A new image captures two planets with ancient significance meeting above Rome’s famous old town on Sunday, May 1.
Venus and Jupiter shone together between the clouds in the image taken by Gianluca Masi, who directs astronomical live streams for the Virtual Telescope Project.
He spotted the duo in the morning sky during a conjunction or close approach in the sky. Conjunctions occur from time to time, as the official eight planets all orbit in the ecliptic, the plane of our solar system.
“Fine clouds allowed to see a magnificent colored corona around Venus, due to
to the diffraction of its light by small individual water droplets,” Masi said in an email. He also spotted Jovian moons, with Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto all visible around Jupiter, he said. declared.
Related: The Brightest Planets in the Night Sky: How to See Them (and When)
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According to Britannica, there are records of ancient Romans worshiping both Venus and Jupiter. Imperial Rome took place between approximately 31 BCE and 476 CE, with a period of republicanism for five centuries before that.
Capitoline Jupiter, atop Capitoline Hill, was the oldest known temple of the main pagan deity, Britannica wrote. “Here there was a tradition of its sacred tree, the oak tree,” the encyclopedia said. “Here too were kept the lapides silices – pebbles or flints – which were used in symbolic ceremonies by the fetiales, the Roman priests who officially declared war or concluded treaties on behalf of the Roman State.”
Venus was identified with the goddess Aphrodite during the Republican era, notably through the famous cult (religious branch) of Venus Erycina imported from neighboring Sicily, Britannica said.
A temple was dedicated to the goddess in Rome in 215 BCE, during the Second Punic War which ultimately saw the defeat of the iconic Carthaginian general Hannibal. Publius Cornelius Scipio – the general leading the Romans at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC – received the nickname “Scipio Africanus” after his victory.
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