System of the Sun

This is not running a very localized observation (I’ve noticed this both where I stay in the south bay area, and also during our recent short trip to Hawaii), but still: among the bright objects seen in the sky at night, are Venus, Jupiter, Saturn.

At one level, we can marvel at this “real” experience of the existence of planets and stars, something which was natural from the beginning of humanity until recently, and which is only made harder to look at given that we are either staring into our phones or screens of some other form.

More than this, though, is the fact that in looking at these three planets we are seeing the solar system “for real”: these planets mark the ecliptic, which roughly marks the plane of the solar system.

Looking at them, you can feel connected to this system of planets astroids (and comets and everything else in it), that orbits this particular favorite star of ours.

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