Monday, June 19, 2006

Planets

The night sky over Ocracoke is frequently spectacular. Tonight is one such time. Stars appear to be strewn across the heavens by the hand of a playful and exuberant youth who desires nothing but to share the beauty of a rare treasure. It is tempting just to stand outside and stare at the night sky as time marches into the early morning.

Someone told Lou Ann that the three "stars" in the southern sky that are forming an isosceles triangle are the planets Venus (the brightest "star" at the bottom left), Mars (at the top), and Jupiter. I have been unable to confirm this, but they make a beautiful figure in the June sky.

If you are in an area where you can see the stars, be sure to take in the grandeur. And if you are a professional or amateur astronomer, please let us know if those three diamonds in the sky are really Venus, Mars, & Jupiter.

You can read our latest newsletter here. It's the story of the Invasion of Ocracoke & Portsmouth in the War of 1812.
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4 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:17 AM

    This is according to SPACE.Com-
    This huge, nearly isosceles triangle is composed of three of the brightest stars in the sky, each the brightest star in its own constellation. The brightest is the bluish-white star Vega (magnitude 0.0), in Lyra the Lyre. Next in brightness is yellow-white Altair (magnitude +0.8) in Aquila, the Eagle. Finally there is white Deneb (magnitude +1.3), in Cygnus, the Swan. The stars appear in that order, as the twilight sky grows dark.

    Hope it helps! Sheila D.

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  2. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Dear Sheila,

    Walking down sandy, clam-filled Howard Street in the deep darkness of the night, it is romantic to still believe in the possibility that the triangle canopy above is Venus, Mars and Jupiter.

    However, your scientific explanation makes us credible!

    Lou Ann

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  3. Anonymous8:42 AM

    With that kind of help, you will soon be well-informed amateur astronomers! Here is another resource that refers to a triangle in the WNW part of the current sky:

    http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/2171.html

    Hope that ALSO helps!

    We'll be by there in about three weeks and stop by at VC.

    Suzanne

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  4. Sheila9:24 AM

    I'm laughing at you, Philip, because I'm no astonomer...just a Googler.
    I also step out onto my back porch on Ocracoke and am purely blown away by the carpet of stars in the sky. We've also been guilty of unscrewing our neighbors porch light to get it nice & dark for a better view...more stars than sky!

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