First Sunset Of 2023

I really wasn’t expecting to be able to see anything for the rest of the week as far as sunsets go, given the “atmospheric river” that lining up to dump many inches of (much needed, I know, I KNOW!) rain on California for the last four or five days and the next ten days or more. But lo and behold, we were between rain bands this evening and the sky was clear right at sunset.

Nice gradient. That whole thing I was talking about last week with all nine planets lined up has pretty much passed. Mercury has now sunk down in the evening sky toward the Sun and is too dim in the twilight to see, so on the Western hornizon we’re just left with Venus.

Even it’s not far from the Sun, but it’s really stinking bright so you can see it there just below center, to the left of that tree.

Above it was easy by this time to see Jupiter (also stinking bright) straight overhead, and Mars off to the east, reasonably bright and red, over in the neighborhood of Orion. In between Jupiter and Venus you can see Saturn if you know which one it is, and the Moon is also up off in the east, so that’s five of the six naked eye stars visible, plus the Moon. (I’m counting the telephone pole, wires, and neighbor’s houses as a legitimate sighting of the Third Rock from the Sun.)

I hope your New Year’s Eve was safe and enjoyable and your New Year’s Day restful and fun. Tomorrow we get all of the parades and the remaining football bowl games, so I hope you get to enjoy them without having to work. You’ll know how the weather’s deteriorating in SoCal by the weather conditions for the Rose Parade (should be dry-ish) and the Rose Bowl (may or may not get through the whole game without rain).

Meanwhile, 2023 fired a warning shot across my bow in the form of a whole slew of two-factor authentication codes being sent to my phone for my Google and Gmail accounts. I’ve changed the passwords and that seems to have stopped it for now, and I’ve verified that there aren’t any unauthorized logins, but I may end up spending a good chunk of tomorrow updating and changing all of my passwords on all critical accounts. Fun! Just what I was looking forward to.

Let’s not start off this way, 2023. I will not be willing to cut you much slack, just to be clear.

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Sunsets, Weather

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