The Moon In The News: NASA Sheds Light On Supermoon Eclipse

NASA Scientist Sheds Light on Rare Sept. 27 Supermoon Eclipse

Coming soon for the first time in more than 30 years: you’ll be able to witness a supermoon in combination with a lunar eclipse.

Late on Sept. 27, 2015, in the U.S. and much of the world, a total lunar eclipse will mask the moon’s larger-than-life face for more than an hour.

But what is this behemoth of the night sky? Not a bird, not a plane, it’s a supermoon! Although this incarnation of the moon comes around only once every year, it’s not as mysterious as you might think.

“Because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle, the moon is sometimes closer to the Earth than at other times during its orbit,” said Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “When the moon is farthest away it’s known as apogee, and when it’s closest it’s known as perigee. On Sept. 27, we’re going to have a perigee full moon—the closest full moon of the year.”

At perigee, the moon is about 31,000 miles closer to Earth than at apogee. That distance equates to more than once around the circumference of Earth. Its looming proximity makes the moon appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter in the sky than an apogee full moon, which sparked the term “supermoon.”

“There’s no physical difference in the moon,” Petro said. “It just appears slightly bigger in the sky. It’s not dramatic, but it does look larger.”

A lunar eclipse typically puts on an even greater show. For more than an hour, Earth’s shadow swallows up the moon as the planet comes between the sun and the moon. Lunar eclipses typically occur at least twice a year, and 228 will occur in the 21st century alone. While people such as the Incans and Mesopotamians historically viewed lunar eclipses as random and frightening occurrences, they’re actually quite predictable.

Scientists at Goddard have predicted eclipses a thousand years into the future. Petro said it’s just a matter of knowing where Earth, the sun and the moon are at a given point in time.

As for the supermoon and a lunar eclipse occurring simultaneously, Petro said, “It’s just planetary dynamics. The orbit of the moon around Earth is inclined to the axis of Earth and the orbital plane of all these things just falls into place every once in a while. When the rhythms line up, you might get three to four eclipses in a row or a supermoon and an eclipse happening.”

But the proverbial stars only align for this event once every few decades, making this phenomenon much rarer than a supermoon or a lunar eclipse separately. The last supermoon/lunar eclipse combination occurred in 1982 and the next won’t happen until 2033. “That’s rare because it’s something an entire generation may not have seen,” said Petro.

Despite its rarity, Petro said the event is not cause for concern. “The only thing that will happen on Earth during an eclipse is that people will wake up the next morning with neck pain because they spent the night looking up,” he said.

The total eclipse will last one hour and 12 minutes, and will be visible to North and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific. Viewers can see the supermoon unmasked after nightfall. Earth’s shadow will begin to dim the supermoon slightly beginning at 8:11 p.m. EDT. A noticeable shadow will begin to fall on the moon at 9:07 p.m., and the total eclipse will start at 10:11 p.m.

Tune in on Sept. 27 for this rare event, taking place right in Earth’s neighborhood.
Ashley Morrow
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


Astronomy Pic for Tuesday, May 12th – Two Worlds, One Sun

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.

2015 May 12

Two Worlds, One Sun
Left Image Credit & Copyright: Damia Bouic;
Right Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS; Digital processing: Damia Bouic

Explanation: How different does sunset appear from Mars than from Earth? For comparison, two images of our common star were taken at sunset, one from Earth and one from Mars. These images were scaled to have same angular width and featured here side-by-side. A quick inspection will reveal that the Sun appears slightly smaller from Mars than from Earth. This makes sense since Mars is 50% further from the Sun than Earth. More striking, perhaps, is that the Martian sunset is noticeably bluer near the Sun than the typically orange colors near the setting Sun from Earth. The reason for the blue hues from Mars is not fully understood, but thought to be related to forward scattering properties of Martian dust. The terrestrial sunset was taken in 2012 March from Marseille, France, while the Martian sunset was captured last month by NASA’s robotic Curiosity rover from Gale crater on Mars.

NASA Image of the Day for April 28th – ‘El Gordo’ Galaxy

NASA Hubble Team Finds Monster ‘El Gordo’ Galaxy

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has weighed the largest known galaxy cluster in the distant universe, catalogued as ACT-CL J0102-4915, and found it definitely lives up to its nickname — El Gordo (Spanish for “the fat one”).

By measuring how much the cluster’s gravity warps images of galaxies in the distant background, a team of astronomers has calculated the cluster’s mass to be as much as 3 million billion times the mass of our sun. Hubble data show the galaxy cluster, which is 9.7 billion light-years away from Earth, is roughly 43 percent more massive than earlier estimates.

The team used Hubble to measure how strongly the mass of the cluster warped space. Hubble’s high resolution allowed measurements of so-called “weak lensing,” where the cluster’s immense gravity subtly distorts space like a funhouse mirror and warps images of background galaxies. The greater the warping, the more mass is locked up in the cluster.

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Mar. 2nd is Justice

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today


Justice represents the expression of fairness without bias. Simply put, Justice embodies the notion that what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. Justice denotes the need to remedy situations lacking equality for all. Depending on the circumstances, Justice may be asking us to curb our partiality, or conversely, Justice may indicate a time for you to demand fair treatment.

As a daily card, Justice suggest that we are part of a situation that is out of balance. If you have shown unwarranted bias towards others now is the time to make amends. On the other hand, if you have been the victim of bias, now is the time for you to demand fairer treatment.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Feb. 17th is Mars

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today


Mars represents those qualities we commonly associate with the male/yang persona. Mars traits include raw energy, ambition, aggression, confidence, passion, and a sense of adventure. The occurrence of Mars denotes the dominating presence or need of the qualities listed above. Martian influence may have a negative impact unless it is balanced with an influence that can blunt the brashness and impulsiveness of Mars.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Current Moon Phase for January 24th – Last Quarter

Last Quarter Moon

(waning/46% illumination)

The time of reaping is at hand. There is a feeling of completion infused into the atmosphere during the Last Quarter Moon. The opportunity opens to recognize how far you’ve come in various parts of your life. This is not a good time for new beginnings, but rather a reflective period suited to evaluating how you have been using your time and what has been accomplished. Issues of authority may arise. This Moon phase supports taking responsibility for actively tying up the loose ends of projects that are already underway.

Enhanced by Zemanta

And In The Beginning……….

Celtic & British Isles Graphics
     In the beginning there was neither matter nor energy, neither was
there  space nor  time,  force  and  form  were not.    Yet  there  was
Something.   Poised between Spirit and Void, without form or qualities,
pure potentiality,  the  first physical  manifestation  had  existence.
Scientists call it the  Primordial Singularity, occultists call  it the
Cosmic Egg.

It changed, and the first moment of time came to be.  It
expanded, and space was born.   Not the space we know, but  one of many
dimensions, and that space was filled with the first Force.  So intense
was that Force  that space  itself altered. Dimensions  folded back  on
themselves, while others expanded mightily.  The first Form came to be.
As the infant  universe expanded it changed subtly, and as naturally as
snowflakes  forming  in  the  air,  the  first  material  manifestation
precipitated out of nothingness.  Neither matter nor
energy as we know  them, but yet both.  The Element Fire was born.  The
universe continued to expand, and the one Force became two forces, then
three  and finally four.  Matter and energy became distinguishable, and
the Element  Earth was born from  Fire.  A hundred  thousand years went
by,  and the  universe  continued  to  expand  and  cool  until,  quite
suddenly, the fire died,  space became transparent to light,  and there
were great clouds of cool gas, moving freely.
The  Element Air  was born.   The clouds  began to  draw together, then
break apart into smaller clouds, and  smaller still, until a limit  was
reached,  and   a  hundred   thousand  clouds  collapsed   inward  upon
themselves, swirling and twisting,  flattening and smoothing, rippling,
and organizing themselves.  The Element Water was born.

One cloud, like many of its siblings, took on structure like a
great pinwheel, with  spiral arms stretching out  from its center.   It
was  Galaxias, our Milky Way.   Within its  turbulent swirling, smaller
eddies formed and contracted,  tighter and tighter.   At the center  of
one a spark grew bright then another and another.  The first stars were
lighted,  and shown  in a  universe grown  dark.   Many of  them burned
prodigally for  a time and  then exploded,  hurling the ashes  of their
burning outward, ashes such as oxygen and carbon and
nitrogen; star  stuff, life stuff.  Generations  of stars came and went
over the billions of years, and  out in one of the spiral arms  a cloud
of  gas and  dust began  to collapse like  so many  others before.   It
contracted, and  a  new star  lighted,  with a  disc  of dust  and  gas
circling it.  The disc became lumpy  as grains of dust and crystals  of
ice collided  and stuck together.   The lumps touched  and merged, ever
growing in the light of  the young star.  Finally, nine  bodies circled
the new star,  which would one day be  called Sol, or simply,  the Sun.
Third out from the  sun a rare event  had happened.  Two young  planets
had collided  and merged violently,  forming a  single planet.   In the
violence of  that  collision, part  of the  surfaces of  both had  been
ripped off and hurled  out to form a ring of  molten rock which quickly
drew together  to form a giant satellite.   The Earth and  the Moon had
been born in a passionate joining.

As the young Earth cooled, great volcanos belched forth gases from
its still  hot interior.   An atmosphere  of steam  and carbon  dioxide
formed and then  clouds appeared.  The first  rains began, pouring down
on the rocks and  washing down into  the low places.   The oceans  were
born.    Water  evaporated from  the  oceans  and fell  again  as rain,
dissolving minerals from the rocks and carrying them into the sea.  The
early ocean became richer  and richer in dissolved minerals  and gases.
Lightning in the young atmosphere formed new substances
which added to the complexity of  the mix.  The dissolved substances in
the  oceans became  more and  more  complex, until  one  day a  complex
molecule attracted simpler  compounds to  itself, and  then there  were
two, then four.  Life was born.

From its simple origins, Life grew in complexity, until one day a patch
of green appeared,  drawing energy  from the Sun,  and exuding  oxygen.
Within  a short time the atmosphere changed  radically.  The sky became
blue, the air  clear and rich in oxygen.  As the Earth had shaped Life,
so  Life began  to shape  the Earth.     Delicately balancing  and ever
re-balancing between the furnace heat of her sister Venus, and  the icy
cold of her brother Mars, Gaia, the Living Earth, had come to be.

The  first animals  appeared  and swam  in  the oceans.    Then
venturesome  ones  crawled onto  the  land.   The forms  taken  by life
changed.   Fish appeared, and  dragons walked  the land.   Tiny  furred
creatures  supplanted the  great  dragons, whose  descendants now  flew
through the skies, clothed in  feathers.  By and by some  of the furred
creatures came  down from the  trees and began  to walk about  on their
hind legs, and then they started picking things up.  Soon they were
using the things  they picked up.   Then they  started talking to  each
other.  After they had been talking for a while, they started thinking.
Some of them even started  thinking about where they had come  from and
where they were  going.  And  they began to  wonder how everything  had
come to be – and why.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No Calendar of the Moon for Today

There will be no Calendar of the Moon today. I can’t tell you why but it is just one of those things (more like shock). While I have your attention, I ran across some funny resolutions for the next year. I will posting them throughout the morning. I hope you enjoy them and get a tickle out of them.

Luv & Hugs,

Lady A

Calendar of the Sun for December 18th

Calendar of the Sun

18 Yulmonath

Saturnalia Day 2: Saturn’s Release

Colors: Black and Gold
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of black place eight gold candles, each surrounded by gold coins, a bottle of good wine and many cups, and the figure of a seated man, wrapped in a chain.
Offerings: Throw over routines and take joy.
Daily Meal: Anything that the folk of the House want, correct or otherwise.

Invocation of Saturn’s Release

Hail to the Lord of Discipline,
Saturn bound in chains.
Hail to the Old Man of Time
With your fearsome sickle,
Lord of the Hourglass, the Sundial,
All that places restrictions on the bright,
The beautiful, the free and easy.
You live an existence bound in chains,
But at this time of the year, dark and cold,
We release you from your bonds!
We acknowledge that order cannot be held
Without respecting that which is chaos,
And so we pay for the blessed order of our lives,
The gift of Saturn, and Eunomia, and many others,
By these days of release from that Order.
We release you, O Lord of Limitations,
And pray that you, and we, shall be glad
Once more to place these chains about you
And about ourselves. Hail Saturn!

(All cry out “Hail Saturn!” The chain is unwound from about the seated statue of Saturn, and the wine is poured. All toast to the Gods and to many other things, and go off to do what they will. From this point until Arktos of the night of Yule, rules are loosened if not entirely done away with. There is no work today during Akte and Elete, and folk may do what they will until Hesperis. All work done, and all hours attended to, will be by choosing and not by rule. Waking and sleeping will come as they will. For many folks, this will be a time to leave the House and visit family.)

Song: Any that the House chooses.

[Pagan Book of Hours]