Does only half a day difference matter? This picture shows that it does! Do you see how the top point of the star does not exactly line up?
What happens if I keep plotting the conjunctions?
I calculated the future positions in a spreadsheet — but, you don't have to do a bunch of math! If you're ready for a break from snow, grab some hot chocolate and watch a new animation showing the star's formation. I recommend a speed of ten!
Below is a screenshot I took from the animation. This one starts in June 2004. I stopped it at roughly today. Right before the conjunction is about to happen.
I hope you now can see a little bit of beauty in math.
Below is something I drew to replicate this. It took me back to my college days when I spent one summer hanging out with fellow plebes in the hallway, plotting problems on “mo boards.”
I made a graph for you to explore this idea by drawing. You will need a transparent ruler and a sharp pencil. Before you draw, study the picture and observe the shape in the middle of the star. It looks like a pentagon.
Find the dots labeled 1 and 2 and draw a line between them. Then find the dots labeled 2 and 3 and draw another line. Then, the dots labeled 3 and 4 and the dots labeled 4 and 5.
Here comes the tricky part. You must draw a line between the dot labeled 5 and the dot next to dot 1. Be sure to focus on the dot near the pencil lines, not the printed ones. Then, continue drawing in the same order.