place and Coupland is a great place to experience it!
Click here for the whole story. As Mr. Spock would say, “Fascinating.”
Stewart Dale Spencer