Sunday, 29 July 2012
The power of visualization meets summer nights
IO9 posted this wonderful planet juggling speculation in their Space Porn section. (Incidentally, the whole "what if - and let's pretend the other forces are unaffected for the sake if imagination" mindset actually gives me the urge to find out more about how the different forces interact and work.)
My favourite image from this set is the one featuring Venus:
Not because it's the prettiest. (No, that would be the mind's-eye view of our horizon with Neptune.) But because, sizes and distances apart, the reality is giving a similar show. The other day I went out on a balkony and checked out what's going on up there. (Down there in the bushes a rather large hedgehog was feasting on cat's crackers.) Right now, in late July, the night has already gained some hours of darkness compared to the seemingly everlasting soft glow of May and June. Still, looking out a few hours after midnight, the skies between North and East the skies give a strong hint that the actual sunlight is right behind the corner, having crawled from the evening skies across the North horizon without even bothering to go into proper hiding.
And right there, a few paces from the neighbour's chimney, in the middle of the half-lit orange-pink-ish strip of those long pre-dawn hours glow, Venus was as bright as an egg yolk on frying pan. A few nothces up-and-northward was another bright spot. I remember my sleepy brain being surprised that the stars were visible in a sky so bright. Of course, now I realize that must have been a planet too - Jupiter, perhaps? (My sky-gazing eye is untrained and the scarce nuggets of knowledge once memorized have scattered without active practice.)