Sun | May 26, 2019

Behold Venus and Jupiter

Published:Friday | May 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Since so many of us these days look down on our smartphone screens in our palms, we may fail to look up to the skies and be confronted by two bright 'stars' facing each other just after sunset. What we are actually seeing are two planets - Venus in the west and Jupiter in the east.

It is not often that we see them in that position, but it will be interesting to watch their movements over the next few weeks. Could it have been something like that that inspired Richard Wagner to compose the tune, "Oh star of eve, thy tender beams smile on my spirit's troubled dreams ... ?"

Science students, especially, should take note, since the day may come when these celestial bodies will be much paler in appearance as pollution from electric lights increases. The present young generation, even in rural Jamaica, has never seen what a real starry night is like because of atmospheric pollution from electric lights and other sources. Such is the way of progress: we win some and we lose some.