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Aggregation of selected recently-updated blogs, news feeds and tweets:

Saturday August 27, 2016

17:15 [BRIEF NOTE] On tonight's conjunction of Venus and Jupiter »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
From's Calla Cofield:

Just above the horizon, Venus and Jupiter will appear so close to each other that, from some locations, the two planets will almost seem to touch. The next time Venus and Jupiter will get this close will be in November 2065.

[. . .]

Viewers all over the globe should begin looking for the two planets shortly after sundown, just above the western horizon. Be sure to find a viewing location where the horizon is unobscured by buildings and trees.

For viewers in the northern U.S. and Canada, the planets will appear only about 5 degrees above the western horizon. A clenched fist held at arm's length is about 10 degrees wide, so look for the two bright spots of light about a half a fist above the horizon.

[. . .]

The best views of Venus and Jupiter will be from the East Coast of the United States and Canada. Unfortunately, the planets' closest approach will take place before sunset, at about 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT). But about 30 minutes after sundown, the light should fade enough to make the two planets (which will still be quite close together) visible to skywatchers. (The sight of these two bright planets apparently converging is so breathtaking that some people think it could explain the Star of Bethlehem story from the Bible.)

At their absolute minimum, the two planets will be separated by 4 arc minutes, where 60 arc minutes equals 1 degree. To get a better idea of how to measure celestial distances, use the Big Dipper for reference: The middle star in the handle of the Dipper is called Mizar, while the faint star just above it is called Alcor. These two stars are separated by 12 arc minutes.

On the East Coast, some viewers may be able to catch the planets separated by as little as 5 arc minutes. On the West Coast of the U.S., the planets will be separated by between 6 and 12 arc minutes. Viewers in North and South America will see the planets grow farther apart as the night progresses.

From Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait:

Closest approach (what astronomers call the appulse, but is more colloquially and commonly called a conjunction) will be on Saturday at 22:00 UTC (18:00 Eastern U.S. time), and at that time they’ll be an incredible four arcminutes apart. That’s only one-seventh the width of the full Moon on the sky!* In fact Jupiter appears half an arc minute across, so Venus will only be about eight times Jupiter’s diameter away!

[. . .]

The conjunction is cool not just because it’s pretty (and it is). It’s also rare. The planets orbit the Sun, moving at different speeds. They all stay in pretty much the same plane—it’s usually called the plane of the solar system—and we’re in it too, so the planets move more or less along the same path in the sky. But not exactly the same path, so they pass each other at various distances. A close pass is pretty rare and in fact this is the closest any two planets get all year.

It’s also cool because of the physical reality of what you’re seeing. Venus orbits the Sun closer than Earth, and it’s on the other side of the Sun right now. So you’re looking past the Sun (which is 150 million kilometers away from us) to Venus, which is about 230 million kilometers away. Jupiter is a staggering 950 million kilometers away!

What amazes me is that even though Jupiter is more than four times farther away, it still appears three times bigger than Venus. That’s because Jupiter is ridiculously huge, a dozen times the diameter of Venus.

My only question is whether, by 8:30 tonight, I should be down by the waterfront, or up Dufferin towards the escarpment.
16:01 Precision soldering (135 Words) » | New Topics
I am looking for someone who has expertise in removing and replacing circuit board components. The goal is to remove and replace the lcd screen in the dashboard of my car. The entire procedure is shown in this YouTube video: I would do all the removal steps to gain access to the ribbon cable of the lcd screen in the dashboard. I would ask the soldering expert to desolder the old ribbon, clean up all the contacts and solder in the new ribbon and lcd. I would do the rest. I would take the exposed lcd in the dash unit to you and pick it up. Please let me know if you are interested and what you would like to be paid for your work. Thanks...
15:48 Christian teens visit Buddhist monastery in Little Sands »The Guardian - Local News
The young people were from the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth