Tonight, just past sunset, we’ll be able to see the Venus-Jupiter Conjunction. Old mariners, who used the stars to do celestial navigation, referred to these conjunctions as “double stars” because the two planets appeared as one bright star in the heavens. The Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, once located on Navy Hill in Foggy Bottom, specialized in detecting these “double stars” and informing mariners who might have otherwise mis-navigated or arrived at incorrect navigation calculations. We learned this when we (CUA’s student SLA chapter) toured the Naval Observatory Library early in 2014.
Long story short, I attended a lecture at CUA last spring of a Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist who make an early discovery about the existence of black holes in space. The two opposing ideas, the double star and the black hole, bouncing around in my brain, resulted in these three poems, which I am posting from the archives in observance of the Venus-Jupiter Conjunction tonight.