It’s not like it’s the end of the world. That comes in December, supposedly. But a crescent moon sets Saturday and Sunday while Venus and Jupiter glow brightly together in the western twilight.
Terry Richardson, College of Charleston senior astronomy instructor, will be out to watch the odd planetary convergence, not as a professor but as a landscape photographer. The event isn’t riveting astronomy.
“I haven’t paid as much attention to this as I have to the Mayan calamity that’s about to befall us,” he joked. But, “It’s a great thing to photograph. The planets are so light they stand out against the sky as it darkens.” When the moon moves in, that makes for a real show, he said. Photographs might be even better Friday, with the moon still somewhat at a distance.
The sunset convergence occurs twice or so per decade, each time within a few years of a dawn convergence.
After this weekend, the moon goes on its way. But Venus and Jupiter continue to converge until they are only three degrees apart in mid-March. The college’s astronomy lab opens its observatory and telescope for a visitor’s night on March 16. The convergence will be one of the features viewed.
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