The Weekly Watch

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The Longest Night

It is darkest before the dawn. Tomorrow is the winter solstice, the longest night here in the north. Light and day length begin their slow growth this week until the summer solstice in June. Throughout human history the solstice has marked time and been celebrated. This year there's an additional show in the night sky...https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/great-jupiter-saturn-conjuncti...

In December, just as Jupiter and Saturn are nearly at their closest, the young moon will sweep past them. From December 16-25, 2020, the 2 will be separated by less than a full-moon diameter, just as the crescent moon is passing close. Jupiter will appear brighter, outshining Saturn by 12 times. Saturn is respectably bright, though, shining as brilliantly as a 1st-magnitude star.

Some say the conjunction of these planets on the solstice marks the beginning of a new Age of Aquarius. Despite the ravages of COVID, the Earth has made another revolution around the sun. Another year comes to an end, and what a long strange trip it has been. I'm more than ready for a new age...