On December 21, 2020 a celestial event known as the “Christmas Star” will occur. At that time the solar system’s two largest planets, Saturn and Jupiter, will have their closest visible encounter since 1226. This unique phenomena led famous astronomer, Johannes Kepler in 1614, to suggest that this alignment might have been what was written about in the Bible when the wisemen came to Jerusalem seeking the birth of the “King of the Jews” after seeing a bright star in the sky.
The last time the planets were this close was in 1623-- only 14 years after Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter with the invention of the telescope. When these planets meet again it will be in 2080. Note: Though it looks like a sliver separates Jupiter and Saturn, they are actually about 400 million miles apart.
A view of the two planets coming into near-alignment will be just after sunset, in the southwestern portion of the sky. Although best seen with binoculars or a telescope, the encounter should be visible to the naked eye.
Thank-you, Karma Kitchen, for providing a yummy breakfast for SKI employees! What a great way to start the day!
September SKI Tips
Bring houseplants that were moved outside for summer indoors before night temperatures fall below 55 degrees. Check for insects and disease before bringing indoors.
Plant fall mums according to color and time of bloom. Blossoms usually begin between September 15 and October 10 lasting 6-8 weeks. Give them at least six hours of sun per day.
A human foot and ankle is a strong, mechanical structure that contains 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons, ligaments.
Fruits that need to be refrigerated include apricots, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, cut fruits, figs and grapes.
Constantly scanning for predators, giraffes sleep for just a few minutes at a time, and usually only get about 30 minutes total in a single day.
Plant spring-flowering bulbs in late September or later. Allow 4-6 weeks for root development before the ground freezes.
The September birthstone is the sapphire, which was once thought to guard against evil and poisoning. Sapphires were thought to encourage divine wisdom and protection. They symbolized purity, truth, trust, and loyalty. Some believed that if they were placed in a jar with a snake, the snake would die.
Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.
Weight gain around this time of year may not be from all the food. Researchers have found that lack of vitamin D reduces fat breakdown and triggers fat storage. So, the lack of sunlight has more to do with the extra gain than all the pumpkin spice lattes.
Clean out garden beds and amend the soil with a fresh 2-inch layer of compost, mulch or other organic matter.
Current and former staff members have contributed to our newsletter over the years. Now the articles are available to view here on our blog