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Psalm 19:1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”
Genesis tells us that God made the sun, moon, and stars on Day Four of Creation Week (Genesis 1:14–19). All of the beautiful things that we see in the sky were made by God, and they bring Him glory. When we look up into the sky, we should remember our Creator and thank Him for the wonderful things that He has made.
This year there are some really neat things to see in the sky. Some of these astronomical bodies you can see just using your eyes, but binoculars or a telescope will really help you to see the details.
In our solar system there are eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. This year you will get a chance to see three of these planets (besides Earth) quite clearly.
Your best chance to see the planet Venus is in June or early July with it being brightest around July 6. If you miss it then, you can catch it again in September or October. It will appear at its best on September 21 or early morning on October 26. Venus appears brighter than any star in the sky. If you want to see Venus as it goes through all of its different phases (like the phases of the moon), then you will want to start watching it in the evening, starting in late April.
Through late July you can also see the planet Jupiter in the evening sky. If you use a small telescope, you can see the disk of Jupiter and its four largest satellites or “moons.” These moons will look like four stars lined up with Jupiter. On June 30 Venus and Jupiter will pass very close to each other, something we call a “conjunction.” If you miss the June 30 conjunction, you can see another one on the mornings of October 25 and 26.
You can also see the planet Saturn from late April until late October. On May 22 Saturn will be in the sky all night long so that’s a good chance to get out and see it. Even with a small telescope you should be able to see Saturn’s beautiful rings.
On the morning of August 13 you will get a chance to see a meteor shower called the Perseid meteor shower. Since the moon won’t be very bright that night, it should be a spectacular show. Maybe that would be a great night for a camp-out in the backyard!
On September 27 we will have a great opportunity to see a total lunar eclipse. This happens when Earth’s shadow completely covers the moon. You will definitely want to get outside and enjoy this beautiful sight.
This total lunar eclipse was photographed in Palmer, Alaska over a two-hour time period in December, 2010.
I hope you are able to get outside with your parents to see all the amazing things God put into the heavens. And, remember, when you see what God has made out in the universe, make sure to praise Him for being such an amazing Creator and for giving us the Bible, which tells us how He created and how we can have a relationship with Jesus!