Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Last night, as I was looking to the stars, it suddenly came to me that summer is almost over. Really. It was the stars that reminded me. Tonight, just after the sun sets, look high in the southern sky. That really bright "star" that you see is actually the planet Jupiter. Just below Jupiter is a reddish star. This is Antares. Antares is one of my favorite stars.
The name Antares means warlike because of its similar look to the red planet Mars, named for the Roman god of war. It is a red super giant and is many times larger that our own sun. Antares is the brightest star in the constellation of Scorpio and points us towards the center of the galaxy. Just below and left of Antares (in the tail of the Scorpion) is the most dense part of the Milky Way and it ribbons through the sky back towards the north east.
You'll have to find a dark area and get out early tonight as the moon will be rising about an hour after the sun sets. Once we enter into late fall, our night sky will point us away from our own galaxy and the Milky Way will become invisible to us for several months. But the winter sky is beautiful. So many bright stars! I need to note here that I've never seen the night sky from the Southern Hemisphere and have noted several readers are from below the equator. It's on my list of things to do. Here are some interesting pictures. On the one hand, they can certainly make you feel small and insignificant. On the other hand, the Bible says that your Creator knows you; knows everything about you, even the number of hairs on your head! That should make you feel very special.
You should be able to click on each picture to enlarge it.