(A picture of Venus, Mars and the Moon, from a few days ago, picture credit©right Jay ouelett)
These days it is worthwhile taking a look at the skies !
Just after sunset, to the west, one can easily see bright and big Venus, accompanied by smaller and of red-shade Mars – her mythological lover. The couple were closest to each other a few days ago (and closest since 2008), and now they are in the process of drifting apart. So if you look each night you can actually see Venus “running away from her lover”, moving more and more to the east every evening, leaving Mars behind.
The couple set to the west, just as the sun does, about an hour after sunset.
Also available to see in the night skies these days are Jupiter and Sirius – easily spotted as the two brightest stars (apart from Venus).
Jupiter – the biggest planet of our solar-system is now shining bright from the constellation of Cancer. The constellation of Cancer is difficult to detect (well, what would you expect of Cancer? To “show-off”?) but one can easily see the two bright stars of the Gemini constellation to its east.
Jupiter is rising in the evenings in the east these days and “watching over us”, travelling the whole skies from east to west, transcending to the west before sunrise.
Sirius, also known as the “dog-star” is part of the Canis-Major constellation, the dog that accompanies the giant Orion.
To spot Sirius we’d want to search for the brightest, blue star, appearing above the southern horizon, just near Orion – which is mainly known for its belt, which is also the North Arrow. .
The myth tells of the hunter and his dog ruling the skies. The Native Americans actually knew Sirius was not one star, but a couple of suns rotating, appearing to us as one big light. The Mayan also put major emphasis upon the appearance and disappearance of Sirius from the night scenery and actually had a whole calendar to detect its movements and had predictions according to them.
Sirius was of major importance to the Egyptians as well, who built their pyramids according to the lay-out of the North Arrow (Orion’s Belt).
Today we can be reminded of its important by the dog accompanying the “Fool” in the Major Arcane of the Tarot cards, marking the beginning of all beginnings.