So last Monday, y'all got drunk and celebrated the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, right? (OK, maybe not the drunken part). But how many of you knew that the moon landing occurred 25 years to the day after the unsuccessful assassination and coup attempt against Adolf Hitler, carried out by some of his senior officers? There was even a movie made about it last year, but I don't think I'll be seeing it -- I'm not sure I could suppress my gag reflex at seeing that much of Tom "I love Scientology" Cruise.
Now the second part of this coincidence is that, exactly 25 years after the moon landing (well, plus or minus a couple of days, because it didn't happen all at once), Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacted on Jupiter. On that occasion, I could almost persuade myself that I could make out a black blemish on the planet's face through my 4.25-inch Newtonian and the July heat shimmer. Or I may have been hallucinating: my keenest memory of that event is trying to stand very still and steady at the eyepiece, on a hot humid night, while feeling about a million pin-pricks in my legs as every mosquito for miles around attacked the only human in Kanata insane enough to be outside at 4am.
As a postscript we got a repeat performance this year: just one day before the 40th anniversary of Apollo (and therefore the 15th anniversary of SL9), something else biggish hit Jupiter.
What does this all mean? Absolutely nothing, except for the human tendency to see patterns (mostly by tossing out all the data that doesn't fit) where there aren't any.