Today is the first day of spring in the southern hemisphere while autumn begins in the northern side of the equator… Hawaii is sort of in between at 20 degrees latitude, which gives us summer year around and a view of both the North Star and Southern Cross constellation. A full moon happens to also take place on this equinox, something that won’t be repeated again until 2029.
Also in the mix is the planet Jupiter, which now is in what is termed opposition; when the Earth passes between the sun and Jupiter, placing Jupiter opposite the sun in our sky. Peak opposition was yesterday and Jupiter was as it closest distance to earth since 1963. Jupiter can be seen rising just after sunset and setting around sunrise. And now you can see Jupiter traveling near the full moon all night. Venus will be setting into the west early evening.
Meanwhile…. The erupting volcano on the Island of Hawaii continues…
… and is exciting enough for the massive cruise ship Pride of America to not only come close to shore making a full-stop to allow the passengers to witness lava pouring into the sea under full moonlight, but the ship also spun on its axis 360* to give people on both sides of the vessel a chance to see the show on the shore: Pride of America specs:
Largest cruise ship ever built under American flag (Even though it was finished in Germany in 2004), and christened in New York June 17, 2005.
Length: 920 feet (280 meters) and 105 ft beam (width) (32m), 106 ft high off the water (32m). 26ft draught (8 m), 15 decks, carries up to 2146 passengers and a crew of up to 900. The ship serves the main Hawaiian Islands weekly.
Both photos were taken 9:45 to 10:00PM last night from the Hawaii County lava viewing access road - click on them for a larger view size.
Above - Those cluster of coconut palms are the same ones in this photo I posted here