I had been eagerly anticipating the latest sky delights this week with three planets being fairly close together just after sunset. Mercury, Venus and Jupiter are all visible for the next few days. Last night I was disappointed to find the trees in my neighborhood obscured my attempts to view the sight. I was trying to figure out how I could find a spot of the western sky that was clear of any tree line, lights or other obstacles when I remembered Black Walnut Point on Tilghman Island. It is about twenty to twenty five minutes from my home. I had mentioned viewing the planets to my friend Jenn and how I was going to venture to Tilghman to try and see them. She said she would love to see it too so at about half an hour before sundown we were driving west towards Tilghman. It is a pretty drive, through farm country and then you turn to run parallel to the Chesapeake Bay. The sun going down was throwing some beautiful oranges, yellows and various hues in the sky. There is a really neat drawbridge that you cross to head onto Tilghman. On our left was the Choptank River getting ready to pour into the Chesapeake, on our right was the Chesapeake. We drove down to a stretch of land called Black Walnut Point. There are some homes on the point, a lovely inn, a Coast Guard Station and a three quarter mike piece of land where the public can park, bird watch, watch ships travel up and down the bay, fish or just contemplate life. We parked and watched the last bits of the sunlight dip below the horizon. Jenn took the bottom picture looking north up the bay. To our left and right people were fishing off the rocks and out of the backs of their cars. Venus graced us with her presence first-the first bright light to appear in the sky. Next to the upper left of Venus but a bit dimmer was Jupiter and finally overtop of Venus to complete a triangle came Mercury. It was my first time ever seeing Mercury. I was happy to check that off my life list. We also saw a satellite pass overhead as well as a meteor burn up as it entered the atmosphere.
After dropping Jenn off at her car I headed to the tiny town of Preston to care for two cats and a dog. As I drove the moon started to come up over the horizon and tree line. I watched a show on astrophysics recently that said the moon used to be three times closer to us than it is now. Can you imagine what that moon looked like in the sky? They talk about the supermoons now when full moons come around imagine a moon three times as big as it is now in the sky? It was a beautiful moon the last two nights. While I am imagining what the moon looked like long ago I also wonder what the sun would look like when it goes supernova. The middle picture is just prior to sunrise at a petsitting job on the Tred Avon River.
I took the top picture in the park of my town. It is one of the many Memorial Day Tributes around my little town this weekend. In the big town of DC Rolling Thunder took place today. It is always impressive. As is the military placing flags at all the graves in Arlington National Cemetery. Thanks to all the military past and present!