Friday, November 21, 2008

The Big-Time Planetary Conjunction is almost here! You can see Venus and Jupiter in the southwest right after sunset. They will be closest together between November 29-December 1. And be sure to look on December 1 between 5-7pm because a slim crescent Moon will join the two planets. It should be quite a site.

This picture was taken by Steve Rismiller at the Cincinnati Observatory.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pegasus the Flying Horse

When you read ancient Greek mythology you have to admire their imagination. There are a few legends of the birth of Pegasus the Flying Horse but my favorite comes at the climax of the fantastic fall saga. As Perseus was showing the severed head of Medusa to Cetus the Sea Monster, some blood dripped out of her neck and fell into the ocean. Whenever a god or monster bled in the ancient myths, something always sprang forth. In this case, the blood of Medusa combined with the seawater and, through some kind of jell-o process, formed into Pegasus the Flying Horse. He also flew away to live happily ever after.
(Note: Most of the time, he flies upside-down in the sky) ------------

Thus ends the final installment of the fabulous fall star saga that included a king, a queen, a prince, a princess, two monsters, and a flying horse. With a little skill, and a lot of imagination, you can find all of these constellations in the sky tonight. I've included a star chart looking to the west in January around 9pm. Get started right away, because next month we will begin the weird and wacky winter sky saga!