After today, we could all buy stock in Kleenex and become millionaires, lol! I have learned you might as well have a sense of humor just to get by in this world. Seriously though, there is so much I want to say, I can’t put it into words. I didn’t tell Lady Beltane but the doctors had told me how long I had after I got out of the hospital till my spleen started acting up. Its amazing, I didn’t know a darn thing about my spleen till this, now I know more than I want too. Apparently the first blood clot I had didn’t come from my leg, it came from my spleen. The doctors in Nashville told me that was the first warning sign something bad was going on. If the doctors up here had took more time and run more tests they might have found the problem, then again they might not. The reason they couldn’t get my white blood cells up was also because of it. It seems the spleen can go crazy and just start throwing clots, eating your blood cells and after I was told all that, I shut my ears. But going to bed each night wondering if tomorrow might be the day, is a horrible feeling I hope none of you ever have to face. It is like have a dark cloud hanging over you. I had almost given up hope but something inside me told not too, I was a fighter, hang in there just a little bit longer. Why I didn’t know. But today, to have that cloud lifted and no more feelings of dread, just hit me like someone had knocked the air out of me. I couldn’t believe it. It was beyond words what I experienced when I saw there was hope and you had given it to me. It is even a more wonderful feeling to know you are loved, people do care and you aren’t all alone in the world.
My precious family, you have given me so much today I cannot begin to describe it. I can feel your warmth, your compassion and your love. Perhaps we aren’t blood but I feel closer to you now than I have ever felt toward any of my blood relatives (except my mother). When I lost her, my world fell apart. Over the years, I have gradually put it back together. Then this happened and it started to fall apart again. I felt I was starting to lose everything, just hanging on. Then out of the shadows and darkness, there came a ray of hope. That ray of hope was you. What you have done for me, I can never repay, there is no way I can. You have given me my life and what a precious gift life is. Never take it for granted. Grab each moment and live it to the fullest. Never take your family, your friends, your children or anyone else close to you for granted. You never know and I can tell you that is one of the most terrible feelings in the world, thinking today might be your last day.
I can tell you, “thank you, thank you, thank you,” over and over again but it just doesn’t seem adequate enough for what you have given me, my life, a second chance. Thank you, my luvs. Thank you so very, very much.
I love you,
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.
2018 June 26
Dark Nebulas across Taurus
Image Processing & Copyright: Oliver Czernetz – Data: Digitized Sky Survey (POSS-II)Explanation: Sometimes even the dark dust of interstellar space has a serene beauty. One such place occurs toward the constellation of Taurus. The filaments featured here can be found on the sky between the Pleiades star clusterand the California Nebula. This dust is not known not for its bright glow but for its absorption and opaqueness. Several bright stars are visible with their blue light seen reflecting off the brown dust. Other stars appear unusually red as their light barely peeks through a column of dark dust, with red the color that remains after the blue is scattered away. Yet other stars are behind dust pillars so thick they are not visible here. Although appearing serene, the scene is actually an ongoing loop of tumult and rebirth. This is because massive enough knots of gas and dust will gravitationally collapse to form new stars — stars that both create new dust in their atmospheres and destroy old dust with their energetic light and winds.
We go between Saturn and the sun
Our planet Earth flies this week between Saturn and the sun, bringing Saturn to what astronomers call opposition. The exact date and time of opposition are June 27, 2018, at 13:00 UTC. That is June 27 at 10:00 a.m ADT, 9:00 a.m. EDT, 8:00 a.m. CDT, 7:00 a.m. MDT, 6:00 a.m. PDT, 5:00 a.m. Alaskan Time and 3:00 a.m. Hawaiian Time; click here to translate UTC to your time. And don’t worry about exact times too much. Just know that – around now – Saturn is more or less opposite the sun in Earth’s sky, rising in the east around sunset, climbing highest up for the night around midnight and setting in the west around sunrise. When opposite the sun, Saturn is visible all night.
Opposition is a big milestone each year for observing the ringed planet Saturn, or any superior planet (planet orbiting the sun outside Earth’s orbit). When we fly between a superior planet and the sun, the planet is generally closest and brightest for that year.
You need a telescope to see Saturn’s rings. But you can easily spot the planet with the eye alone with this week. How? Let the moon guide you. The moon is full on the night of June 27-28, and what is a full moon if not a moon opposite the sun? Like a planet at opposition – opposite the sun – a full moon always rises in the east at sunset, climbs highest around midnight and sets in the west around sunrise. For that reason, around the time of its opposition, a superior planet is always near the moon when it turns full.
This particular full moon will be closest to Saturn on the exact date of opposition as shown on the chart below:
Although Saturn comes closest to Earth for the year on the same date that it reaches opposition (June 27), the ringed planet comes nowhere as close to Earth as the NASA illustration at the very top of this post might lead you to believe. At present, Saturn lies some 10 times the Earth’s distance from the sun, and nine times the Earth-sun distance from Earth. Astronomers refer to the Earth-sun distance as the astronomical unit, or AU. Saturn is now 10 AU from the sun, and 9 AU from us. Heavens Above gives information about the present distances of the planets from the sun and Earth.
So the distance scale of the image at top is off, and so is the size scale. For a realistic depiction of Saturn’s size relative to that of Earth, see the illustration below.
Also, don’t assume Saturn’s opposition is a one-night-only event. The ringed planet will be in good view throughout July, August and September 2018. You can recognize Saturn because it’s in your southeast sky at dusk and nightfall. Saturn will remain a fixture of the evening sky until December 2018. All the while, golden Saturn shines in front of the constellation Sagittarius, to the north of the Teapot asterism.
Our fast movement in orbit brings Earth between Saturn and the sun every year – or, more precisely, about two weeks later every year. Three years ago, for instance, Saturn’s opposition happened on May 23, 2015. In 2016, it was June 3. In 2017, it was June 15. This year, June 27. If you recognize this golden world tonight or later this month, you’ll also enjoy it throughout the Northern Hemisphere summer, or Southern Hemisphere winter.
If you had a bird’s-eye view of the solar system today, you’d see our planet Earth passing in between the sun and Saturn. You’d see the sun, Earth, and Saturn lining up in space. But not for long. Earth moves in orbit at 18 miles (29 km) per second in contrast to about 6 miles (9 km) per second for Saturn. Soon, we’ll be pulling ahead of Saturn in the race of the planets.
The planets that orbit the sun inside of Earth’s orbit – Mercury and Venus – can never be at opposition. Only the planets that orbit the sun beyond Earth’s orbit – Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – can ever reach opposition, that is, appear opposite the sun in Earth’s sky.
All the planets farther from the sun reach opposition every time our swifter-moving planet sweeps between the sun and these superior planets – planets that orbit the sun outside of Earth’s orbit. Mars returns to opposition every other year. Jupiter’s opposition happens about one month later each year, whereas Saturn’s opposition occurs about two weeks later yearly. The farther that a planet resides from the sun, the shorter the period of time between successive oppositions.
Saturn, the 6th planet outward from the sun, is the most distant world that’s easily visible to the unaided eye. Telescopes revealed its rings in the 17th century. Spacecraft in the 20th century revealed that what we thought of as three rings around Saturn to be thousands of thin, finely detailed rings – made of tiny chunks of ice. Saturn also has 62 moons with confirmed orbits. Only 53 of Saturn’s moons have names, and only 13 have diameters larger than 50 kilometers (about 30 miles).
Saturn is truly a wondrous world of rings and moons. It’s everyone’s favorite celestial object to gaze at through a small telescope, so if there’s a public astronomy night near you this month – go!
Bottom line: Look for Saturn at and around opposition – June 27, 2018. It will be shining in the east this evening, fairly close to the moon. Can’t see Saturn tonight? No problem. It’ll be in an excellent place to observe throughout June, July and August 2018.
Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky’s popular Tonight pages since 2004. He’s a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.
Published on EarthSky
The Wisdom of Buddha
The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.
Your Charm for Today
Taurus The Bull
This aspect of your life will be strongly influenced by a person who is patient, reliable, warmhearted, loving, persistent, determined, placid and security loving. This is a person you respect.
Second sign of the Zodiac, April 21st to May 22nd. Ruling planet Venus; correct metal Copper. Those born under Taurus were thought to be endowed with mental and physical strength, strong minded, clever, fearless and emotional. The correct Taurus gem is the Sapphire. The sapphire is of a deep blue color, and the darker the blue the greater its value. The ancients wore Sapphire charms for protection from poison, plague, fever, diseases of the skin, and to bring peace and happiness upon its wearer. The eyes were rubbed by a Sapphire to preserve them from injury by smallpox. King Solomon’s seal is said to have been a Sapphire.
Your Past, Present, Future Reading for Today
That Which is Behind You
Symbol: The Farmer
The Farmer represents rewards gained through hard work and faith in oneself. He harvests riches from the planting and nurturing of his crops.
Your Current Place
Symbol: The Woodcutter
The Woodcutter employs three of the 5 elements central to Chinese philosophy: Fire, Wood and Metal. He is ambitious and full of drive and energy. He represents gain and success through dedicated work.
That Which is Before You
The Mushroom tile represents eternal life and oddity. It gets these attributes from the fact that mushrooms in nature always seem to regenerate and often popup where they are unexpected. The notion of oddity is derived from the mushroom seemingly having the nature of a plant, but lacking leaves. The Mushroom tile foretells the coming of unexpected events that will have a lasting impact on you
Sun bathing Froggy Style, lol!
Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today
The iridescent emerald plumage and spectacular broad tail of The Peacock make it the ideal symbol of both justified pride and vanity. It denotes the right for one to be proud of themselves for being who they are and for letting others know. In short, its okay to strut a bit. At the same time The Peacock reminds us that while pride and high self esteem are essential components of a healthy psyche, becoming too full of one’s self makes us vain, and vanity is never attractive in anyone.
As a daily card, The Peacock is reminder that you are inherently valuable, and have a right to be proud of who you are as well as let others know you are proud of yourself. It is also a warning to not allow you pride and sense of self worth grow to such grand proportions that you become vain and conceited.