For the last couple of weeks as I’ve been walking up the hill to my house on the way home from work I have noticed two bright lights in the sky. Thanks to a great astronomy website called StarDate (which I would love even if it was crap, simply because of its name) I know that they are Venus and Jupiter.
At their closest they are respectively 41 million and 628 million kms from Earth in two totally different directions, if Space actually has directions. Yet they are visible, one just a couple of inches above the other, from my front garden.
I think that’s pretty unusual (after all, they can only have been in conjunction with one another a few hundred million times since the universe was formed), though sadly what is not unusual is my photographic ability with my mobile phone.
This is my attempt at taking a picture of them:
The tiny dot in the centre of the screen is Venus. Before you get too impressed, though, Jupiter is not visible at all, and that second light at the bottom of the picture is my neighbours’ burglar alarm.
I had my camera on zoom. Perhaps there is a limit to the distance over which this makes any difference.