THE International Space Station is back in the evening sky this week.

On Wednesday evening, June 27, it will rise above the NW horizon at 6.28, adjacent to the planet Venus. By 6.32 the space station will be directly overhead and a short time later will disappear from sight next to the tail of the constellation Scorpius.

On Thursday evening the space station will appear above the NNW horizon at 5.36, a little north of the planet Venus. At 5.40 it will be in the northern sky by the planet Jupiter. It will then move further east, close to the head of the constellation Scorpius, although that may be difficult to see, because of the full Moon. The space station will disappear out of sight close to the planet Saturn, and the Moon at 5.42.

Friday evening it will appear at 6.20 in the west. By 6.24 it will be south of the Southern Cross, east of a bright white star named Canopus. It will fade from sight at 6.25 in the SE.

All five planets that can be seen with the naked eye are visible during at least some part of the evening, during July. Venus in the west will be the brightest planet in July,
followed by Mars in the east, appearing as a bright red object. Mercury, a planet that is hard to spot because of its closeness to the sun should be visible after sunset by mid-July. Both Jupiter with its bands, and moons, and Saturn with its spectacular rings, are ideally placed for observing.


If you have never seen these planets, I recommend a visit to the Ward Observatory in Cooks Gardens. The Astronomical Society has viewings some Friday evenings and will show you these planets, and other interesting objects, such as the constellation Scorpius.

Check their noticeboard at the St Hill St entrance to the observatory, or phone the Info Centre for viewing dates. Hope the weather is kind. Comments, info, call; 281 3616.


Let the truth speak

My practice has been to avoid entanglements with citizens/correspondents, allowing me to let my columns speak for me.

However, in the age of Trump it is more potentially serious than ever to understand that a lie can make itself felt halfway round the world before the truth can get its pants on.

That's why I'm taking this opportunity to address the false charges contained in a letter by K A Benfell (June 23). As the gender of K A Benfell is not known to me, I will use the generic "Mr" to address him/her.

Mr Benfell has wilfully misread my columns. So much so, that with the exception of "and" "or" and "the", almost every word in the letter is false — or deliberately misleading.

Particularly false is the claim that I attack Christianity. In fact, what I attack is hypocrisy.

The truth is that I admire Christianity. It is a pity that there are so few practitioners of it — especially among those who claim to be its defenders.



Helping hand

Wanganui, June 15, 13.45 hrs, outside large shopping complex: Old man loading 40-kilogram bags into dog box on back of ute, one foot stopping trolley from rolling away.

On his left shoulder a kid appears, offering a hand. Old man says he is okay. Kid insists, climbs into dog box and rolls bags to back of box. Old man thanks kid a bunch.


Fake news, no Nazism

Re: "Suffer the little children" by Chester Borrows (Chronicle, June 22):

Chester admits to not liking moving on to a new computer and then goes on to condemn Donald Trump for separating children of illegal immigrants from their parents. He even says: ". . . we see a huge leap back to days of Nazism".

Clearly Chester is not using his computer to get the "real news" in America. Chester's narrative is that of the "fake news".

Take the sad child separation going on at the US-Mexico border. The laws set out to do that separation were set up and enacted by the previous president.

Trump should be getting praise for destructing that president's inhumane laws. I know the Americans will be giving him credit for his decent, kind action.

Now the "Nazism" mistake. Chester, with all due respect, I put it to you that Trump is saving America from fascism and totalitarianism. If he can save America, he will, I hope, have saved all the other free, democratic sovereign nations like ours too.


Send your letters to: The Editor, Wanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Wanganui 4500; or email