Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Take a look to the sky just before you die, it's the last time you will"*

Lately the evening sky has been offering up many spectacular views. On December 1st, the world was treated with the sight of the crescent moon, Venus, and Jupiter in close conjunction. My pictures didn't really come out, so I will refer you to this link (clearly this Brian Combs is way better at taking night pictures than I am!). His pictures show about what it looked like from my neck of the woods, but here's a great gallery of what people all over the world saw.

As you may remember from my Rainbow Connection post, I enjoy watching the sky for natural phenomena. Not everyone cares about this, but my circle of friends/relatives also seem to enjoy these wonders. I know because my mom called me to tell me about the celestial conjunction (my dad had told her about it) to make sure I didn't miss it. I did have to kind of coax my husband off the coach to head to the beach with me, but he was a good sport about it and he did thank me for showing him the unique sight.

A few days later, I hung out with my nine-year-old nephew. I asked him if he had seen the conjunction. He said he had seen it and that it looked like an "upside-down frown face" (again check out Brian Combs's photos to see what he means). I laughed because that was exactly what I had said. My husband was like, "You mean a happy face." And I was like, "No, I mean an upside-down frown face."

I was actually quite pleased to learn my nine-year-old nephew and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to looking at the world. After all, much of my writing is geared towards kids exactly his age. (And, in my defense, he is quite bright!) He also showed his perceptiveness and dry wit when he asked me to guess what "grandma" (my mom—don't be mad, mom, I write this with great affection) said about the conjunction. He told me, "She said, 'I'll be dead the next time that happens!'" That's such a thing that my mom would say—probably half serious, but with a bit of humor as well—that my nephew and I just cracked up about it.

And last night, I was treated to an awesome sight while driving down I-95. Amidst a scene of black asphalt and cold steel, I sensed a light peaking out of the clouds. Only the light was on the opposite side of the setting sun. As I stared at the clouds, a humongous full moon emerged from. It was so low in the sky, I swear if I had kept going straight, I would've driven right onto it.

I called my husband to tell him to check it out. He was also on the road and saw it too. He was (pretended to be?) as impressed as I was...he really is a good sport! When I got home, I grabbed my camera and headed to the beach. The moon wasn't quite as low and huge anymore, but I still got some decent pictures of it emerging from the clouds. It was very cool, despite the fact that a full moon on a Friday night is something we should all be wary of.