Monday, February 27, 2012

A Spectacular Alignment

I was privileged to see a rare and marvelous thing this evening, one I will likely never see again. I was looking at the moon, Jupiter, and Venus in their majestic alignment in the western sky when a light rose over the ridge to the right. It was the space station. With the sun reflecting off its massive array of solar panels, it shone as brightly as Jupiter.

I've seen it before, and it moves across the sky as fast as a high jet, but with breathtaking silence. It was traveling from the northwest to the southeast, and it arced right between the moon and Jupiter. Farther on, it slipped along Orion's belt, then gradually faded out of sight over the far eastern ridge.

I would call that a spectacular alignment of heavenly bodies.

Illustration from EarthSky, with my addition of the Space Station.

3 comments:

  1. Yes, yes! A beautiful thing! And space stations...they bring back warm memories of start parties with my sister. A space station sighting was a BIG deal!

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    1. Exactly the way I felt tonight. And the time I was out on the lake one evening and watched it pass from horizon to horizon right over my head.

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  2. "Alignment of heavenly bodies". Perfect. It's cool how your always looking to the heavens and checking stuff out. To infinity and beyond!

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