Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Dance of the Planets


 (Photo credit: Universe Today)

I have continued to enjoy the movements of Venus, Jupiter, and Mars. This particular conjunction of planets has now inspired my imagination for several weeks. Each morning I look to the east around five or six am to see if it is clear enough to see this amazing display. The relative arrangement of the three planets and the bright star, Regulus, are slightly different each day and change from hour to hour. The rate at which each one rises in the morning is dependent not only on the spin of our earth but also the movement of the planets in their orbits relative to earth’s position in her orbit around the sun. I am intrigued each day to see where each planet appears relative to the others. I am always amazed by the slightly red hue of Mars as seen from earth. This red colour is thought to be caused by the scattering of red photons in the atmosphere of Mars. The soil of Mars contains much iron that turns to a rusty red colour due to oxidation and the dust of this red iron is kicked up into her atmosphere by surface winds.

I can see why the Psalmist was inspired to write poetry about his observations of the night sky. May we never lose our sense of awe about the planets and stars.

Psalm 8 (NLT)
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.
O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
    Your glory is higher than the heavens.
You have taught children and infants
    to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies
    and all who oppose you.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
    the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
    human beings that you should care for them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than God
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
    putting all things under their authority—
the flocks and the herds
    and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
    and everything that swims the ocean currents.
O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

(Photo credit: Universe Today)

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