Opening the Star (Storm Moon)

Opening the Star

(Storm Moon)
 
 
Use this spell to become one with the stars.
 
Take a hot bath, anoint yourself with your favorite scented oil, put on relaxing music, and lie on our bed with your arms and legs extended. Imagine yourself as a star glistening in the night sky. The light pours in and out of your legs, arms, and head in a clockwise motion. Sense the light moving in, then sense it moving outward. Your being becomes pure light as you shine with the light of the divine. Perfect love and perfect peace flow in and out of you, connecting you with the whole of Oneness.
 
Sense your being opening up like a flower whose petals are pure light. From the inside out, you glow with a brilliant white light that emanates from every part of your being. Feel yourself becoming the essence of fluorescence, filled with ardor of life.
 
As you drift off to sleep, take this sensation of being filled and emanating with an aura of perfect love and perfect peace within your inner being. Continue to sense the star inside of you opening like a flower and glowing with your inner beauty. Repeat the following affirmation three times:
 
“Tonight and every night
My star spirit is shining bright.”
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Astronomy Picture of the Day for Jan. 29th

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.

2012 January 29
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Molecular Cloud Barnard 68
Image Credit: FORS Team, 8.2-meter VLT Antu, ESO 

 

Explanation: Where did all the stars go? What used to be considered a hole in the sky is now known to astronomers as a dark molecular cloud. Here, a high concentration of dust and molecular gas absorb practically all the visible light emitted from background stars. The eerily dark surroundings help make the interiors of molecular clouds some of the coldest and most isolated places in the universe. One of the most notable of these dark absorption nebulae is a cloud toward the constellation Ophiuchus known as Barnard 68, pictured above. That no stars are visible in the center indicates that Barnard 68 is relatively nearby, with measurements placing it about 500 light-years away and half a light-year across. It is not known exactly how molecular clouds like Barnard 68 form, but it is known that these clouds are themselves likely places for new stars to form. In fact, Barnard 68 itself has been found likely to collapse and form a new star system. It is possible to look right through the cloud in infrared light.

Riding To The Stars (Wolf Moon)

Riding To The Stars

Wolf Moon
 
 
Stars are like horses. When you wish upon a star, it carries your wish like a winged horse flying across the sky. Ride like a dreamer into the morning light and in the light of a new day your wishes will come true.
 
About an hour before dark, think about and decide what you would like to wish for. Be clear what you want. Go outside this evening and wait for the first star to appear in the sky. As you wait, go over your wish.

Upon seeing the first star, recite the following verse:
 
“Starlight, star-bright
First star I see tonight,
May I ride the magick carpet of your light,
Floating to the stars like fireflies,
Rising to that place where dreams come true,
When I’m blessed in all things I do.
By the light of the first star, so be it!
 
Later when going to sleep, envision the first star that you saw in the evening sky. Imagine yourself moving into the star and riding it across the sky. At the other side, see an image in your mind of your dream becoming reality. See it. Touch it. Hear it. Smell it. Taste it. Be it.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for Jan. 9th

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.

2012 January 9
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Facing NGC 6946
Composite Image Data – Subaru Telescope (NAOJ) and Robert Gendler; Processing – Robert Gendler   

 

Explanation: From our vantage point in the Milky Way Galaxy, we see NGC 6946 face-on. The big, beautiful spiral galaxy is located just 10 million light-years away, behind a veil of foreground dust and stars in the high and far-off constellation of Cepheus. From the core outward, the galaxy’s colors change from the yellowish light of old stars in the center to young blue star clusters and reddish star forming regions along the loose, fragmented spiral arms. NGC 6946 is also bright in infrared light and rich in gas and dust, exhibiting a high star birth and death rate. In fact, since the early 20th century at least nine supernovae, the death explosions of massive stars, were discovered in NGC 6946. Nearly 40,000 light-years across, NGC 6946 is also known as the Fireworks Galaxy. This remarkable portrait of NGC 6946 is a composite that includes image data from the 8.2 meter Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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.

2011 November 23
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The View from Chajnantor
Image Credit & Copyright: Stéphane Guisard (Los Cielos de America), TWAN 

 

Explanation: From an altitude of over 5,000 meters, the night sky view from Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes is breathtaking in more ways than one. The dark site’s rarefied atmosphere, at about 50 percent sea level pressure, is also extremely dry. That makes it ideal for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) designed to explore the universe at wavelengths over 1,000 times longer than visible light. Near the center of the the panoramic scene, ALMA’s 7 and 12 meter wide dish antennas are illuminated by a young Moon nestled in the arc of the Milky Way. ALMA’s antenna configurations are intended to achieve a resolution comparable to space telescopes by operating as an interferometer. At left, a meteor’s streak and the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies, the Large (bottom) and Small Magellanic Clouds grace the night.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for November 20th

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.

2011 November 20
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W5: Pillars of Star Formation
Image Credit & Copyright: Lori Allen, Xavier Koenig (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) et al., JPL-Caltech, NASA  

 

Explanation: How do stars form? A study of star forming region W5 by the sun-orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope provides clear clues by recording that massive stars near the center of empty cavities are older than stars near the edges. A likely reason for this is that the older stars in the center are actually triggering the formation of the younger edge stars. The triggered star formation occurs when hot outflowing gas compresses cooler gas into knots dense enough to gravitationally contract into stars. Spectacular pillars, left slowly evaporating from the hot outflowing gas, provide further visual clues. In the above scientifically-colored infrared image, red indicates heated dust, while white and green indicate particularly dense gas clouds. W5 is also known as IC 1848, and together with IC 1805 form a complex region of star formation popularly dubbed the Heart and Soul Nebulas. The above image highlights a part of W5 spanning about 2,000 light years that is rich in star forming pillars. W5 lies about 6,500 light years away toward the constellation of Cassiopeia.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for November 8th

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.

2011 November 8

Jumping Sundogs Over Thunderclouds
Image Credit: abrigatti, YouTube 

 

Explanation: What’s happening above those clouds? In the past few years, videos have appeared on the web detailing an unusual but little known phenomenon: rapid light changes over clouds. Upon inspection and contemplation, a leading hypothesis for its cause has now emerged. In sum, this hypothesis holds that a lightning discharge in a thundercloud can temporarily change the electric field above the cloud where charged ice crystals were reflecting sunlight. The new electric field quickly re-orients the geometric crystals to a new orientation that reflects sunlight differently. In other words, a lightning discharge can cause a sundog to jump. Soon, the old electric field may be restored, causing the ice crystals to return to their original orientation. To help this curious phenomenon become better studied, sky enthusiasts with similar jumping or dancing sundog videos are encouraged to share them.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for November 7th

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.

2011 November 7
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Star Forming Region S106
Image Credit: GRANTECAN and IAC 

 

Explanation: Massive star IRS 4 is beginning to spread its wings. Born only about 100,000 years ago, material streaming out from this newborn star has formed the nebula dubbed Sharpless 2-106 Nebula (S106), pictured above. A large disk of dust and gas orbiting Infrared Source 4 (IRS 4), visible in dark red near the image center, gives the nebula an hourglass or butterfly shape. S106 gas near IRS 4 acts as an emission nebula as it emits light after being ionized, while dust far from IRS 4 reflects light from the central star and so acts as a reflection nebula. Detailed inspection of images like the above image has revealed hundreds of low-mass brown dwarf stars lurking in the nebula’s gas. S106 spans about 2 light-years and lies about 2000 light-years away toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus).

Astronomy Picture of the Day for October 27th

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.

2011 October 27
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Young Suns of NGC 7129
Image Credit & Copyright: Johannes Schedler (Panther Observatory)Explanation: Young suns still lie within dusty NGC 7129, some 3,000 light-years away toward the royal constellation Cepheus. While these stars are at a relatively tender age, only a few million years old, it is likely that our own Sun formed in a similar stellar nursery some five billion years ago. Most noticeable in the sharp image are the lovely bluish dust clouds that reflect the youthful starlight. But the compact, deep red crescent shapes are also markers of energetic, young stellar objects. Known as Herbig-Haro objects, their shape and color is characteristic of glowing hydrogen gas shocked by jets streaming away from newborn stars. Paler, extended filaments of redish emission mingling with the bluish clouds are caused by dust grains effectively converting the invisible ultraviolet starlight to visible red light through photoluminesence. Ultimately the natal gas and dust in the region will be dispersed, the stars drifting apart as the loose cluster orbits the center of the Galaxy. At the estimated distance of NGC 7129, this telescopic view spans about 40 light-years.

Saucer Meditation (Blood/Harvest Moon)

Saucer Meditation

(Blood/Harvest Moon)

Before you go to sleep, turn on some soft meditative music. Lie back and begin breathing rhythmically by inhaling and counting to three and exhaling and counting to three. Each time you take a deep breath, imagine your lungs filling with the energizing white light of the stars and moon. As you exhale, sense all of the stress and tension in your body being cast out with your breath. A wave of tranquil bliss envelopes you being, sending it into a state of relaxed awareness. At the same time that you are becoming more relaxed, you are becoming more aware of your senses. Your mind is aware of all things at all times.

In your mind’s eye, imagine traveling on a saucer-shaped ship. Before you there is a giant portal and through it you view the many approaching stars. Sirius, Orion’s Belt, and the stars of Big Dipper fly across the portal as you watch with relaxed awareness. A large bluish-green planet comes into view. Its image grows lager on the screen as your flying saucer gets closer, and closer, and closer to it.

You watch as an alien world fills the screen with images that seem foreign but familiar. Alien beings with aqua-colored skin and right golden hair float lightly on emerald-green waves. They smile at you with smiles that send a warm glow through your entire being. You sense a Oneness with them that moves beyond physical barriers and mental limitations. They are your alien friends who you can visit anytime you want in meditation and dream. As you drift to sleep, imagine exploring the universe and all the magickal beings within it.