Monday, January 30, 2006

Two Neat Things

This morning I noticed two interesting things when I walked the dogs. One is that the eastern sky was exactly one shade paler than completely dark. Now I realize that I am still weeks away from walking the dogs in daylight before I go to work, but today was the first morning that I could see any sign that this event is nearing. As far as I’m concerned, it’s cause for celebration!

The second neat thing was the planet Saturn. Saturn is in the eastern sky before daylight, and right now it’s as close to earth as it will get all year. Since it’s in the eastern sky, light from the sun strikes it before sunrise, making it look even bigger and brighter than it otherwise would. And boy, does it look big and bright.

After walking the dogs, I went back into the cabin and pulled out my spotting scope that’s mounted on a rifle mount, hoping to see the planet’s rings. I walked down to the end of the road, braced myself against a telephone pole for stability and looked. Since my spotting scope is only 20x, I couldn’t *quite* see the rings, but I could see a wide blob where the rings should be, so it was close as I am going to get without buying a telescope. I was out just after 6 a.m., and the planet was low in the eastern sky. Check it out before the planet orbits further away. It’s way cool.

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