Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Moon slips past Venus

The impossible alignments of Jovian Moons, and Sunrise with solar Transit,establishing a Poetic License for Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey have nothing on reality. In their course, those without clouds in their western sky, Friday evening, were treated a real experience of the Music of the Spheres.

As Earth rotated (about 370 meters per second at my latitude) eastward, the backdrop to the line-of-sight view of the new born lunation featured Venus, rapidly passing Earth on the inside track around the Sun.

The Old Moon was also in the New Moon's arms as earthshine from high noon over the middle Pacific Ocean echoed back some detail in the contrast of the mostly shadowed Near Side. It is worth a click on the picture above, from Bad Astronomy, to capture the telescopic affect.

Beginning with Abraham, according the Josephus, Astrology would begin its long journey from religion to modern heresy. With views like this, a regular and highly predictable feature of naked eye astronomy, coinciding with the rise and fall of armies, it's not hard to see why Astrology, from the Neolithic stone cutters to Chaldean priests of Ur to the newspaper readers of the modern Occident and Orient, is so compelling.

From the Patriarchs to the scholars, however, the alternative explanations, manifest order in obedience to an even higher order, proved more compelling still.

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