Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Monday, December 24, 2007

In the East...Mars?

Most of us are familiar with this Scripture passage about the Star of Bethlehem being visible when Jesus was born:
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” --- Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)
But did you ever think Mars would be something to see? Anyone venturing outside this evening should, weather permitting, be able to view a different “star in the east,” otherwise known as the red planet. According to the website
On December 24, Mars reaches opposition. This means that it will appear as a bright orange star in the east soon after sunset.
One of the weather websites that I consult regularly,, has this to say as well:
Mars will be unusually bright this Christmas Even and the moon will be shining full --- a development that might make Santa Claus rethink his need for Rudolph’s red nose.

The red planet will shine brighter because it will be directly opposite the sun, reflecting the most light, and fairly close to Earth, only 55.5 million miles away. The full moon will appear nearby, rising about an hour later.

Mars will outshine the brightest star and wont be as noticeable in the sky for nine more years.
With such a long wait until the next peak visibility, I just may be outside tonight looking for Mars...instead of Santa.

Merry Christmas!

No comments: