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.
Explanation: In only about 12,000 years Vega will be the North Star, the closest bright star to our fair planet’s North Celestial Pole. By then, when you fix your camera to a tripod long exposures of the night sky will show the concentric arcs of star trails centered on a point near Vega as Earth rotates on its axis. Of course, presently the bright star conveniently near the North Celestial Pole is Polaris, but that will change as the Earth’s axis of rotation precesses, like the wobble of a spinning top with a precession period of about 26,000 years. If your camera is ready now and you don’t want to wait 12,000 years for Vega to be the North Star, consider this ingenious demonstration of contemporary star trails (left) versus star trails reminiscent of the year 14000 CE. Both were recorded this April at the Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve in Alentejo, Portugal. To produce the more Vega-centric star trails of the distant future, astronomer Miguel Claro combined the rotation of two startracking camera mounts to create the apparent shift in planet Earth’s axis of rotation and North Celestial Pole. (Addendum: Thanks to APOD readers who note that when Vega is the North Star it will also appear near the same position that Polaris is now relative to the landscape.)
Mars in Taurus
Now to May 11, 2015
Astrological tradition says that Mars the Warrior is not comfortable in bucolic Taurus. The reasoning is simply that this planet of “go” isn’t at its best in the sign of “go slow, go very slow.” Earthy Taurus is a fixed sign. It occupies the middle of the spring (in the Northern Hemisphere) and symbolizes the sweetness of burgeoning plant life. Taurus doesn’t want to go anywhere. It’s fine where it is.
The challenge is that Mars doesn’t like to stand still. It lives for action, not the couch potato life of Taurus. It may, therefore, be a bit more difficult to get new projects off the ground. This is a period in which a solid foundation and a plentiful supply of fuel are required to get your rocket off the launch pad.
Mars is also the planet of anger. The Bull is basically a very calm beast. It can take considerable poking and prodding before its ire is raised, but when it is, look out! Personally, you may find this to be a time when you’d prefer to avoid confrontation. It’s easier to duck a fight now than meet your opponent face to face. Yet, resentment doesn’t disappear when the cause is not confronted. It just goes underground where it is much more dangerous than an open display of anger. But Mars in Taurus also needs to know when to end the battle, rather than prolonging it endlessly.
A key to success now is to be solidly rooted before reaching out in a new direction. When Mars in Taurus has its feet on the ground, there is no limit as to how far it can go. It is motivated not by hunger, fear or desire. It is motivated by the joy of building, creating and the intrinsic joy of the work itself. Taking pleasure in your job not only makes life nicer, but can make you much more productive.
Taurus, in the end, is about personal values. Actions need to align with individual needs if they’re going to amount to anything. It takes a great deal to move Mars when in this sign, but there can be incredible strength and endurance when the right path has been opened. Look at what you’ve begun recently with Mars in Aries (February 11 – March 22). This fiery sword has cut sharply, making room for the Mars in Taurus steamroller to come through. The road is wide, enjoy the ride.
A good many dancers were born with Mars in Taurus, perhaps a reflection of the principle of pleasure (Taurus) through movement (Mars). Among them are Paula Abdul, Maurice Bejart, Merce Cunningham, Shirley MacLaine, Rudolph Nureyev and Ginger Rogers.
Mars in Taurus poets include Robert Bly, Robert Frost, Omar Khayam, Henry David Thoreau and Paul Verlaine. Some not so sweet guys in this category are Nazis Martin Bormann, Adolph Eichman and Adolph Hitler, as well as Fidel Castro and Ruhollah Khomeini.
Taurus is associated with the throat, so it’s not surprising to find singers Belinda Carlisle, Celine Dion, Wynona Judd, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Ann Murray, Leontyne Price, Pat Boone, Glen Campbell, Mick Jagger, Billy Joel, Dean Martin and Graham Nash with Mars in this sign. Mars in Taurus painters are Salvadore Dali, James McNeill Whistler, Andy Warhol, Paul Klee and Edgar Degas.
Actors with Mars in Taurus are Tom Cruise, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bette Davis, Robert DeNiro, Sidney Poitier, Jack Lemmon and Charlie Chaplin. There is also that giant of jazz John Coltrane and the great spiritual teacher Rudolph Steiner.
Your Charm for Today
This aspect of your life will be strongly influenced by a person who is optimistic, freedom-loving, jovial, good-humored, honest, straightforward, intellectual and philosophical.
Ninth sign of the Zodiac, Nov 23rd to Dec 21st. Ruled by the planet Jupiter; correct metal Tin. Those born under Sagitarius were supposed to be enterprising, independent and proud, just, courteous, sensative, honest, keen sportsmen, fond of animals and of out door life. The Sagittarius gems are the Topaz and Pearl. The Topaz was used by the ancients as a charm against pestilence, burns, chest complaints, and dangers while travelling. It was called the Stone of Strenth by the Romans, and worn to keep away gout, lunacy and sudden death. In the middle ages to dispel enchantment, calm anger, cure asthma, and bring joy and contentment.
Your Daily Tile
May 8, 2015
The Duck tile symbolizes a long lasting relationship with the strength to overcome all obstacles. It suggests fidelity and trustworthiness as well. Regardless of the type of partnership in question, the 2 Bamboo tile indicates a strong, healthy relationship.
Your Animal Spirit for Today
May 8, 2015
Antelope medicine is one of right action. If you were to visit Northern Plains today, you would see groups of antelope scattered about the fields and hills. However they are so quiet and unmoving that (from a distance) they resemble stones. But, get too close and they move like lightening. Antelope asks you: are you being still when you should be moving, or moving when stillness is required?
Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today
Although men have stepped upon the moon and scientists have analyzed it almost endlessly, there remains in our collective unconscious a vision of the moon that shrouds it in mystery. And why wouldn’t there be? Being earth’s closest neighbor, having a clear influence on many of earth’s cycles and constantly changing in appearance, it is only fitting that our ancestors endlessly pondered and speculated on our magnificent moon’s powers. The Moon represents the pure feminine nature and the gateway to understanding the mystical world that cannot be explained by science. Its soft glow provides a gentle light in the darkness of night. Metaphorically, the powers associated with the moon supply the seeker with a light to explore the mystical aspects of our world. It empowers the sense of wonder in those open to psychic adventures.
As a daily card, The Moon is indicative of a time when your feminine side and connection to the spiritual world is very strong. Essentially you are “tuned in” spiritually which makes this an ideal time for you to investigate your place in our mystical world.
Your Witches Rune for Today
Meaning: This is the rune of success, it denotes a positive outcome, denotes personal progress, and personal enrichment of one’s life. If you are just wanting an uncomplicated ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ answer to your question then it is a clear ‘YES’ when it appears as the ‘leading rune’, nearest to you . If its position is furthest from you then the affirmation still stands but it is delayed or influenced by other aspects.
Witch Runes- How to make and Interpret
Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today
The Hierophant represents the protector of a culture’s heritage and traditions. His purpose is to defend and teach the established ways and beliefs a group embraces. He is inherently conventional and a true believer in the power of the group. He loves the structure of the group and its values. It is the task of The Hierophant to bring new members into the group—to prepare the uninitiated to take their rightful place in his culture. In this sense he is very much like a teacher or a priest. He also acts as the repository of his group’s history. The Hierophant is certainly not one to buck proper authority. However, he is staunch and worthy defender of the tried and true. He represents the positive aspects of tradition and conformity.
Casting the Stones, Your Past, Present & Future Reading for Today
Naudhiz may foretell needs unmet and friction in relationships. You may be in a time where you should be very careful in whatever endeavor you take on. Also it may be that you are about to learn some of life’s hard lessons and come out the other side of this period a stronger being.
Eihwaz represents the Yew tree and its everlasting nature. The Yew may bend, but it does not break. You are on the right course and have the strength and ability to meet your goals. Congratulations!
Hagalaz is the hail Rune. It denotes chaos, destruction and disruption on a primal level. You may experience delays in moving toward your goals.
Ansuz represents mankind’s spiritual connection to God and the universe. It is often referred to as the “God Rune.” This Rune embodies reason, truth and justice. It denotes the coming of knowledge and true counsel from a higher authority.
Additional information about Today’s Rune, Ansuz
Your Lucky Tarot Cards For Today
This reading represent elements that favor you.
The Emperor is gifted with the skills to successfully lead others. He can turn chaos into order, provide structure to that which is unbound. He is quick of mind and confident in his power and right to rule, and does so in a just manner. Although stern by nature, he truly is the ultimate father figure. He will provide as needed, teach those with unanswered questions, protect the vulnerable, set and maintain boundaries. His perfect world runs on schedule and is free of any disturbances. What the Emperor must be wary of is setting boundaries and rules where none are needed. If he isn’t he may well become a tyrant.
When The Hierophant or Justice are among your personal cards, the influence of The Emperor may be increased. Having The Empress in your personal cards may diminish the influence of The Emperor.
This card represents the dreamer in you, the idealist, the mystic. The Fool desires to do great things, but is often unaware of just how difficult great things are to do. He must always be very careful of the choices he makes, and remember knowledge is his ally. The Fool often symbolizes a new beginning, unrestrained optimism, and curiosity that hasn’t been dulled by time. While The Fool may well indicate a lack of experience or grasp of the pitfalls along the path he is taking, it is equally true that his lack of experience leads him to believe all things are possible, which brings even impossible goals within his grasp.
When The Hanged Man or The Star are among your personal cards, the influence of The Fool may be increased. Having The Devil in your personal cards may diminish the influence of The Fool.
Your Personal Daily Tarot Card
The Hierophant represents the protector of a culture’s heritage and traditions. His purpose is to defend and teach the established ways and beliefs a group embraces. He is inherently conventional and a true believer in the power of the group. He loves the structure of the group and its values. It is the task of The Hierophant to bring new members into the group—to prepare the uninitiated to take their rightful place in his culture. In this sense he is very much like a teacher or a priest. He also acts as the repository of his group’s history. The Hierophant is certainly not one to buck proper authority. However, he is a staunch and worthy defender of the tried and true. He represents the positive aspects of tradition and conformity.
Your Daily Horoscopes for Saturday, May 9th
We might believe that more information can bring us closer to the truth today. Mental Mercury’s current visit to noisy Gemini encourages us to gather more data, but unresolved contradictions keep cropping up. Mercury’s contentious square to nebulous Neptune blurs facts while the earthy Capricorn Moon reminds us to favor direct sensation. The Moon’s shift into intelligent Aquarius at 7:21 pm EDT helps us find clarity.
(Mar 21 – Apr 19)
You are a quick learner and thinking on your feet enables you to be quite comfortable in situations that would make anyone else uneasy. However, you may get your signals crossed today and make a rash decision based on a misunderstanding. Reality isn’t as black and white as you expect; it’s possible to see a lot of shades of gray. Acknowledging your lack of certainty lessens the pressure you might feel now. Instead of running with one of your spontaneous ideas, it’s wiser to take your cues from others. You don’t always have to be the leader of the pack.
(Apr 20 – May 20)
You might not be able to make too much sense of recent events and have trouble shaking off a belief that you should know more than you do. You may have suffered during an emotional encounter, yet it’s crucial now to concentrate on the present moment instead of the past. Don’t look back; channel your energy into communicating your current perspective instead. Being practical works best for you, but don’t shut out a good idea just because you can’t back it up with solid facts. Sometimes faith is all you really need.
(May 21 – Jun 20)
You feel like a pendulum swinging one way and then the other. If you have been too serious these last few months, you might be tempted to overcompensate today and show a more happy-go-lucky side. However, ignoring reality is not a smart strategy, even if you deserve to escape into your imagination. Indulging in a bit of fantasy can be emotionally healing now as long as you also acknowledge the importance of current events. The good news is that walking in two worlds comes naturally to you Twins.
(Jun 21 – Jul 22)
Someone might be all over your case about your work or a relationship. But you don’t really want reminders from people who don’t know all the facts. You know exactly what you must do; your problem is that you currently lack the concentration you need to finish the job. If your willpower is flagging now, rest assured that you will have more energy in the days to follow. Although denial isn’t a permanent answer, kindly asking others to back off today gives you time to find a solution on your own.
(Jul 23 – Aug 22)
People seem to have a lot to say today, but you may be so enchanted with your own world that you don’t have the energy to connect with everyone else. However, in the spirit of friendship, you might take time to listen to someone’s story, but it only serves to distract you from your inner work. Fortunately, you don’t have to close yourself off completely from those you love in order to be true to yourself. Follow both paths at once; inspiration can be found anywhere you go.
(Aug 23 – Sep 22)
Your thorough analysis usually enables you to make the best-informed decisions, but your thinking might be a bit too convoluted today for your own good. Rational Mercury flourishes when it has good data as its disposal, but your logic is somewhat confused by dreamy Neptune. You can swiftly turn even the most basic facts into subjective stories and the most accurate perceptions into impressionistic paintings. Once you accept that everything in life is illusory now, you will be able to be spontaneous and enjoy yourself in the present moment.
(Sep 23 – Oct 22)
Unfinished projects at work or home weigh heavily on your mind, especially if you have more obligations than you can meet today. There’s no reason to waste your precious energy fretting about things you can’t change if the demands being made on your time are unrealistic. Your fantasies may send you into a tailspin of doubt, but don’t let them drive you to distraction. Rather than getting caught up in your fears, continue to demonstrate your competence without second-guessing your decisions. A positive attitude produces the best results.
(Oct 23 – Nov 21)
Although your perceptions are instinctively on point, you’re likely to take them to a deeper and darker place than needed. Your imagination may run wild now and you could spend too much time lost in fantasies without conscious limits. No matter what, don’t let your nagging worries turn into all-encompassing compulsions. If you find yourself obsessing over too many strange ideas, pull your energy back into the real world through physical activity or direct engagement with others. Flights of fancy are fine as long as you remember when it’s time to return to Earth.
(Nov 22 – Dec 21)
You may continue to experience pressure to take care of lingering financial matters today. Or, perhaps, you might derive considerable benefit from reevaluating what you have to give to others. Either way, be realistic about what you value and what you are worth. You are being offered a very small margin of error now; there’s no room to fool yourself. A mistake in judgment will likely cycle back to haunt you pretty quickly, so take your time and get it right. Finding peace of mind is priceless.
(Dec 22 – Jan 19)
There’s no reason to set your sights so high today that you set yourself up for failure. Even if you have time to focus on your goals, you still cannot accomplish everything you want. Part of your current dilemma stems from the wide gap between reality and fantasy, with little ability to distinguish between the two. The fact is you are a human being, possessing irrational emotions that can’t help but affect your thinking. Lighten up and grant yourself temporary permission to daydream — even if it negatively impacts your productivity. Exploring your imagination is the first step to understanding your heart.
(Jan 20 – Feb 18)
Although you might be unable to keep your mind from wandering today, your unexpressed thoughts can teach you exactly what you need to know. However, you must be totally honest with others and tell them you are not in the mood for socializing now. Sharing your truth prevents anyone from expecting more from you than you can give. There’s no need to fear the dark corners of your brain, for they hold the keys to the most amazing lights of inspiration.
(Feb 19 – Mar 20)
You wish you didn’t have so many commitments today because you’re not interested in engaging in lighthearted conversations upon command. Nevertheless, it’s not wise to postpone an event because you’ll probably feel more inclined to participate once you get there. You don’t have to fake a pleasant attitude; if you are in a serious frame of mind now, just be exactly who you are. Others will appreciate your honesty and integrity, making you grateful that you don’t have to hide your true nature when among your friends.