The Sky This Week for July 28 to July 31, 2016
This week is all about the planets, the Moon, and the Delta Aquarid meteor shower.
By Richard Talcott
Thursday, July 28
The Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower reaches its peak overnight. Although the waning crescent Moon rises around 2 a.m. local daylight time tomorrow morning, it doesn’t really detract from the show. The meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Aquarius, which rises in late evening and appears highest in the hours before dawn. At its best, the shower produces 15 to 20 meteors per hour under a dark sky, a rate that stays nearly constant for a couple of days on either side of the peak.
Friday, July 29
The Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower isn’t the only event you’ll want to keep an eye on this morning. As the waning crescent Moon marches eastward relative to the background stars of Taurus, it passes directly in front of the Bull’s luminary. Our satellite occults 1st-magnitude Aldebaran for observers south of a line that runs from southern New Mexico to northern Maine. While viewers north of this line will see the Moon and star just miss each other, those along the line will witness the star skimming Luna’s northern limb. Be sure to set up ahead of time, center the star in your telescope’s field of view, and watch the magnificent show.
Uranus’ eastward motion against the background stars comes to a halt at 10 p.m. EDT. This so-called stationary point marks the beginning of the best period to observe the outer planet. Uranus rises before midnight local daylight time and appears more than halfway to the zenith in the southeastern sky as morning twilight commences. The magnitude 5.8 planet lies in Pisces, 2.7° due north of magnitude 4.8 Mu (m) Piscium. A telescope reveals Uranus’ blue-green disk, which spans 3.6″.
Saturday, July 30
Although Saturn reached its peak nearly two months ago, it remains a lovely sight. You can find the planet nearly due south around 9 p.m. local daylight time. Saturn shines at magnitude 0.3 and appears far brighter than any of the surrounding stars of southwestern Ophiuchus. When viewed through a telescope, the planet measures 18″ across while its dramatic ring system spans 40″ and tilts 26° to our line of sight.
Sunday, July 31
The two inner planets lurk low in the western sky shortly after sunset all week. Your best chance to spot them comes when they lie highest in the twilight this evening. If you scan the western horizon through binoculars 30 minutes after sunset, you should pick up Venus standing just 3° high. It shows up only because in shines so brightly, at magnitude –3.9. Mercury appears 6° above the horizon but will be harder to see because it glows more dimly at magnitude –0.2. And if you have a haze-free sky, you might spot the 1st-magitude star Regulus between the two planets.
The Astronomy Magazine
Your Sun & Moon Info for Thursday, July 28th
Sun is in Leo
Moon is in Taurus
Sun Direction: ↑ 106.12° ESE
Sun Altitude: 50.24°
Sun Distance: 94.385 million mi
Next Equinox: Sep 22, 2016 9:21 AM (Autumnal)
Sunrise Today: 5:57 AM↑ 65° East
Sunset Today: 8:05 PM↑ 294° Northwest
Length of Daylight:14 hours, 8 minutes
Moon Direction: ↑ 239.47° WSW
Moon Altitude: 54.05°
Moon Distance: 229923 mi
Next New Moon: Aug 2, 20163:44 PM
Next Full Moon: Aug 18, 20164:26 AM
Next Moonset: Today3:14 PM
Current Moon Phase: Waning Crescent
“Now upon my altar,
Gifts I offer the Two that are One.
As each day passes, shorter than the last,
May I be reminded of the seasons that have passed.
The marriage and the seeding of the Goddess in May;
Her womb swollen with life anew at Summer Solstice Day;
All this time the Father Sun has shone with so much pride.
“Rising early, setting late;
Now that He has supplied the warmth and light
For the good of the Earth
He knows that His death is drawing near.
But this secret He understands,
That with the turning of the wheel,
His rebirth has been planned.”
– Lammas Ritual by Asiya
I believe I made a promise to you that we would be adding a few more items to our current raffle. Then I believe my life went totally screwy to say the least, lol! What am I talking about my life is always screwy! Enough with my life, I am sure you all know my story by now. What I want to do is to introduce you to the two last items up for auction. I figure since everyone has been so patience and also helping my new familiar arrive at my doorstep, you deserve it. Oh, by the way, those who donated to get the cute little ball of fuzz here, you are automatically entered.
Here are the last two items that will be added to our raffle……
Every witch needs a nice cauldron and that is exactly what we have here. Take a look……
Cast Iron Cauldron Mortar and Pestle Set
Representative of rebirth, change, and creation, the cast iron cauldron mortal and pestle set also provides you with a durable way to prepare your herbs and minerals. 2 3/4″ x 1 3/4″
This last item is one that is very hard to find and almost never seen. We are very proud to add it to our raffle….
Spiritual Sealing wax kit
Customize spells, rituals, and more with enchanting wax stamps. Boxed kit includes 3 natural wax sticks, wooden handle, and three brass screw on seals: Sun, triple moon, celtic knot.
Darn, I wish I could get this last one for $5.00, y’all have all the luck! I would like to thank all those who have purchased their raffle tickets. Whether you have already bought your tickets or just putting it off for a bit, you will be able to pick from these five great items which one you want when we draw your name.
Thank you, good luck and enjoy,
Lady of the Abyss
Can I Ask You A Question?
by Taliesin Athor Govannon
I am a very public Pagan. I am a long-haired male, bearded, fond of dressing in black, with a rather large pewter pentagram (my only piece of jewelry…REALLY noticeable against a plain black background) around my neck. In other words, I’ve never tried to hide my identity as a Witch…my broom closet has screen doors in it!
Now, any of you other public types out there will know what I’m talking about when I say that I tend to get a LOT of questions from non-Pagans. (NOTE: Since there are some who dislike the terms “cowan” and “mundane”, I will henceforth refer to such people as “metaphysically challenged”) Some are rude, some are ignorant, and some are in a class of their own.
It can be difficult to know how to answer these people. After all, some of them may never get the opportunity to hang with real occult/Witch types, and probably wonder if we all work for those “1-900-YOU-PUTZ” type psychic lines. I, however, have quite a bit of experience interacting with such types, and have a huge collection of “Save your soul now” style pamphlets to prove it. As a public Pagan service (and also because I’ve been spending all of my time lately writing love songs to a beautiful blue-eyed Witch and thus have NO other ideas ready), I have decided to give you a list of my favorite questions from the metaphysically challenged, along with possible answers. (Please note that these are POSSIBLE answers, and I assume no liability for personal injury resulting from their use. Remember, it’s safer to be a smart-ass in print than it is in real life.)
Top Ten Questions From The Metaphysically Challenged
- “Is that there one of those quartz crystals around your neck?” (No, it’s a CIA transmitter…)
- (while pointing to any occult/Pagan book in your possession) “What do you have there?” (A BOOK…see the pretty words? Oooooooohhhhhhhh……..)
- (same as above) “What book you got there?” (“Build A Thermonuclear Weapon From Ordinary Household Goods In Three Days”…why?)
- “Are you going to Hell?” (No, but it’s on my way if you want dropped off…”)
- (While looking at pentagram) “Is that a satanic symbol?” (No, it’s a Masonic symbol…would you like to donate to Shriner’s Hospital?)
- “Do you believe in God?” (Which one?)
- “How does someone become a Witch?” (Well, first there’s the written exam, and then the swimsuit competition…)
- “Can you do a spell on me?” (Don’t tempt me, please…)
- (Pointing to pentagram) “What are you, Jewish?” (Shalom!!!)
- (A real experience) “Well, I like you…you seem like a nice person. I’m really worried about all of this occult stuff you’re into though…why don’t you come and talk to my pastor? He knows lots about occult stuff, and I think he can set you straight…you might even find Jesus! But before you do that, could you give me a Tarot reading???” (No, but I’ll give your pastor one…)
Blessed Bea (Andyyyyyyyyy!!!! Circle’s cast!!!!)
Taliesin Athor Govannon
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.
2016 July 27
M13: A Great Globular Cluster of Stars
Image Credit & Copyright: Dean Fournier; Inset: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Explanation: M13 is one of the most prominent and best known globular clusters. Visible with binoculars in the constellation of Hercules, M13 is frequently one of the first objects found by curious sky gazers seeking celestials wonders beyond normal human vision. M13 is a colossal home to over 100,000 stars, spans over 150 light years across, lies over 20,000 light years distant, and is over 12 billion years old. At the 1974 dedication of Arecibo Observatory, a radio message about Earth was sent in the direction of M13. The featured image in HDR, taken through a small telescope, spans an angular size just larger than a full Moon, whereas the inset image, taken by Hubble Space Telescope, zooms in on the central 0.04 degrees.