Don’t forget to check out this month’s Customer’s Appreciation Specials at Magickal Necessities.
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: Does the closest star to our Sun have planets? No one is sure — but you can now follow frequent updates of a new search that is taking place during the first few months of this year. The closest star, Proxima Centauri, is the nearest member of the Alpha Centauri star system. Light takes only 4.24 years to reach us from Proxima Centauri. This small red star, captured in the center of the featured image by the Hubble Space Telescope, is so faint that it was only discovered in 1915 and is only visible through a telescope. Telescope-created X-shaped diffraction spikes surround Proxima Centauri, while several stars further out in our Milky Way Galaxy are visible in the background. The brightest star in the Alpha Centauri system is quite similar to our Sun, has been known as long as recorded history, and is the third brightest star in the night sky. The Alpha Centauri system is primarily visible from Earth’s Southern Hemisphere. Starting last week, the European Southern Observatory’s Pale Red Dot project began investigating slight changes in Proxima Centauri to see if they result from a planet — possibly an Earth-sized planet. Although unlikely, were a modern civilization found living on a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, its proximity makes it a reasonable possibility that humanity could communicate with them.
Before dawn, Orion the Hunter
I noticed on your site that Orion returned to the predawn sky in late July. You called it the ‘ghost of the summer dawn.’ Due to cloudy skies and other conditions, I was not able to see it until August 6. When will Orion return to the evening sky?
Mike, Orion the Hunter is always behind the sun as seen from Earth in June. It comes back to the predawn sky every year in late July. By early September, Orion is rising in the wee hours and is well up in the southeast an hour before dawn, as shown on today’s chart.
Orion will soon be up by midnight, then 10 p.m. … and by December you’ll find it rising in early evening.
There’s nothing unusual about Orion’s shift from the predawn to the evening sky. This constellation is simply following the westward shift of all the stars, caused by Earth’s orbit around the sun. As we orbit the sun, our night sky points toward an ever-changing panorama of the Milky Way galaxy. Our orbit causes all the stars to rise approximately 4 minutes earlier each day.
Bottom line: If you’re an early riser, look to the southeast and spot Orion the Hunter roaming the September predawn sky.
Published on EarthSky
The Wisdom of Buddha
We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.
Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today
The Golden Egg
The Golden Egg denotes the opportunity for substantial material gains. However, the Golden Egg is also a reminder that unmanaged greed ensures what gains are made will be lost.
As a daily card, The Golden Egg suggest that the prospects for you to increase your financial wealth are very strong today. Seize whatever opportunities come your way, but don’t ride them too long or you may find yourself no better off than you were before they came along.