Astronomy Picture of the Day – Fermi’s Gamma-ray Moon

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.

2016 April 29

Fermi’s Gamma-ray Moon
Image Credit: NASA, DOE, International Fermi LAT Collaboration


Explanation: If you could only see gamma-rays, photons with up to a billion or more times the energy of visible light, the Moon would be brighter than the Sun! That startling notion underlies this novel image of the Moon, based on data collected by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope’s Large Area Telescope (LAT) instrument during its first seven years of operation (2008-2015). Fermi’s gamma-ray vision doesn’t distinguish details on the lunar surface, but a gamma-ray glow consistent with the Moon’s size and position is clearly found at the center of the false color map. The brightest pixels correspond to the most significant detections of lunar gamma-rays. Why is the gamma-ray Moon so bright? High-energy charged particles streaming through the Solar System known as cosmic rays constantly bombard the lunar surface, unprotected by a magnetic field, generating the gamma-ray glow. Because the cosmic rays come from all sides, the gamma-ray Moon is always full and does not go through phases. The first gamma-ray image of the Moon was captured by the EGRET instrument onboard the Compton Gamma-ray Observatory, launched 25 years ago.

Earth Sky News for April 29th: Last quarter moon rises around midnight

Last quarter moon rises around midnight

onight – April 29, 2016 – the moon won’t rise over your eastern horizon until late, likely after midnight. Given clear skies, you should easily see the moon in the morning sky, even after sunrise, on April 30. The moon will be at or near its half-lit last quarter phase, when the moon’s disk appears half-illuminated in sunlight and half-immersed in its own shadow. It’ll look like the image at the top of this post, which is by Lilliana Mendez of North Bergen, New Jersey.

In the larger view, of course, the moon is always half-illuminated. Now we’re seeing half the moon’s day side, and half its night side.

The terminator – shadow line dividing the lunar day and night – shows you line of sunset on the waning moon. It’s along the terminator that you have your best views of the lunar terrain through binoculars or the telescope.

You might think the half-illuminated quarter moon should be about half as bright as the full moon. But that’s not the case. The last quarter moon is about 1/12th as bright as a full moon. Astronomers say the moon’s rough, sphere-shaped surface accounts for the surprising difference in the amount of moonlight cast by the quarter moon versus the full moon.

Meanwhile – and this might surprise you – the first quarter moon is slightly brighter than the last quarter moon. It shines at about 1/11th a full moon’s brightness (in contrast to 1/12th).

The last quarter moon is slightly less bright than the first quarter moon. That’s because illuminated side of the last quarter moon is more covered over by maria – low lying plains of hardened volcanic basalt.

The dark maria reflect sunlight less effectively than do the lighter-colored lunar highlands.

Bottom line: Watch for the moon at or near its last quarter phase. It’ll likely rise after midnight on the morning of April 30, 2016.



Bruce McClure

Article published on EarthSky

Your Daily Influence for April 29th

Your Daily Influence

April 29th, 2016



The Devil Reversed
The reversed Devil signifies a spiritual rebirth, freedom from the preoccupation with the secular and the overcoming of pride and selfishness.










Berkano reversed may foretell family problems and dissatisfaction. Your life path my not be clear to you at this time. Be careful to protect that which is yours.





The Tortoise
The tortoise represents the dome of the sky, the universe. It tells you to take slow, deliberate steps and you can acheive everything you desire.




Your Daily Influences represent events and challenges the current day will present for you. They may represent opportunities you should be ready to seize. Or they may forewarn you of problems you may be able to avoid or lessen. Generally it is best to use them as tips to help you manage your day and nothing more.

Drawing One Anicent Charm Card To Reveal What The Weekend Holds for You (April 29th)

Your One Ancient Charm Card Drawing for the Upcoming Weekend


Ah, The Caduceus, Involves Your Physical Health This Weekend


You will find you have within you the ability to resolve all conflicts and disagreements with regard to this aspect. You will find an eloquence you did not realize before.

A little background on The Caduceus

The staff of Mercury was given to him by Apollo in exchange for the lyre. The rod was endowed with the remarkable power of deciding all quarrels and bestowing wonderful eloquence upon its possessor. Mercury proved this when he saw two serpents fighting. Placing the rod between them and using his eloquence he reconciled the serpents, who then embraced each other, and becoming attached to the rod formed the caduceus. The pine cone is credited with health giving power, and the wings symbolize speed and the flight of thoughts between friends. This ancient talisman was supposed to be a charm fo prosperity, rendering its possessor healthy, wealthy and wise.

Your Charm for April 29th is The Cornucopia

Your Charm for Today

Today’s Meaning:
This aspect is need of some pampering, you are in need of some pampering and who better to do it than yourself? Do something extravagant, something out of character and make this aspect a more pleasant place to be.

General Description:
This is a Roman amulet and was worn for many centuries as a charm to attract good fortune. The Cornucopia represents Amaitheia’s Horn, and is a symbol of prosperity, abundance and fruitfulness. Amaltheia daughter of Melissus, King of Crete, nursed the infant Jupiter with goats milk. Jupiter afterwards endowed the goats horn with magical properties, and promising that it would supply in abundance whatever she desired, gave it to his nurse. The idea most probably originated from using the horns of oxen and goats as drinking cups.


Your Daily Witches Rune for April 29th is The Birds

Daily Witches Rune

The Birds

Keywords: Unexpected news, change.

Meanings: The Birds Rune means some unexpected news that may alter your life completely, especially if this is the leading rune. Generally, the news will lead to a positive change but pay close attention to the nearest runes to determine its nature. It can also mean news of friends or family that you haven’t had contact with in quite a while. Letters and documents should be watched for as they may well bring happiness.

Your Ancient Symbol Card for April 29th is Justice

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today


Justice represents the expression of fairness without bias. Simply put, Justice embodies the notion that what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. Justice denotes the need to remedy situations lacking equality for all. Depending on the circumstances, Justice may be asking us to curb our partiality, or conversely, Justice may indicate a time for you to demand fair treatment.

As a daily card, Justice suggest that we are part of a situation that is out of balance. If you have shown unwarranted bias towards others now is the time to make amends. On the other hand, if you have been the victim of bias, now is the time for you to demand fairer treatment.

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for April 29th is The Emperor

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today

The Emperor

The Emperor is blessed with the skills to successfully lead others. He can turn chaos into order and 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 careful not to over use his powers he may well become a tyrant.