Saturday, December 09, 2006

Front-Row Seating at the Celestial Ballet

On Sunday just before sunrise, we'll be treated to a once-this-lifetime planetary triple play, when Jupiter, Mercury and Mars nestle together in the pre-dawn skies. This kind of line-up won't happen again till 2053, so you may not be embodied for the encore.

I find it intriguing that Jupiter will be flanked by the planets that rule communication and action. Jupiter is the orb of expansion, manifestation, full-bodied expression. What and how do we wish to express now; what do we most want to make visible to the naked eye?

It promises to be a stunning performance: Jupiter will appear white, Mercury pinkish and Mars will butterscotch-colored.

Miami, Florida Space Transit Planetarium Director Jack Horkheimer waxed lyrical about the event: "It is a lovely demonstration of the celestial ballet that goes on around us, day after day, year after year, millennium after millennium. When I look at something like this, I realize that all the powers on Earth, all the emperors, all the money, cannot change it one iota. We are observers, but the wonderful part of that is that we are the only species on this planet that can observe it and understand it."

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