The Garden

A blog by Marijn van Hoorn

Happy Solstice!

Marijn van Hoorn
The low sun shines through a snow-covered tree.
I wish it were this snowy here. Bloody climate change… Photo taken at Tamarac wildlife refuge by Thaddeus McCamant, US Fish & Wildlife Service. Licenced under CC-BY 2.0.

The shortest day of the year (for us Northern Hemisphere folk, anyway) is upon us, and, if you are of a denomination which finds it an occasion to celebrate, i hope you find it a good day, whether you're celebrating Koročun, Saturnalia, Yule, or just solstice for solstice’s sake.

The planets Jupiter and Saturn, along with their moons, in conjunction.
Screenshot captured with Stellarium, which is an excellent piece of software if you’re at all interested in stargazing.

Another astronomical event will grace the stars tonight: Jupiter and Saturn are only a tenth of a degree apart in the night sky, closer than they’ve been in 800 years. The best time to view it in the UK (weather permitting) is between 16:30, when the sky starts to darken, and 17:30, when the twins disappear beneath the horizon. Don’t worry if you don’t get to see it tonight; they’ll still be plenty close for the week to come.