Planets on Parade
Until the end of February, if you want to get up 45 minutes before sunrise, you can see something rare in the eastern sky: five planets simultaneously visible to the naked eye. Moving from the SE toward the SW Mecury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter are all on display. You’ll need binoculars for Mercury, but Venus and Jupiter are easily seen. How to differentiate planets from stars? Jason Kendall from the Amateur Astronomers Association of NT offered this tip in the NT Times: close one eye, stretch out your arm and slowly pass your thumb over a bright dot in the sky. If the dot slowly dims out when your thumb passes over it, it’s a planet. If it quickly blinks out, it’s a distant star. Prime viewing opportunities will be from the end of January until the first week of February when Mercury is at its highest points.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. – Psalm 19
Whether it’s before sunrise or in the middle of the day there is something to be said for getting outside and contemplating God’s creation. A sunrise or sunset, surf rolling in on the beach, the wind in the trees, a colorful insect or bird, the night sky and so much more . . . creation speaks to us of our creator. Time spent in nature is good for the soul. Get outside today, sit quietly, look and listen. Creation is declaring the glory of God!