Archive for the ‘astronomy’ Category
This from SpaceWeather News:
COMET HARTLEY UPDATE: NASA’s Deep Impact (EPOXI) probe is closing in on Comet Hartley 2 for a daring flyby on Nov. 4. The small but active comet is full of surprises, with spinning jets, geysers of cyanide gas, and a strangely pickle-shaped core. Mission scientists expect to reveal first images from the flyby during a press conference on Thursday afternoon, around 4 pm EDT.
Tune into NASA TV to follow events live, and meanwhile read this story for a preview. #
Hmmm…a ‘pickled-shaped’ core in a green comet? May I have a veggie sandwich with that please? ;p
COMET 103P/HARTLEY AT ITS BEST:
For backyard stargazers, the next few nights are the best time to see green Comet 103P/Hartley 2 as it approaches Earth for an 11-million-mile close encounter on Oct 20. Set your alarm for the dark hours before dawn, go outside, and look straight up. You will find Hartley 2 not far from the bright star Capella.
Although the comet is barely visible to the unaided eye, it is easy to locate using binoculars and looks great through a backyard telescope. Sky maps and more information may be found at SpaceWeather News.
Lovely Capella! Alpha Auriga in the constellation of The Charioteer, this Fixed Star has a nurturing yet free-spirited flavor and is associated with the ‘fertile goddess’ archetype which links to the horse by way of Macha, the great Celtic horse goddess. She embodies movement and action and is connected by paran to the natal chart of aviatrix Amelia Earhart.
Airplanes may be said to be modern-day ‘chariots’ and with Capella associated with Earhart’s natal Venus, she is seen as a woman (Venus) breaking speed records, and was known for her love of the freedom of flight.
Other Capella-linked examples are astronaut John Glenn (Saturn) and comic book hero Superman who was created with his Mars rising with Capella! With Capella there is need for freedom and independence, and must I say it? A need for speed.
So look up! Superman may just be on the way to save the day…it’s a bird, it’s a plane, etc…
Star Lore source: Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars
Today isn’t only the 70th birthday of John Lennon. October 9 also marks 406 years since Supernova 1604 was first spotted in the Milky Way. German astronomer (and astrologer) Johannes Kepler first spied it himself on October 17 yet October 9 is the official anniversary of the star’s very first sighting in the constellation Ophiuchus.
Whether the 8-day difference in the dates is due to the historic calendar change from Julian to Gregorian, I’m not certain. Perhaps so. Suffice it to say, it’s been a while since ‘Kepler’s Star’ or ‘Kepler’s Supernova’ came into human consciousness. His book on the celestial discovery, De Stella nova in pede Serpentarii may be translated as, On the New Star in Ophiuchus’ Foot.
Ophiuchus is a very interesting constellation and is considered by some to be the Thirteenth Sign in the Zodiac. Here’s some info on the mythology of the constellation from Bernadette Brady’s excellent Book of Fixed Stars:
The stars of Ophiuchus the Serpent Holder and Serpens the Serpent are now spread between three constellations: Ophiuchus the Serpent Holder, Caput Serpens, and Cauda Serpens. Ophiuchus occupies a larger area across the ecliptic than the modern constellation Scorpio. From November 21 to December 16, the Sun is actually among the stars of Ophiuchus rather than in Scorpio yet most modern astrologers make no differentiation in this matter. Debates continue.
To the Greeks, Ophiuchus was known as Serpentarius the Healer which points to snakes shedding their skins, an archetypal symbol of new life. Serpentarius was also known as the god Asclepius, son of Apollo, the Sun god; in Astrology, the Sun represents our vitality. Asclepius was taught the healing arts from Chiron and is usually depicted holding a stick about which a serpent is coiled, a modern day motiff of Western medicine.
You, of course, note the Scriptural similarities with the uplifted coiled serpent along with modern Astrology’s use of Chiron as an archetype of Christ, the Key, and Healer of all our woes.
Legend says that Asclepius was ship’s surgeon on the Argo and the story goes that his skills improved until he could raise people from the dead so the gods, always jealous of their exalted dominion, smote him with one of Zeus-Jove’s thunderbolts and placed him in the heavens as Ophiuchus.
Then in 1604, the excellent Johannes Kepler came along with his telescope, bright intelligence, knowledge, and what must have been rather good eyesight…and the rest, as they say, is history.
The constellation’s primary star used in Astrology today is Alpha Ophiuchus, aka Ras Alhague whose keywords are: ‘the healer; one who strives to create balance; to repair that which is damaged’ (including ideals.)
Considering that today’s starry anniversary falls upon a certain Beatle’s birthday, it’s interesting that John Lennon’s natal Venus culminated as Ras Alhague rose. Abraham Lincoln is another historical Ras Alhague figure with the star linked by paran to his natal Mercury.
If it isn’t in your library of very interesting books, you may wish to check out Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars on Amazon where you may notice a novice’s review I wrote about the book years ago!
Did you hear the news? NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has discovered the existence of two planets orbiting in a galaxy far away.
This is another good example of Uranus to Aries Point, a historical marker for ‘scientific breakthroughs’ of all sorts. Plus, new discoveries and pioneering explorations are being aided this time around (Uranus has an 84-year orbit so it’s been a while) by the presence of expansive Jupiter who tends to increase everything he touches, as we say in Astrology; the Aries Point, one of the four Cardinal Points of the zodiac, indicates event manifestations which are significant on the world stage.
And you know that jovial Jupiter’s expansion principle involves the horizon-broadening planet in explorative endeavors of his own so we may be hearing of even more fantastic eureka moments in the months to come – hold tight to your telescopes!
How groovy is this?
Space Weather News for August 20, 2010
SPACE STATION AURORAS: With solar activity on the rise, August 2010 has been a good month for auroras. There have been sightings of Northern Lights as far south as Wisconsin and Iowa in the United States, and some fine displays of Southern Lights over Antarctica.
Some of the best pictures so far have come from Earth orbit, where astronauts have a front-row seat for geomagnetic storms. Visit SpaceWeather.com for latest images from the International Space Station.
This alert is a day late but a Hubble photo ahead. Makes astrological sense that Jupiter is in the news with the jolly giant’s recent foray to Aries Point, A World Point of Prominence!
Space Weather News for June 16, 2010
HUBBLE SEEKS DEBRIS, FINDS NONE: Even the Hubble Space Telescope cannot find any debris where a meteoroid apparently hit Jupiter on June 3rd. Today, researchers released new HST images of the impact site, which show nothing but uninterrupted clouds. The non-detection is consistent with a relatively small asteroid or comet fragment making a shallow strike in Jupiter’s high atmosphere.
Links to photos and more information may be found at SpaceWeather.com
NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: Observers in Europe are reporting brightening displays of noctilucent clouds (NLCs). That’s to be expected. Late spring and early summer often bring the strongest displays of these electric-blue clouds wafting across the top of Earth’s atmosphere.
Visit today’s edition of SpaceWeather News for photos, observing tips–and a possible connection between NLCs and sunspots.
SPACE WEATHER ALERTS: Would you like to turn your phone into a space weather monitoring system? Sign up for Space Weather PHONE.
Space Weather News for April 21, 2010
MUST-SEE IMAGES OF THE SUN: At a press conference today, researchers unveiled First Light images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA’s “Hubble for the Sun.”
There are huge erupting prominences, crackling solar flares, and gigantic shock waves shown with a clarity ten times better than HDTV. The images must be seen to be believed.
Go directly to NASA for the full story.
LYRID METEOR SHOWER: The Lyrid meteor shower peaks on April 22 when Earth passes through a stream of debris from Comet Thatcher (C/1861 G1).
The best time to look is during the hours before dawn on Thursday morning. Forecasters expect as many as 20 meteors per hour so check SpaceWeather.com for more information.
SPACE WEATHER ALERTS: Would you like to turn your phone into a space weather monitoring system? Sign up for Space Weather PHONE!
How lovely of the Lyrids to peak on the morning of Earth Day! Now if I can just get the vision of Margaret Thatcher’s ironclad mug out of my mind’s eye…
But actually, the Lowell Observatory can tell you all about the Lyrids and much more!
Space Weather News for Dec 12, 2009
GEMINID METEOR SHOWER: This weekend, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from extinct comet 3200 Phaethon, source of the annual Geminid meteor shower. Forecasters expect more than 100 meteors per hour to fly out of the constellation Gemini when the shower peaks on Dec 13 and 14.
For most observers, the best time to look will be from 10 pm local time on Sunday night to dawn on Monday morning.
Visit SpaceWeather.com for photos, a sky map, and live audio from a meteor radar.
ASTRONOMY ALERTS FOR CHRISTMAS: Spaceweather.com’s astronomy alert service makes a great gift. It works like this: Suppose the International Space Station is about to fly over your back yard. Your phone will ring and tell you to go outside and look. Subscribers also receive alerts for meteor showers, eclipses, rocket launches, Northern Lights and much more.
Give the heavens for Christmas at SpaceWeatherPhone.
At some point, you may have a notion to check out my fledgling new Art Gallery blog Sepia Art Theater with content much as it sounds: sepia-toned Art of a backstage nature.
Space Weather News for Oct 17, 2009
LUNAR IMPACT PLUME: NASA has just released pictures of infrared flashes and a visible plume of debris produced by a Centaur booster rocket hitting the Moon on Oct 9th. The images confirm that the LCROSS experiment was a success despite the fact that the impacts were visually unimpressive from Earth.
Visit SpaceWeather.com for images of the plume and commentary from mission scientists.
Space Weather News for Oct. 8, 2009
LUNAR IMPACT UPDATE: NASA’s LCROSS spacecraft and its Centaur booster rocket are on course for a Friday morning impact in crater Cabeus near the Moon’s south pole.
The Centaur will strike first on Oct 9th at 11:31:19 UT (7:31:19 EDT, 4:31:19 PDT), followed by the LCROSS mothership at 11:35:45 UTC (7:35:45 EDT, 4:35:45). The spectacular double-impact, designed to excavate water frozen in the crater’s shadowy depths, will be broadcast live on NASA TV.
Amateur astronomers with 10-inch class backyard telescopes may be able to see debris billowing over the crater’s rim. This is a big event!
Visit SpaceWeather.com for observing tips and full coverage. #
And here is your NASA TV hook up with schedules of live events, etc.
Taking an astrological peek at tomorrow morning’s Moon position @ 20/21 Gem, conjunct US natal Mars which apparently reflects (Moon) America’s energy and initiative (Mars), we see that the ongoing opposition between Saturn and Uranus forms a T-square pattern with the early morning Moon in a Mutable sign (Gemini, sign of Communications – very appropriate for NASA TV’s live coverage.)
Moon in a Mutable T-SQ indicates Luna in a defensive position! This Luna is highly charged with security its prime interest – this ‘touchy’ Moon is about to be touched, or I should say ‘assaulted’ by NASA, and placed in the public eye as this T-SQ also indicates.
Misunderstood impressions from the past are sure to be reprogrammed during the T-Square which will be in effect for the Oct 9, 2009 impact adventure, and one assumes that whether water is found on the Moon or not, new knowledge will be gained from the assault on our one and only Luna.