Home > Holiday > 02/14/2020 – Ephemeris – Love is in the air, and in space too

02/14/2020 – Ephemeris – Love is in the air, and in space too

Ephemeris for St Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 6:09, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:43. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 1:02 tomorrow morning.

As I said before today is St. Valentine’s day. However one of the symbols of this Christian Saint’s day, beside the red hearts, is the pagan Roman god of love Cupid, the cute counterpart of the Greek god Eros. Cupid supposedly made people fall in love by shooting them with little love darts with his bow. One of those darts is in the sky as the constellation Sagitta the arrow which is visible on summer evenings and now in the early morning. The Roman goddess of love is represented brilliantly in the evening sky as the planet Venus. On St Valentine’s Day, 20 years ago the NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft entered orbit of the asteroid Eros, and soft landed on it 364 days later. They say love is in the air. Apparently love is in space too.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Sagitta the arrow

Sagitta the arrow at 6 a.m. these mornings, located within the Summer Triangle of the bright stars Vega, Altair and Deneb. It will be seen at a more convenient time this summer. Created using Stellarium.

Six views of asteroid 433-Eros in February 2000. Images from NASA's NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft.

Six views of asteroid 433-Eros in February 2000. Images from NASA’s NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft.

Bonus

Heart Nebula

IC 1805 (Heart Nebula) Credit: s58y [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Pluto hearts us

Pluto on July 8, 2015 from the New Horizons spacecraft on approach showing its love for us, or it’s just a heart shaped feature on Pluto’s lower right edge. This is a back & white image colorized by information captured by “Ralph”, a visible and infrared imager. The detail in all these pictures is provided by LORRI the long range imager. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

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