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 June 4
Explanation: Fifty years ago, Surveyor 1 reached the Moon. Launched on May 30, 1966 and landed on June 2, 1966 with the Moon at full phase it became the first US spacecraft to make a soft landing on another world. The first of seven Surveyor missions intended to test the lunar terrain for the planned Apollo landings it sent back over 10,000 images before lunar nightfall on June 14. The total rose to over 11,000 images returned before its second lunar night began on July 13. Surveyor 1 continued to respond from the lunar surface until January 7, 1967. Captured in this 2009 image from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the first Surveyor still stands at its landing site, a speck in the Oceanus Procellarum (the Ocean of Storms). With the Sun low on the western horizon the lonely, 3.3 meter tall spacecraft casts a shadow almost 15 meters long in the late lunar afternoon.
Big Dipper high in north on June evenings
Tonight, assuming you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, you can easily find the legendary Big Dipper asterism, called The Plough by our friends in the U.K. This familiar star pattern is high in the north during the evening hours in the month of June.
Although the Big Dipper can also be seen from the southern tropics at nightfall, it’ll reside much lower in the northern sky and closer to the horizon. Polaris, the North Star, disappears beneath the horizon once you get south of the Earth’s equator.
You can find the Big Dipper easily because its shape really resembles a dipper.
Less familiar – and tougher to find – is the Little Dipper. Here’s how you can find it from northerly latitudes.
First, locate the Big Dipper in the northern sky during the evening hours. Notice that the Big Dipper has two parts: a bowl and a handle. See the two outer stars in the bowl? They’re known as The Pointers because they point to the North Star, which is also known as Polaris.
Once you’ve found Polaris, you can find the Little Dipper. Polaris marks the end of the handle of the Little Dipper. You need a dark night to see the Little Dipper in full, because it’s so much fainter than its larger and brighter counterpart.
Bottom line: Look for the Big Dipper high in the north at nightfall!
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. “Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers,” she says.
Article published on EarthSky
The Words of Confucius
The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.
Your Daily Influences
June 4, 2016
The Hanged Man Reversed
The card of false prophecy and time wasted. The reversed Hanged Man represents a preoccupation with the worldly and wasted energy.
Ingwaz signifies completion, success and fertility. Your present ambitions are about to be met. You are fecund in both mind and body.
The Tau Cross
A journey that you or someone close to you must make will have a positive influence on this aspect. This trip may be over a great distance.
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.
Your Charm for Today
This aspect of your life will be strongly influenced by a person who is adaptable, versatile, communicative, witty, intellectual, eloquent, youthful and lively. This could be a sibling, a child or a very close friend.
Third sign of the Zodiac, May 22nd to June 21st. Ruling planet Mercury; correct metal, Silver. Those born under the influence of Gemini were believed to be endowed with strong intellectual powers, high aspirations, to be shrewd, ingenious and vivacious, but restless and fond of change. The Gemini stones are Agates and Emeralds. Agate talismans were worn by the orientals for eloquence, and adverting ill health, also to bring fortune and good luck. The Greeks and Romans had great faith in AGate amulets, wearing them for health, wealth, and long life. Queen Elizabeth possessed a large engraved Agate, which was supposed to be endowed with magical powers.
Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today
The Sword is a a call to action. It indicates challenges are before you and to attain your goals you will have to address them. The Sword does not suggest rash or underhanded behavior on your part. Indeed, while actions indicated by The Sword are decisive, they are based on the power of your wisdom and ethics. The strength of The Sword lies in the moral purity of your actions.
As a daily card, The Sword suggest a time in which you will face external challenges to attaining your goals. These trials are likely to come from a person or persons who stand to gain from your loss or delays in you moving forward. You can expect underhanded play and surprises. Fortunately your position is far stronger than those who scheme to usurp you. Address challenges as they arise and all will be well.
Today’s Witches Rune
Meaning: The eye has always been a powerful symbol for different cultures. Some believe that the soul resides in them, while others think it’s possible to curse a person merely by looking at them. Through our eyes we connect and express emotions and thoughts. Thus, this is one of the most powerful runes in the set, emphasizing the importance of any rune close to it. The Eye symbol is also related to “vision” is all senses, including the physical. This rune can represent our eyes and optic nerves. It can also represent activities such as research, analysis, photography and creative visualization. When it appears, there’s an urge to observe, to explore, to understand deeply what is before you. This rune is usually related to sudden realizations. Not necessarily a ‘shock’ (unless some violent rune is close it, like the Scythe and the Man), but more related to the lifting of veils. Your eyes are suddenly open, and you see things that were unknown to you before. A change of perception and focus in life is to be expected when this rune appears… whatever the situation is, the way you see it will be transformed.
The Eye rune also says that now it’s time for you to go after what you want. Your focus is powerful right now, and everything you concentrate on can become successful.This rune often represents a lonely journey towards a goal… it suggests a calling and a connection to something bigger, a sense of purpose. Your path is clear to you now; you know which way to go, even if you don’t know where exactly it’ll take you. In a spiritual level, This rune can represent a development of one’s psychic skills, or an advancement in one’s spiritual path. As you connect yourself to a deeper source, and learn to trust, you gain wisdom and your eyes see far. A higher power seems to be guiding you in times when the Eye appears. Like the Sun rune, this rune can mean that right now all eyes are on you. But unlike the former symbol, when the Eye appears there’s some discomfort related to such attention. It may be excessive and even unwelcome. In fact, this is one of this rune’s most negative facets: it may show an invasion of privacy, when someone (or even you) pry into another’s life and scrutinize their every move. Beware of flatterers and stalkers. The Eye cautions against obsession and the tendency to spy on other people’s affairs. In a relationship reading, the Eye can symbolize a predestined bond to another person.
Note that this does not promise a happy ending, but simply says that this connection is powerful and will be very important in your life. In fact, because the Eye rune is a solitary one, it is possible that the people in the relationship cannot be together due to difficult circumstances. Still, your bond that person will transform you. In a negative way, this rune can cautions against invading your partner’s personal space or stalking them.
Additional information about Today’s Witches Rune courtesy of Your Spiritual Journey Australia
Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today
Only The Universe card of the Crowley Tarot can match the blessings that come with The Sun. While it certainly doesn’t promise a life’s path without some bumps in the road, The Sun indicates all will be well. The Sun is our Cosmic Nurturer. Life flourishes under its radiant beams. It provides the illumination to find Truths and lights one’s path so they do not get lost. To stand in the rays of The Sun is to shine. To absorb its energy promotes growth, exceptional physical and mental health, and good fortune. The Sun is empowering, elevating and fills those who bask in it with confidence and sense of self-worth.