Moon and Venus Meet in Iceland’s Morning Sky

The moon and Venus seen from Iceland, November 9, 2023

This morning, November 9, locals and travellers looking up from Iceland saw an unusually beautiful sight: Venus and the Moon, the two brightest objects in the night sky, side by side. The phenomenon was visible to the naked eye while the sun was rising between 9:00 and 10:00 AM this morning. The Moon then passed “in front” of Venus, which appeared once more from behind it just before 10:00 AM.

The Moon and Venus meet in this way once a month, according to astronomer Sævar Helgi Bragason, who runs a popular Icelandic astronomy website, Stjörnufræðivefurinn. The phenomenon will occur next on the morning of December 9, but the two celestial bodies will be much further from each other than they were this morning. By early January, Venus will have dropped so low in the sky that its meeting with the Moon will no longer be visible from Iceland.

The Moon is not meeting Venus exclusively these days, however. On the morning of November 20, it will appear near Saturn, and on the morning of November 25, it will be seen close to Jupiter. It remains to be seen whether the sky above Iceland will be clear enough to view these celestial trysts.

Four years in the making, “Venus” by Bríet and Ásgeir Released

Arnarhóll

Musicians Bríet and Ásgeir Trausti released the song Venus this morning. In an interview this morning, Ásgeir Trausti stated that work on the song had begun four years ago but was not finished until this year.

Eleven years since Dýrð í dauðaþögn

It’s been eleven years since Ásgeir Trausti released the song Dýrð í dauðaþögn from the eponymous album. The song and the album enjoyed enormous popularity. A year later, in 2013, Ásgeir released an English version of the album, In the Silence.

On the occasion of the album’s tenth anniversary last year, Bríet released a cover of the song that can be found on the album Stór agnarögn.

Venus, four years in the making

This morning, Ágeir and Bríet released their first collaborative effort, Venus.

In an interview with Iceland Review this morning, Ásgeir explained that he and Bríet had begun working on the song four years ago: “A sketch of the song was originally created a few years ago when Júlíus Róbertsson and I were playing around with a recorder,” Ásgeir explained. “I then showed the song to Bríet in 2018, and we decided to work on it together. There was no time to finish it then, but we took it out of the drawer again this year and finally finished it.”

Read More: Love, Bríet (Iceland Review follows Bríet on Culture Night)

IR also spoke to Bríet who added that “life had simply taken over” during those four intervening years.

Asked about her favourite part of the song, Bríet referred to the lyrics: “When we sing about Venus illuminating the Milky Way. I love how that line makes me look up and admire the stars. Ásgeir Trausti, asked the same question, referred to the chorus: “(My favourite part) is when the first chorus starts. A fun groove begins, to which you can start dancing.”

Read More: Music and Lyrics (Ásgeir Trausti on his album Bury the Moon)

As for the immediate future, Ásgeir will be working with musician Árný Margrét in the studio, recording her second album. “Then there are a few gigs in the fall, including a concert with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in November. And a European tour in November and December. Otherwise, I’m just always working on new music, my own and with others.”

Bríet has one thing on her schedule over the coming weeks. “To be happy.”

Dazzling Northern Lights to Be Visible in Iceland Tonight

Northern Lights over a lake

Clear weather conditions and solar wind are expected to make for bright and powerful northern lights tonight, Mbl.is reports. When space is at its windiest, the northern lights are at their most beautiful, a press release from a science communicator notes.

Clear weather and solar wind

In a press release published today, Sævar Helgi Bragason – educator and science communicator (editor of the Astronomy website) – predicts that clear weather conditions and solar wind will make for dazzling northern lights tonight, Mbl.is reports.

Sævar points those interested to the Icelandic website Auroraforecast, which publishes information regarding space weather, the magnetic field, and cloud cover over Iceland. The website provides all the most important information needed for people hunting for northern lights.

“The Northern Lights are created when fast-moving ionised particles from the Sun, referred to as solar wind, collide with the Earth’s upper atmosphere. When space is at its windiest, the northern lights are at their most beautiful. This fast solar wind that we are experiencing right now can be attributed to a coronal eruption on the sun last March 11,” Sævar Helgi stated in the press release.

Questions concerning a “bright star in the west”

As noted by Mbl.is, Sævar revealed that he had received numerous inquiries from people about that “bright star that shines in the west at sunset.”

“This is Venus, the star of love. It is rising and will be prominent in the evening sky until summer. Jupiter is lower and descends rapidly in the sky until it disappears behind the sun as seen from us during the month.”