From December 5, 2009.
The inspiration for the title of this astronomy blog is a chapter from Craig Nelson’s Rocket Men. In the final chapter of this book tracing the background of Apollo 11, Nelson recalls a conversation with Gerry Griffin, a NASA Flight Director. A group of NASA employees went to Caltech, where the first moonwalker, Neil Armstrong, “got up at the blackboard and he drew four curves. They look kind of like mountain peaks.” The titles of the peaks were “Leadership,” “Threat,” “Good Economy”, and “World Peace.” As Griffin recalls, Armstrong said, “My theory is that when all of those curves are in conjunction, when they all line up together, you can do something like Apollo. Apollo, or something like it, will happen. And we happened to be ready for that when all those curves lined up” (p. 348).
October 22. 2021: Speedy Mercury is low in the east before sunrise. It is putting on its best morning performance of the year. Arcturus, in the east-northeast, is about the same altitude as Mercury.
October 21-November 1, 2021: Brilliant Venus steps through Ophiuchus to the upper left of the star Antares in the southwest after sunset . Afterward, the planet steps farther eastward.
October 21, 2021: The bright moon is low in the west about an hour before sunrise. Mercury is in the east at about the same altitude as Arcturus. Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter shine from the evening sky.
December 18, 2021: This is the anticipated launch date of the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most sophisticated space telescope view the universe.
October 20, 2021: Mercury is brightening in the morning sky. Brilliant Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the evening sky. The bright moon starts the evening low in the eastern sky.