Check out the night skies Monday for a rare celestial event / Starry Night Software

On Monday, December 1, take a walk outside and look into the night sky. Do you see anything unusual?

Check out the moon, it will be just a sliver of its crescent shape. Notice the two silvery orbs hovering close by? Are they UFO’s? Not this time. What you’ll see are the planets Venus and Jupiter, two of the brightest planets. If you start watching tonight, you’ll be able to see this threesome merge closer together. This event is called an occultation of planets by astronomers and will be especially beautiful in Western Europe where the moon will pass in front of Venus. In North America you may be able to see the darkened portion of the moon’s full globe glowing with a bluish gray hue.

Venus is unmatched in its brilliance. This winter the planet is expected to be a magnificent display of illumination prominent in the southwestern sky, which it traveled into in late August of this year.  Venus is usually the first “star” you’ll notice shortly before sunset on clear nights.

Jupiter will be located slightly above Venus. It’s moving in the opposite direction so you’ll notice that it drops lower each evening. By the end of December it will be in close proximity to Mercury but will be difficult to see as this meeting takes place low in the sunset instead of high in the night sky. Then in January it will travel close to the Sun.

When considering the planets in astrology, Venus is the planet of love, money and pleasure. It’s primary concerns are love and romance, money and pleasure derived from possessions, harmony in our relationships with friends, family and in business partnerships. Venus’s energy affects our attraction to others, beauty, appreciation for the people and things in our lives, sensuality, culture, charm and grace, luxuries of life and the arts. Jupiter is often called the thinking person’s Planet because its primary concerns are higher learning, idea exploration on intellectual and spiritual levels, the formulation of our ideology, religions and philosophy. It also rules long distance travel, ethical and moral values, our sense of optimism, leisure time, games of chance and especially luck and fortune. The Moon is the ruler of our emotions and it affects us deeply on a daily basis because it’s the closest to the Earth.

Hope for a clear sky when you step outside over the next few nights to look toward the heavens. Celestial occultation’s such as the one you’ll be able to view on Monday night is an inspiring event. When we look up into the night sky and get a glimpse of such a spectacular sight, it reminds us that there must be more than what we can see with the naked eye and opens our minds to the possibilities of what lies beyond.