Posts Tagged With: Polaris

Daily Cosmic Calendar for November 29th

Just like last Saturday November 24th, today is somewhat open-ended in that the void Moon’s presence in Gemini is kind of up-in-the-air. It is hard to pin things down and make colleagues, friends and even dear ones see reality as you do. Even if you have the backing and agreement from several individuals, the Moon’s questionable nature right now doesn’t provide a lot of reliable persistence.  Meanwhile, during the 48 hours after a Full Moon, it is helpful if you play the role of goodwill ambassador to your family, circle of friends, neighbors and greater community. The monthly Moon-Vesta union (9:55AM PST) can bring soul-sisters together in a unified front while it also places renewed emphasis on beefing up security and safety measures wherever needed.  Despite the Moon’s void condition, there may be some creative artistic opportunities developing when Venus makes a supportive, 60-degree rapport with Mars (2:34PM PST) followed quickly by an inspirational, 72-degree contact between Juno and Chiron (2:45PM PST). This latter aspect can add a healing touch to love bonds needing a delicate boost.  Slow down your tempo overnight as the Moon activates distant stars like Betelgeuse and the North Star (Polaris) while still feeling the numbing influence of the void-of-course vibrations.

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Astronomy Picture of the Day – Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is  featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 July 12

Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails  

Image Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)

Explanation: Engraved in rock, these ancient petroglyphs are abundant in the Teimareh valley, located in the Zagros Mountains of central Iran. They likely tell a tale of hunters and animals found in the middle eastern valley 6,000 years ago or more, etched by artists in a prehistoric age. In the night sky above are star trails etched by the rotation of planet Earth during the long composite exposure made with a modern digital camera. On the left, the center of the star trail arcs is the North Celestial Pole (NCP), the extension of Earth’s axis into space, with Polaris, the North Star, leaving the bright, short, stubby trail closest to the NCP. But when these petroglyphs were carved, Polaris would have made a long arc through the night. Since the Earth’s rotation axis precesses like a wobbling top, 6,000 years ago the NCP was near the border of the constellations Draco and Ursa Major, some 30 degrees from its current location in planet Earth’s sky.

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Astronomy Pic of the Day for Oct. 20th

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

 

The Big Dipper
Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo 

 

Explanation: The best known asterism in northern skies, The Big Dipper is easy to recognize, though some might see The Plough. Either way, the star names and the familiar outlines will appear in this thoughtfully composed 24 frame mosaic when you slide your cursor over the image. Dubhe, alpha star of the dipper’s parent constellation Ursa Major is at the upper right. Together with beta star Merak below, the two form a line pointing the way to Polaris and the North Celestial Pole off the top edge of the field. Notable too in skygazing lore Mizar, second star from the left in the dipper’s handle, forms a vision-testing visual double star with apparently close Alcor. Also identified in the famous star field are Messier catalog objects. Download the higher resolution image to hunt for exquisite views of some of Messier’s distant spiral galaxies and a more local owl.

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