Saturday, October 24, 2015: hubby’s phone alarm went off at 4 AM initiating our practiced paces to get out on the road quickly and efficiently. Heading east on US 36 through to I-70E, hubby and I enjoyed the clear pre-dawn sky. Littered with glittering stars, planets and satellites, we absorbed the 180 degree view of the Eastern Horizon. Knowing our unobstructed high plains views would be left behind with each mile driven back to our current place of residence in South Carolina, we reminisced about our numerous past night-sky adventures. Amidst our gazing, talking, dreaming and driving we both realized something extraordinary was occurring in the left, northern most part of the eastern sky.
“Ah, yes, there’s Venus, but what’s that bigger planet? Jupiter?”
I grabbed the mini-binoculars always at the ready in our car and saw a third red dot curved below the other two planets.
“Terry! It’s a trio of planets, Mars is there, too.”
With hubby at the wheel, we both sky-watched as this glorious oddity continued to shine forth throughout the unfolding of the dawn, well into Kansas. What exactly was this?
Turns out, October 24, 2015 was the absolute best day to observe this rare Dawn Triangle of Planets, marking the beginning of the best week to observe it as well.
(It’s not too late to get out and see this for yourself!)
Also, turns out that the biggest planet was Venus…my bad!
It is Monday and we are several days into an ‘historic’ rainfall that is saturating inland as well as coastal South Carolina. Luckily the newest hurricane threat Joaquin, destined for landing along the Carolinas, diverted out to the Atlantic Friday evening. If not for that, it would have amped up an already massive waterload to a super-storm much like what happened along the Jersey shore a few winters ago.
flooding in Florence, SC
going nowhere fast
It’s interesting to note that these torrential downpours differ from Colorado storms in many ways. The most striking is in the delivery. Sheets of rain fall down in a soft pattering soak here in the swamp, while mile high storms tend to pelt the earth with bullet drops. But, either way, flooding is flooding leaving catastrophic consequences in its wake. Continue reading →