The cosmic ballet goes on

I had intended to post this earlier, but life got in the way, mostly in the form of an illness that caused me to cancel out on two students this weekend. ‘Tis the season…

VenusOccultationStellariumAnyway, there is a cool event going on tomorrow (Monday, December 7th) during daylight hours, one that may be worth going out at a specific set of times to try and see. Venus is going to pass behind the crescent moon – or be occulted by the moon, if you want to be accurate/pedantic. No, this does not mean chickens and pentagrams and all that, it just means ‘pass behind;‘ astronomers aren’t that exciting. You might think that this wouldn’t be visible in daylight, or at least not the Venus part, but Venus is often visible during the day in clear skies – you just have to know where to look to see a small bright spot against a reasonably bright sky. And, by all accounts, it will be notably bright. Check out this post on Universe Today for the viewing details.

The image here is courtesy of the program Stellarium, which is handy for things like this – it accurately shows occultations, eclipses, and other such events, though it does not have satellites and comets included. With the program, you can figure out exactly when Venus will disappear behind the moon and later emerge, and what position in the sky they will be – all you need is a reasonably accurate longitude for your locale. If you’re near central Carolina, the time shown here is emergence tomorrow.

By the way, you should be checking out Universe Today on a regular basis anyway – it’s got loads of neat posts.

not G.I. JoePart two of this post is just for giggles. I was in need of a small, specific joint for a photo project, but wasn’t willing to pay a lot for it. After much poking around, I found what I needed in this action figure from WalMart: Carlos Perez, AKA “Gills,” from The Corps! Elite. His pose here is slightly indicative of why I chose him, though in truth any one of his fellow Corps!members would have worked – his fingers aren’t articulated or he’d be flashing a gang sign (or perhaps a Girl Scout salute – I’m not up on such things.) This is the last time you’ll see him intact…

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