Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Planets

The boys and I were returning from an errand last night when Elijah said, "Look, Mama, I see two bright stars." I took a look and realized that what he was seeing were planets, not stars. We talked about the difference between planets and stars, and how you can tell them apart (stars twinkle, planets don't), and I promised to look online to find out what planets we were seeing. At home, I learned that Venus and Jupiter are converging in the southwestern sky just after sunset; on December 1st they will be joined by a crescent moon to make two eyes and a frowning mouth. :) We will be watching.

Prior to this, Elijah's only exposure to the term "planets" was in the context of the piece "The Planets" by Gustav Holst. Our favorite is Mars, the Bringer of War, and this is our favorite video:

I also like Jupiter, especially the beginning of it, and there's a video on Youtube of a performance by the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Eiji Oue. I think Mr. Oue is an interesting conductor to watch--he is really dramatic. But in the end I think I prefer the version by the orchestra/conductor I posted here (not sure who this conductor or orchestra is--can't find the info). ETA: See comments section--this is the Tokyo City Philharmonic, conducted by Taijiro Iimori.

I love being a mom, and seeing the world through children's eyes. If it weren't for Elijah, I would probably have driven home lost in my own thoughts, and totally missed this celestial phenomenon. :)

Oh, another thing Elijah said on the way home: "Mama, I can hear the Willum Tell Overture--it's playing in my head!" *pause* "Can you hear it?"


  1. The video is of Seiji Ozawa. The orchestra would either be the Boston Symphony Orchestra or the Tokyo Opera Nomuri or the Vienna State Opera. I'd imagine it's the Japanese one because of the race demographics in the video. I love Ozawa - he has such character. Many of his videos out everywhere.

  2. Hey Sam, thanks for the info! Now that I know his name, I can look for other pieces of his.

  3. No, wait, Seiji Ozawa is totally not the same guy. Hmmm, wonder how I can figure this out?

  4. Okay, I figured it out--from the comments section on Youtube I learned that this is the Tokyo City Philharmonic, and from there a little googling revealed that the conductor is Taijiro Iimori.

  5. I read that too about Venus and Jupiter, but so far we've only been seeing the one planet. I think Abigail noticed it first.


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