Tonight, a clear western horizon shows Venus.
I imagine a line to the sunset
which intersects Mercury below it but ascending
each night while Venus descends, their conjunction
next week even if we don’t notice.
A conjunction of Mercury and Venus appears above the Moon, as viewed from the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile – Image: ESO/Y. Beletsky, CC BY 4.0
From mid-May through the end of the month, Mercury is visible after sunset below Venus above where the Sun set. Past mid-month, Mercury ascends while Venus descends toward its June 3 passage between the Earth and the Sun and their conjunction will come May 20/21.
Lost for 1800 years, she was found
hiding on her home island of Milos.
Without arms holding, her modesty sliding down
her nude torso holds our modern gaze.
She is cold in this Parisian coffin.
It was 200 years ago that a Greek farmer on the island of Milos found a statue. It was damaged but still beautiful.
Most people assume – and it is an assumption – that she is meant to be Venus/Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. She was sculpted around 130-100 BC. Some art historians believe she is the sea-goddess Amphitrite who was venerated on the island of Milos.
The statue was purchased by France for 1000 francs and now resides at the Louvre in Paris – found but still a long way from home.
I wake up before the sun rises
looking East to the Moon and Venus.
The two brightest celestial bodies of night,
here in the morning, reminds me of
that which is omnipresent but often forgotten.
Before today’s sunrise, our two brightest planets,
Venus and Jupiter, came close together.
Both inside my one field of view –
“An illusion. Only from our Earthly perspective,”
you said, moving away in cold sunlight.
Astronomical conjunctions explained
At dawn, the Earth’s shadow is blue-grey
and above it is a pink band –
the Belt of Venus wrapping our world.
Shadow ascending in the east, as west
sun sets, her belt and robe dropping.
(The shadow of the Earth is curved like the Earth and extends hundreds of thousands of miles into space. When it “touches” the moon, there is a lunar eclipse. A partial lunar eclipse will occur in the Eastern Hemisphere on the night of August 7-8, 2017.)