Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"A Heavenly Array..."

...in the southwest Arizona desert sky
December 1st, 2008
at sundown.
The Moon, Venus, and Jupiter...
just hanging out together
waiting patiently for nightfall to arrive to dance the night away...
totally oblivious
to the myriads of twinkling holiday lights
decorating planet Earth below.

It took my breath away.

"Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards
and
leads us from this world to another."
~Plato

Here are some interesting facts about this alignment:

"Though the three celestial objects
will appear to be close together Monday night,
they lie at drastically different distances from Earth.
While the moon is only 252,000 miles away,
Venus is 370 times farther away, at 94 million miles.
And distant Jupiter
lies nearly six times farther away
than Venus, at around 540 million miles. "

"The tables are turned
when we think about the heavenly objects' relative size.
While the moon appears as the largest of the three,
it is really a tiny speck in space
compared to the vast bulk of Venus,
which is again dwarfed by Jupiter,
the largest planet in the solar system.
Jupiter's diameter is 40 times that of the moon."
( Source: Wired Science)

16 comments:

pippasporch said...

Wow, Margaret, you are so quick! It is an absolutely beautiful rendering!

I posted a photograph over at my Porch ~ nothing as creative as your wonderful painting ~ and I am fascinated by how the view differs between the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

(: love!
Pippa

Shirley said...

I was watching the moon and planets over the Manhattan skyline while driving home from work and you were wtching the very same view over the dessert. While that is completely understandable, I feel as if we shared one moment in time! Wonderful painting!!!

soulbrush said...

this is sort of an xmassy sky....

Lisa at Greenbow said...

A beautiful painting of this phenom. We didn't get to see it at the height of the show because it has been so cloudy here.

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

It was cloudy here, Margaret, so thank you for the gift!

Stapeliad said...

I know I keep saying this but I'm blown away every time...your colors are incredible. What watercolor brand do you use? Or are you using illustration inks?

Teri C said...

Beautifully done Margaret! I see this in the evening and early morning sky. So beautiful.

Sandy said...

The colors!! I walked out last night and saw the beauty of that scene in person. I really like this!

marianne said...

Wonderful sky and painting.
Thanks for the additional info! The sky is an endless source of inspiration!

MuseSwings said...

I missed seeing that last night - it was cloudy and raining! Your picture is beautiful and gives me a "second chance" to enjoy.

Chris said...

Thanks for those facts about the alignment. I could not believe how awesome it looked last night. And your rendering is another beautiful thing.

Julie said...

I was looking at the moon, Venus and Jupiter last night from south Florida also! So beautiful!!! It was a very clear night here, with twinkly stars all around!

Sherry said...

We saw this alignment every night last week when we were in the Dominican Republic. The planets were amazingly bright. I probably wouldn't notice it here, because I don't go outside and gaze at the stars - It's too darned cold! Anyway, you did a wonderfully vivid painting.

Rachel H said...

I hadn't noticed it at all until I saw this a couple of days ago. The sky was really clear last night on the way home from work, and Venus and Jupiter looked absolutely stunning! Thanks for the lovely thought to drive hom with. :)

Serena said...

A beautiful painting to mark this special occasion, Margaret.

In the southern hemisphere, it appeared in the sky reversed so actually looked like the heavens were smiling down on us. here is the news link with the pic - http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/5184589/moon-and-stars-smiling/

clare said...

Oh Margaret This is Awesome. Your colours are beautiful. I Love it.