We Ain’t Gone Yet, We Have to Remind You of Something…..

Shoot the Bull Chat

Saturday, August 4th

10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. central time

Where, where else, The WOTC Chatroom!

See you there!

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Astronomy Picture of the Day – The Iris Nebula in a Field of Dust 

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 August 1

The Iris Nebula in a Field of Dust 
Image Credit & Copyright: Franco Sgueglia & Francesco Sferlazza

 

Explanation: What blue flower grows in this field of dark interstellar dust? The Iris Nebula. The striking blue color of the Iris Nebula is created by light from the bright star SAO 19158 reflecting off of a dense patch of normally dark dust. Not only is the star itself mostly blue, but blue light from the star is preferentially reflected by the dust — the same affect that makes Earth’s sky blue. The brown tint of the pervasive dust comes partly from photoluminescence — dust converting ultraviolet radiation to red light. Cataloged as NGC 7023, the Iris Nebula is studied frequently because of the unusual prevalence there of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), complex molecules that are also released on Earth during the incomplete combustion of wood fires. The bright blue portion of the Iris Nebula spans about six light years. The Iris Nebula, pictured here, lies about 1300 light years distant and can be found with a small telescope toward the constellation of Cepheus.

Your Earth Sky News for August 1: Orion the Hunter returns before dawn

Orion the Hunter returns before dawn

Around early August, if you’re up early and have an unobstructed view to the east, be sure to look in that direction in the hour before dawn. You might find a familiar figure – a constellation that always returns to the sky around this time of year. It’s the beautiful constellation Orion the Hunter – recently behind the sun as seen from our earthly vantage point – now ascending once more in the east before sunrise.

The Hunter appears each northern winter as a mighty constellation arcing across the south during the evening hours. Many people see it then, and notice it, because the pattern of Orion’s stars is so distinctive.

But, at the crack of dawn in late summer, you can spot Orion in the east. Thus Orion has been called the ghost of the shimmering summer dawn.

The Hunter rises on his side, with his three Belt stars – Mintaka, Alnitak and Alnilam – pointing straight up.

Also, notice the star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus the Bull. Aldebaran is the brightest star in Taurus the Bull. It’s said to be the Bull’s fiery red eye. See the V-shaped pattern of stars around Aldebaran? This pattern represents the Bull’s face. In skylore, Orion is said to be holding up a great shield … fending off the charging Bull. Can you imagine this by looking at the chart at top? It’s easy to imagine when you look at the real sky before dawn at this time of year.

Bottom line: The return of Orion and Taurus to your predawn sky happens around late July or early August every year. In the Northern Hemisphere, Orion is sometimes called the ghost of the summer dawn.

 

Originally published on EarthSky

Your Daily Witches Rune for August 1 is The Crossed Spears

Your Daily Witches Rune

The Crossed Spears

Meaning: The presence of the spear signifies arguments, negative events, and all manner of strife of an upsetting nature. However similar to the ‘Tower’ tarot card if next to a positive rune it could mean the end of an argument or quarrel. If with the rings it means the healing or renewal of a relationship. If there are military connections it could mean promotion. If illness is within the equation it means a speedy and successful recovery.