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.
2017 April 10
Explanation: Why would this cluster of galaxy punch a hole in the cosmic microwave background (CMB)? First, the famous CMB was created by cooling gas in the early universe and flies right through most gas and dust in the universe. It is all around us. Large clusters of galaxies have enough gravity to contain very hot gas — gas hot enough to up-scatter microwave photons into light of significantly higher energy, thereby creating a hole in CMB maps. This Sunyaev–Zel’dovich(SZ) effect has been used for decades to reveal new information about hot gas in clusters and even to help discover galaxy clusters in a simple yet uniform way. Pictured is the most detailed image yet obtained of the SZ effect, now using bothALMA to measure the CMB and the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the galaxies in the massive galaxy cluster RX J1347.5-1145. False-color blue depicts light from the CMB, while almost every yellow object is a galaxy. The shape of theSZ hole indicates not only that hot gas is present in this galaxy cluster, but also that it is distributed in a surprisingly uneven manner.
What’s special about this full moon?
Tonight’s full moon (April 11 at 6:08 UTC) is the 1st full moon of northern spring and fixes the date of Easter Sunday
Full moon comes on April 11, 2017 at 06:08 UTC; translate to your timezone). For time zones in the Americas, the fullest moon will come on the night of April 10.
This full moon is the 1st full moon of northern spring – that is, the first full moon following the March equinox. As such, it fixes the date of Easter Sunday. By ecclesiastical rules, Easter falls on the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon in a Northern Hemisphere spring. That means the earliest possible date for Easter is March 22, and the latest possible is April 25.
Skylore assigns names for every full moon. The April full moon is called the Grass Moon, Egg Moon or Pink Moon here in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s autumn now, this full moon is the Hunter’s Moon, or full moon following the Harvest Moon (which is the full moon nearest to – not necessarily following – the equinox).
The April 10-11 full moon is special for another reason. It’s near Jupiter in the night sky. And Jupiter is special now because it’s only a few days past its April 7 opposition, when we passed between this giant planet and the sun. Jupiter was closest on April 8, that is, closest to Earth for all of 2017. So Jupiter is at its brightest and best now, and near tonight’s full moon.
Why does Jupiter appear near this full moon? Around the time we pass between an outer planet and the sun – and again that was just last week, for Jupiter – that planet appears opposite the sun in our sky. A full moon is also opposite the sun. So planets near their oppositions always appear – at some time within a month or so – near a full moon.
A full moon is always opposite the sun. That’s why it looks full to us. At full moon, the moon and sun are on a line, with Earth in between. It’s as though Earth is the fulcrum of a seesaw, and the moon and sun are sitting on either end of the seesaw. So as the sun sets in the west, the full moon rises. When the sun is below our feet at midnight, the full moon is highest in the sky. When the sun rises again at dawn, the full moon is setting.
At full moon, we’re seeing all of the moon’s day side. That’s why a full moon looks full.
In many ways, a full moon is the opposite of a new moon. At both the new and full phases, the moon is on a line with the Earth and sun. At new moon, the moon is in the middle position along the line. At full moon, Earth is in the middle.
Full moon always comes about two weeks after new moon, when the moon is midway around in its orbit of Earth, as measured from one new moon to the next.
Bottom line: A full moon looks full because it’s opposite Earth from the sun, showing us its fully lighted hemisphere or day side.
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.
Published on EarthSky
The Wisdom of Buddha
The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve.
Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today
Altruism denotes the noble act of giving to those in need without the expectation of a return. The act of giving has been seen as one of humankind’s greatest attributes throughout history. It is honored in nearly every culture. To give is a gift to both those who receive and those who give. Giving is usually associated with addressing the material needs of others, but the gift given can take many forms such as wisdom or protection or simply a shoulder to cry on.
As a daily card, Altruism suggests there are those around you in need of things you can give them. It is a time for you to address the needs of another, or others without regard of profit or acknowledgement of your contribution.
Your Rune Reading for the Week of April 10th
Elhaz represents your power to protect yourself and those around you. It also connotes the thrill and joy of a successful hunt. You are in a very enviable position right now, because you are able to maintain what you have built and reach your current goals. Enjoy
Now is the time for you to explore your inner self and those of others. Your intelligence and creativity are very well honed at the moment. Cooperation from and with others should be very easy to attain.
Ingwaz signifies completion, success and fertility. Your present ambitions are about to be met. You are fecund in both mind and body.
Your Inner Being Reading for this Week
The Eastern Emperor
The qualities of The Emperor include the ability to lead and wield power. He is paternal and mentally quick, spiritually complete as well.
Your Daily Influences for the Week of April 10th
This card represents serendipity, creativity and the coming to life of psychic powers. It may also signify dangers yet seen, deception and bad luck for someone dear to you.
With The Bull comes strength, loyalty and determination.
Air reversed denotes a lack of freedom to move through life as you want.
Use Your Intuition: The Benefits of Tarot
Learn what a Tarot reading can do for you!
Are you wondering, “Why should I do a Tarot reading?” It’s a common question for Tarot beginners, and one that has a simply wonderful answer: Because it can help you improve your life!
Tarot is all about “intuition.” You know — that pure perception of truth we all have hidden deep inside. It’s the inner voice of your higher self, telling you what is the right thing to do and hoping you won’t ignore it. Well, Tarot cards can help you hear your inner voice and embrace its message.
Sometimes it’s hard to hear your inner voice amid all the cosmic clutter. And some people may hear it, but they deny it. Which is where Tarot comes in. If you can learn to use Tarot readings to tap into your wise intuition and listen and learn its lessons, you will be guided toward a more fulfilling life.
Some people have a fear of Tarot because don’t want to face their personal truth or they’re afraid they’ll see something “bad” in their future. But that’s not how it works. Tarot can’t predict the future. It’s simply a valuable tool for tapping into your intuition and using that insight to make decisions that will lead to a happier life.
Here are a few ways Tarot readings can help you:
Gain clarity — Whatever your situation, you can’t avoid the truth with Tarot. Tarot puts you in touch with your higher self, also known as your intuition, and it will force you to take an honest look at your life — even the things you’d rather not admit! Once you have that clarity, you’ll be able to make more responsible choices.
Highlight areas that need work — Sometimes life gets so overwhelming that you don’t know where to begin to make it better. Tarot can help highlight the things you should be focusing on right now in order to get the best results in the future.
Find peace — Anxiety, worry and fear are often symptoms of living in the unknown. And while Tarot cannot predict the future or tell you for sure what’s going to happen, it can tap into what is happening right now. Once you have clarity on the present, it’s easier to determine the path you’re on and how to change it for the best.
Whether you’re experiencing a specific, heartfelt loss or change or you’re just feeling totally crazed out of your mind, the Tarot is your go-to tool. Delivering in-the-moment insight, Tarot is designed to help you overcome troubling times in general, or specific situations you’re experiencing right now. By meditating on the wisdom you receive, you’ll not only find clarity in your present situation, but a deeper sense of peace and calm in your daily life. And when the next issue arises — because you know it will! — you’ll be able to face it head-on using your greatest weapon: a healthy, centered mindset.
Make difficult decisions — People often turn to Tarot for advice about what to do, and once again Tarot can’t predict the future. But it can provide a snapshot of your present life, and show you a few likely options of where you’re headed if you continue on the same path. You can use this information to continue down the road you’re on, or make a necessary change.
Improve your life — Never forget the power of free will! If you see something you don’t like about your life in a Tarot reading, you have the power to change it. That’s the whole point!
Stress is the enemy! It’s bad for the body and even worse for the mind. You know that when you feel stressed out, just about every part of your life feels out of control. Of course it’s just a simple fact of life that you’ll run into ups and downs, both big and small. But believe it or not, there’s a way to control the way you feel about this rollercoaster ride we call life.