Be­hold Venus and Jupiter

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY - TREVOR SA­MUELS tasamuels@cw­ja­maica.com

THE ED­I­TOR, Sir:

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.

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