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 July 3
An Airplane in Front of the Moon
Image Credit & Copyright: Ji-Hoon Kim
Explanation: If you look closely at the Moon, you will see a large airplane in front of it. Well, not always. OK, hardly ever. Actually, to capture an image like this takes precise timing, an exposure fast enough to freeze the airplane and not overexpose the Moon — but slow enough to see both, a steady camera, and luck — because not every plane that approaches the Moon crosses in front. Helpful equipment includes a camera with fast continuous video mode and a mount that automatically tracks the Moon. The featured fleeting superposition was captured from Seoul, South Korea two weeks ago during a daytime waxing gibbous moonrise. Within 1/10th of a second, the airplane crossingwas over.
Use Big Dipper to find Polaris
Tonight, use the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major the Great Bear to find the sky’s northern pole star, Polaris. This is the star around which the whole northern celestial sphere appears to turn throughout the night. That’s because this star is located nearly above Earth’s northern axis. In times past, wanderers on the northern face of Earth used Polaris to stay on course.
Once you find it, you can also look for Thuban, a famous former pole star in the constellation Draco the Dragon.
So how can you find Polaris? Look at the chart at the top of this post. You’ll simply draw a line through the Big Dipper’s pointer stars – Dubhe and Merak. That line will point to Polaris, the North Star. You can use this trick to find Polaris any evening – no matter how the Dipper is oriented with respect to your northern horizon.
Once you’ve got Polaris, if your sky is dark enough, you might be able to see the Little Dipper asterism. It’s harder to spot than the Big Dipper and needs a dark sky to be seen.
The chart below shows the Big Dipper, Little Dipper and the star Polaris as you’ll see them in the north on July evenings. Polaris marks the end of the handle on the Little Dipper asterism, which is in the constellation Ursa Minor.
In other words, the Little Dipper is not the whole constellation, but just a noticeable pattern within the constellation Ursa Minor the Smaller Bear.
Polaris isn’t the brightest star in the sky, as is commonly supposed. It’s only 50th brightest or so.
Still, Polaris is bright enough to be seen with relative ease on a dark, clear night.
How to find the star Thuban, and its constellation Draco the Dragon. As night deepens, and the fainter stars of the Little Dipper spring into view, those of you with dark-enough skies can expect to see a winding stream of stars between the Big and Little Dippers. These meandering stars make up the constellation Draco.
The star Thuban is one of the stars here, part of the Tail of the legendary constellation Draco the Dragon, a fixture of the northern skies. I always find Thuban by remembering it’s between the Big and Little Dippers.
Thuban is famous for having served as a pole star around 3000 B.C. This date coincides with the beginning of the building of the pyramids in Egypt. It’s said that the descending passage of the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Gizeh was built to point directly at Thuban. So our ancestors knew and celebrated this star.
Bottom line: Draw a line through the Big Dipper pointer stars to find Polaris the North Star. If your sky is dark, look for Thuban in the Tail of Draco the Dragon.
The Words of Confucius
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
Your Daily Rune for Today
“Thor-is-as” – Literally: “Thurses” or “Giants” – Esoteric: Strong one, Resistance
Key Concepts: Unconscious forces, sociological forces, Thor, Loki as giant, chaos, destruction by natural forces, complexities of aggression, conflicts, disputes, psychological problems, lightning, breakthrough, aggressive male sexuality, battering down barriers, thorn of awakening, trouble, enthusiasm
Psi: enthusiasm, struggle against unconsciousness, male sexual prowess
Energy: enthusiasm, self-empowerment, chaos, active defensive force, breaker of resistance, destructive storms
Mundane: storms, tools, weapons, conflict
Divinations: Reactive force, directed force, vital eroticism, regenerative catalyst, constructive conflict; or danger, defenselessness, compulsion, betrayal, dullness, disease, explosive violence, annoyance, strife
Destruction of enemies, curses binds and fetters
Awakening of the will to action
Breaking resistance of blockages in body, mind and spirit
Increased potency and prowess in romantic relationships
Understanding of the division and separation of all things
Aiming the use of psychic force
The combination of right/left brain processes for generating powerful realization
Your Erotic Tarot Card of the Day
Your Love Tarot Card of the Day
The Fool card often gets a bum rap. He tends to be mocked as a naive idiot without direction or purpose … but things aren’t always as they seem, right? Let’s take a closer look at The Fool and what he can teach us.
When we think of The Fool Tarot card, we are reminded to let go of expectations and trust our instincts. We think of our spiritual journey and the desire for rebirth. As the very first card in the Tarot deck’s Major Arcana, The Fool signifies a fresh start or a new beginning.
Think of The Fool not so much as naive as open-minded and optimistic. The Fool is hopeful and positive, and he’s doing his best to shine a light on new beliefs, innovative and shocking ideas and the unpredictability of life.
Motto: May innocence find wisdom
Sometimes the word “fool” has negative connotations. Think of the simpleton, the childlike state of someone who is out of touch and who might be the focus of mockery. But there’s nothing silly about The Fool.
Historically, The Fool card may have appeared as a carnival entertainer, a huckster or a jester. Symbolically, it represented a person driven by base needs and urges, one who has fallen into a state of poverty and deprivation. By the 20th century the more familiar modern image and symbolism took over, and The Fool has been widely seen as the Tarot card hearkening renewing energy and a fresh start. Quite an evolution for The Fool!
Traditional Rider-Waite metaphors and imagery have prevailed within modern Tarot decks. Nature scenes depicting beautiful mountaintops include the image of The Fool getting ready to take an adventurous step into the unknown. Getting The Fool card within a Tarot reading is a reminder to appreciate our inner growth and our journey of personal development. It is the spirit in search of experiences, and the childlike wisdom we aim to employ as we go deeper into self-realization through new challenges.
Be encouraged when you draw The Fool card in any Tarot spread, you may soon face a new opportunity or challenge!
July’s theme, the Hanged Man, is about a change in point of view, and what better way to invite a fresh perspective than to begin a new journey? That’s just what The Fool card signifies this week: an attitude of openness and playfulness, of willingness to set out without an established plan and see where the road takes you. This month requires pushing past discomfort, letting go of the self-imposed restrictive attitudes that might be preventing you from living your fullest life. Loosen up your ideas of what has to be, and let life be an unfolding adventure.
Say yes to things this week before fear or rationality can talk you out of it. Be spontaneous. Go places you’ve been curious about — visit a new country, a new city, a different neighborhood, or even just the new restaurant down the street. A Fool experience doesn’t have to be hugely risky or large-scale. Cook something without a recipe. Take a walk without a destination. Try on clothes at a shop that looks interesting (without feeling pressure to buy anything!). There are so many possible manifestations of this card in daily life.
The Fool, ultimately, is an optimist, which can be a difficult attitude to maintain. But don’t worry — even the best Fool isn’t setting out without some amount of preparation. Figure out what your bare necessities are and pack them in your metaphorical traveling bag so that you can enjoy being spontaneous while still feeling safe and somewhat grounded. In many decks’ depictions of the card, including this one, the Fool is also shown with a small dog as a traveling companion. The dog is usually energetic and jumping up at the Fool’s leg to push the figure ahead in the journey. This week, figure out who or what is your little dog, the person or thing that motivates you to keep going even when you feel tired or discouraged.
Tarot Card of the Day
Five of Coins
This suit, most often named “Coins” or “Pentacles”, is a symbol for a magical talisman that represented wealth or potential. This suit represents something supportive that is available to you — whether it be health, some kind of talent, a material or financial resource.
The Five of this suit is the card of desire and gratification, expressed in classical tradition as flattery and false promises. This card represents both the seducer and the one seduced. There is undeniable excitement in the attraction of opposites; we have all had delightful moments of magnetism with a stranger. However, if promises are only spoken to achieve short-term gratification with no intent of follow-through, or the attraction appears as competition to more fulfilling relationships, the long-term result won’t be worth the thrill of the chase.
The appearance of a viable relationship does not always bear out, so don’t put anything of real value at risk over an infatuation. Since the suit here is Coins, this is as likely to be related to business as to pleasure. Try to remove the influence of glamour from your thinking.
Note: In the English decks, like the Rider-Waite, the sickly poor freezing outside a well lit church warn of the painful outcomes of bad choices, rather than focusing on the dynamic tension of the choosing itself.
If You Were Born Today, July 3
You have great strength of character and have a gift for seeing the value of things. Although you do have a unique perspective on most matters, you can be very stubborn about seeing only that side to a story. You are a natural leader and often seek to have your way, but you are also quite poised and regal in manner. Learning to compromise is important to your success on a personal level. You are passionate in love. Famous people born today: Hermann Hesse, Ashley Tisdale, Jerry Hall, Lindsay Lohan, Margot Robbie.
Your Birthday Year Forecast
With the Sun and Moon in harmony in your Solar Return chart, the year ahead should be satisfying and balanced overall. You are in comfortable demand and personally popular, and you are able to achieve a decent balance between work and play; personal and professional life. For the most part, you are on top of your game this year, and positive connections with others can be made fairly easily. With the ability to handle your emotions successfully, there is less stress on both your mind and body. Your self-confidence and positive attitude will reward you!
This is an excellent year in which to advance projects revolving around communications – writing, speaking, selling, and so forth. Your reputation may be enhanced through word of mouth. Making new contacts through learning and mental pursuits figures strongly as well.
Even so, watch for impatience, especially with your communications. You may not always have follow-through when it comes to your projects as you may be experimenting with new ideas and hobbies. Ups and downs may lead to new commitments nevertheless.
You might often get frustrated if results of your actions are not instant, but it’s best to cultivate some patience when it comes to realizing your goals. As well, if you are not getting the results you crave, consider that you might be aiming too high or too wide.
There can be a stronger tendency toward, or desire for, commitment and deep involvement in your relationships during this period. You may be taking love and/or friendship more seriously. There can be a willingness to make sacrifices if it seems the best way to make improvements in relationships and with money matters. You can be quite particular in your tastes, and better than usual with money and savings.
If there are health issues this year, look for blockages or constrictions since Saturn is involved with the Node.
This can be an excellent period for opening up communications with others, as you are more sensitive than usual and more willing to listen. Getting your point across is easier — it’s not only about what specific words you choose to communicate, you intuitively express the meaning and intention behind the words. You can effectively use words to soothe, heal, and teach this year. You are also more open to new ways of looking at problems, thus it’s considerably easier to find solutions.
Idealistic and humanitarian goals or impulses surface this year. Making connections with others from different backgrounds may figure strongly. Widening your mind through unusual or different experiences can be part of the picture. You more easily make personal sacrifices for what you believe to be the greater good this year.
Saturn forms an opposition to your Sun in December/January. Saturn calls upon you to identify the weaker areas of your life and to fix or strengthen them. Take the time to sort out details, improve your work, and become more efficient this month. Taking a slow and steady approach to life is necessary during this period. Pushing too hard will likely lead to frustration and setbacks. Take it easy and work on self-improvement. Results are not immediate, but will eventually come and bring healthy rewards. Relationships may be (or seem) more challenging than usual while Saturn opposes your Sun. Fortunately, this is a quick pass transit, lasting only a month or so instead of the usual several months.
Cooperation brings rewards your way this year, although there can be some rebelliousness or assertions of independence now. With work, you’re expanding your interests in satisfying ways. Do watch for a tendency to communicate impulsively. There can be increased steadiness and reliability in your social life, however.
2018 is a Number Three year for you. Ruled by Jupiter. This is a year of sociability. It is a friendly time when you find it natural and easy to enjoy life and other people. The focus is on personal freedom, reaching out to others, making new friends, and exploration. You are more enthusiastic and ready for adventure than you are in other years. It’s likely to be a rather lighthearted year when opportunities for “play” time are greater than usual. It’s also a favorable year for expressing your creativity. Advice – reach out and connect but avoid scattering your energies.
2019 will be a Number Four year for you. Ruled by Uranus. This is a year of work and development. It’s “nose to the grindstone” time. It’s a time to pay special attention to practical matters, and it’s not a time to be lazy or especially gregarious. Sometimes, it can be a year that feels hard, monotonous and routine, and/or lonely. Positive new relationships are often not formed in a Four personal year. However, it can be a wonderful year for building, development, and laying a solid foundation for future successes. Advice – get yourself organized, work to build your resources, keep busy.