Friday, February 15, 2013

when the night comes falling from the sky

I’ve brought up before that I'm a night owl who thoroughly enjoys the night sky—and pretty much all things having to do with what happens out in space. It's easy to loose myself in the wonder of it all.

Today -- February 15 -- brings not one, but two, amazing happenings in the sky! Are you ready for this?

#1  Though by now we’ve missed the chance to see Mars and Mercury together, tonight, 30 minutes after sunset (looking west) will be the third and final opportunity this month to spot elusive planet Mercury. The planet will be at its greatest elongation from the sun. This places Mercury at its highest altitude this month for observers in the Northern Hemisphere.
"Despite being among the brightest objects in the sky, Mercury is a planet very rarely seen by even experienced stargazers… [the past couple of weeks] offer the best opportunity in 2013 for observers in the Northern Hemisphere to spot Mercury's tiny speck of light in the evening twilight sky."
And here, with a finders map to assist you

#2  And if that’s not enough to get you excited... how about an asteroid the size of an office building?

#2  First spotted last year by astronomers in Spain, the asteroid known as 2012 DA14 will whiz past Earth today, going about 5 miles per second! It is thought to be about 150 feet across and made of rock.
"At its closest approach, it will be only about 17,200 miles above the surface of our planet. That's far nearer to us than the moon, and even closer than some weather and communications satellites. 
NASA officials say this event is one for the record books — the first time scientists have been able to predict something so big coming so close."
When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place
~Psalm 8: 4