At the end of a long day, all of the kids were in bed, I was taking out the trash when I saw a red celestial body in the night sky to the left of the moon.
My first thought: that’s Mars!
My next thought was how can I figure out what planets, stars, comets are in the sky on a clear night?
I found the coolest app on timeandate.com:
A picture on my phone won’t do it justice, so I didn’t even try.
As I continued to scroll around on this app, I noticed something else Jupiter and Saturn were in clear sight too.
So cool! Jupiter was much bigger and brighter than Saturn but also Mars. They don’t call it the Gas Giant for nothing.
You might not be into this, so thanks for indulging me. You read about the planets in school and even people talk about them or you watch a documentary about astronauts going to the moon, but actually seeing them with the naked eye, there is something cool about that.
I saw on Space.com that the next week or so you can see at least 5 of the planets with the naked eye this week and up to 7 with a telescope.
I have seen planets through a telescope and what is so amazing is that they really do look how they are depicted in classic textbooks. Space seems so foreign, so fantastic, but it is a real place. Planets, comets, moons, stars, they are real and they exist. Space is not a fantasy no matter how far away it is from Earth.
Another cool feature on the site is when the planets will be visible during the night:
Astronomy is cool!