Monday, March 26, 2012

iPhone-ing It In

Got a new (used) iPhone tonight and still working on getting it customized with my favorite apps, contacts, wallpaper, etc....I still wanted to get some new content on Charlie though so I thought I'd share the history of Venus in the sky. It's the closest it's been to us in awhile so tonight Adam and I walked outside to see it. You may not know it but:

A daytime apparition of Venus in the sky was famously spotted by none other than President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

It was March 4, 1865, and the streets of Washington, D.C., were packed with crowds watching the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln for his second term as president. Suddenly someone in the crowd spotted something strange in the sky: a tiny brilliant point of light. Excitement swelled through the crowd as each person pointed it out to their neighbor. The commotion even reached as far as the Lincoln himself, and soon he too was pointing at the brilliant point in the sky.
One of Lincoln's bodyguards, Sergeant Smith Stimmellater, described it this way: "Soon after the President concluded his address, he entered his carriage, and the procession started up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, the escort from our Company following next to his carriage. Shortly after we turned onto Pennsylvania Avenue, west of the Capitol, I noticed the crowd along the street looking intently, and some were pointing to something in the heavens toward the south. [Great Skywatcher Photos of Venus and Jupiter]

"I glanced up in that direction, and there in plain view, shining out in all her star-like beauty, was the planet Venus. It was a little after midday at the time I saw it, possibly near one o'clock; the sun seemed to be a little west of the median, the star a little east. It was a strange sight. I never saw a star at that time in the day before or since. The superstitious had had many strange notions about it, but of course it was simply owing to the peculiarly clear condition of the atmosphere and the favorable position of the planet at that time. The President and those who were with him in the carriage noticed the star at the same time.

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