Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sighted in the Night Sky

Over the past two nights, I've noticed a reddish-pink dot in the night sky about 1-2 inches above the moon. This got me thinking: What is that dot? Could it be Mars? Or is it Jupiter instead? Today, I finally figured it out with the help of Stellarium (an awesome Open Source planetarium):

Answer: It's Mars!

And the secondary (weaker/dimmer) spot nearby to the right of the moon was probably Saturn.

I've never really been terribly into star gazing, but wow! That's the first time I've ever been able to actually see one of the other planets in the solar system with my own eyes.

Stellarium is generally quite a nice package (though of course it took a little bit of poking around to figure out what all the different icons did, and which ones I needed to press XD)... heck, it ran pretty darned well considering I was running it on a VM and not on my machine directly (FYI, their Windows downloads are still hosted on SourceForge, so I decided not to risk it). Maybe now I'll finally be able to start figuring out how on earth people can manage to spot constellations and stuff like that in the sky... ;)

1 comment:

  1. I asked myself exactly the same question last week :) There is a cool app for android called sky map (open source too) that lets you point your phone to the sky and give you the names.. Apparently many planets are often visible by the naked eye