Full moon tomorrow: Moon in Aquarius Sun in Leo falls at 10 degrees. If you look at my chart posted below you will see that 10 degrees Leo/10 degrees Aquarius is in the 9th House/3rd House axis.
Oppositions can (can is very important, I don't like to use absolutes: do, is, are...) represent interpersonal experiences, i.e., they can involve someone else.
Many times with an opposition one force (planet or stellar body) is above the horizon and the other is below. Generally speaking, what is above the horizon is social and public while what is below is personal and internal.
Tomorow and the two or three days after I will observe, consider, and reflect on whether or not other's personal truth's (9th House Sun Leo) are exciting emotionally held idea's of mine (3rd House Moon Aquarius).
This is a simple and personal example of how astrological transits can be utilized for personal growth and spiritual reflection.
Where is 10 degrees Leo/Aquarius in your life dynamic (birth chart) and how may this energy affect you? If you want a free chart I am eager to help:
August begins with a very thoughtful, socially conscious mood with tomorrow night's full moon on the Leo/Aquarius axis.
Air is the dominant element in this chart which correlates to thoughts, idea's, and communication and the mode or quadruplicity is fixed which pertains to concentrated, single focus. Look for or sense these energies building up over the next couple of days and see what you realize. Perhaps there are thoughts or ideas that need to be relaxed? Perhaps they need refining; Maybe what you are concentrating on is part of your path to self-realization. The energies are there for you to decide.
The sun in Leo knows what is special about the life created and enjoys playing with and showing off hir (hir is a special honor to Timothy Leary who used this in lieu of her or him) special qualities. Leo's energy is important for just that: creation, art, enjoyment. We all know that that cannot be the end of the story though. Objective self-reflection, or better yet, objective critique by those that will see the creation (the art, the life lived, etc.) is vital to a well lived life.
The moon in Aquarius is the polar opposite of Sun in Leo and therefore will dredge up those challenging emotional aspects that otherwise be overlooked, and if you don't do it someone else might just do it for you. Step back tomorrow night and the next couple of days and see what you have been creating. Put it to the test of communal exposure. Even if you get knocked on your emotional, ego built ass (excuse the crudeness please) there are rewards of growth to be had!
By Robin McKie, The Observer
Sunday, July 29, 2012 17:21 EDT
Enceladus is little bigger than a lump of rock and has appeared, until recently, as a mere pinprick of light in astronomers’ telescopes. Yet Saturn’s tiny moon has suddenly become a major attraction for scientists. Many now believe it offers the best hope we have of discovering life on another world inside our solar system.
The idea that a moon a mere 310 miles in diameter, orbiting in deep, cold space, 1bn miles from the sun, could provide a home for alien lifeforms may seem extraordinary. Nevertheless, a growing number of researchers consider this is a real prospect and argue that Enceladus should be rated a top priority for future space missions.
This point is endorsed by astrobiologist Professor Charles Cockell of Edinburgh University. “If someone gave me several billion dollars to build whatever space probe I wanted, I would have no hesitation,” he says. “I would construct one that could fly to Saturn and collect samples from Enceladus. I would go there rather than Mars or the icy moons of Jupiter, such as Europa, despite encouraging signs that they could support life. Primitive, bacteria-like lifeforms may indeed exist on these worlds but they are probably buried deep below their surfaces and will be difficult to access. On Enceladus, if there are lifeforms, they will be easy to pick up. They will be pouring into space.”
The cause of this unexpected interest in Enceladus – first observed by William Herschel in 1789 and named after one of the children of the Earth goddess Gaia – stems from a discovery made by the robot spacecraft Cassini, which has been in orbit of Saturn for the past eight years. The $3bn probe has shown that the little moon not only has an atmosphere, but that geysers of water are erupting from its surface into space. Even more astonishing has been its most recent discovery, which has shown that these geysers contain complex organic compounds, including propane, ethane, and acetylene.
“It just about ticks every box you have when it comes to looking for life on another world,” says Nasa astrobiologist Chris McKay. “It has got liquid water, organic material and a source of heat. It is hard to think of anything more enticing short of receiving a radio signal from aliens on Enceladus telling us to come and get them.”
Cassini’s observations suggest Enceladus possesses a subterranean ocean that is kept liquid by the moon’s internal heat. “We are not sure where that energy is coming from,” McKay admits. “The source is producing around 16 gigawatts of power and looks very like the geothermal energy sources we have on Earth – like the deep vents we see in our ocean beds and which bubble up hot gases.”
At the moon’s south pole, Enceladus’s underground ocean appears to rise close to the surface. At a few sites, cracks have developed and water is bubbling to the surface before being vented into space, along with complex organic chemicals that also appear to have built up in its sea.
Equally remarkable is the impact of this water on Saturn. The planet is famed for its complex system of rings, made of bands of small particles in orbit round the planet. There are seven main rings: A, B, C, D, E, F and G, and the giant E-ring is linked directly with Enceladus. The water the moon vents into space turns into ice crystals and these feed the planet’s E-ring. “If you turned off the geysers of Enceladus, the great E-ring of Saturn would disappear within a few years,” says McKay. “For a little moon, Enceladus has quite an impact.”
Yet the discovery of Enceladus’s strange geology was a fairly tentative affair, says Professor Michele Dougherty of Imperial College London. She was the principal investigator for Cassini’s magnetometer instrument. “Cassini had been in orbit round Saturn for more than six months when it passed relatively close to Enceladus. Our results indicated that Saturn’s magnetic field was being dragged round Enceladus in a way that suggested it had an atmosphere.”
So Dougherty and her colleagues asked the Cassini management to direct the probe to take a much closer look. This was agreed and in July 2005 Cassini moved in for a close-up study. “I didn’t sleep for two nights before that,” says Dougherty. “If Cassini found nothing we would have looked stupid and the management team might not have listened to us again.”
Her fears were groundless. Cassini swept over Enceladus at a height of 173km and showed that it did indeed possess an atmosphere, albeit a thin one consisting of water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen. “It was wonderful,” says Dougherty. “I just thought: wow!”
Subsequent sweeps over the moon then revealed those plumes of water. The only other body in the solar system, apart from Earth, possessing liquid water on its surface had been revealed. Finally came the discovery of organics, and the little moon went from being merely an interesting world to one that was utterly fascinating.
“Those plumes do not represent a torrent,” cautions McKay. “This is not the Mississippi pouring into space. The output is roughly equivalent to that of the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone national park. On the other hand, it would be enough to create a river that you could kayak down.
“The fact that this water is being vented into space and is mixed with organic material is truly remarkable, however. It is an open invitation to go there. The place may as well have a big sign hanging over it saying: ‘Free sample: take one now’.”
Collecting that sample will not be easy, however. At a distance of 1bn miles, Saturn and its moons are a difficult target. Cassini took almost seven years to get there after its launch from Cape Canaveral in 1997.
“A mission to Enceladus would take a similar time,” says McKay. Once there, several years would be needed to make several sweeps over Enceladus to collect samples of water and organics. “Then we would need a further seven years to get those samples back to Earth.”
Such a mission would therefore involve almost 20 years of space flight – on top of the decade needed to plan it and to construct and launch the probe. “That’s 30 years in all, a large chunk of any scientist’s professional life,” says McKay.
McKay and a group of other Nasa scientists based at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena are undaunted, however. They are now finalising plans for an Enceladus Sample Return mission, which would involve putting a probe in orbit round Saturn. It would then use the gravity of the planet’s biggest moon, Titan, to make sweeps over Enceladus. Plume samples would then be stored in a canister that would eventually be fired back to Earth on a seven-year return journey.
Crucially, McKay and his colleagues believe such a mission could be carried out at a relatively modest cost – as part of Nasa’s Discovery programme, which funds low-budget missions to explore the solar system. Previous probes have included Lunar Prospector, which studied the moon’s geology; Stardust, which returned a sample of material scooped from a comet’s tail; and Mars Pathfinder, which deployed a tiny motorised robot vehicle on the Red Planet in 1997.
“The criteria for inclusion in the Discovery programme demand that any mission must cost less than $500m, though that does not include the price of launch,” says McKay. “We think we can adapt the technology that was developed on the Stardust mission to build an Enceladus Sample Return. If so, we can keep the cost below $500m. We are finalising plans and will announce our proposals in autumn.”
Such a mission is backed by Dougherty. “I think Enceladus is one of the best bets we now have for finding life on another world in our solar system. It is certainly worth visiting but it is not the only hope we have. The icy moons of Jupiter – such as Ganymede, Callisto and Europa – still look a very good prospect as well.”
And there is one problematic issue concerning Enceladus: time. “Conditions for life there are good at present but we do not know how long they have been in existence,” says McKay. “They might be recent or ancient. For life to have evolved, we need the latter to have been the case. At present, we have no idea about their duration, though geologists I have spoken to suggest that water and organics may have been there for a good while. The only way we will find out is to go there.”
The late entry of Enceladus in the race to find extraterrestrial life adds an intriguing new destination for astrobiologists in their hunt for aliens. Before its geysers were discovered, two main targets dominated their research: Mars and the icy moons of Jupiter. The former is the easiest to get to and has already received visits from dozens of probes. On 6 August, the $2.5bn robot rover Curiosity is set to land there and continue the hunt for life on the Red Planet. “For life to evolve you need liquid water, and although it is clear it once flowed on Mars, its continued existence there is debatable,” says Cockell. “By contrast, you can see water pouring off Enceladus along with those organics.”
Many scientists argue that water could exist deep below the Martian surface, supporting bacteria-like lifeforms. However, these reservoirs could be many metres, if not kilometres, below Mars’s surface and it could take decades to find them. Similarly, the oceans under the thick ice that covers Europa – and two other moons of Jupiter, Ganymede and Callisto – could also support life. But again, it will be extremely difficult for a robot probe to drill through the kilometres of ice that cover the oceans of these worlds.
Enceladus, by these standards, is an easy destination – but a distant one that will take a long time to reach. “No matter where we look, it appears it will take two or three decades to get answers to our questions about the existence of life on other worlds in the solar system,” says Cockell. “By that time, telescopes may have spotted signs of life on planets elsewhere in the galaxy. Our studies of extra-solar planets are getting more sophisticated, after all, and one day we may spot the presence of oxygen and water in our spectrographic studies of these distant worlds – an unambiguous indication that living entities exist there.
However, telescopic studies of extra-solar planets won’t reveal the nature of those lifeforms. Only by taking samples from planets in our solar system and returning them to laboratories on Earth, where we can study them, will we be able to reveal their exact nature and mode of replication – if they exist, of course. The little world of Enceladus could then have a lot to teach us.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2012
EARTHSKY // BLOGS // SPACELarry Sessions JUL 24, 2012
10 surprising space objects to see in the daytime skyImage via Janet Furlong
A rundown of space objects visible under the right conditions to the unaided human eye during the day.
If you think that daytime sky observing is limited to clouds and bird-watching, you might be missing out. Observing space objects in the daytime has its limitations and difficulties, but, as with all skywatching, it also has its rewards. So here is a list of 10 surprising space objects to see in the daytime sky. Aside from the first three listed below, each of these daylight observations is relatively difficult. Plus some of these observations are not possible to predict. With all that said, here they are, in increasing order of difficulty: your top 10 space objects to see in daylight.
To keep this post short, I’ll leave lengthy discussion of actual observing for a later time, or will discuss in the comments. If you have a question or comment, please post.
The sun, seen from Jamshedpur, India.
Obviously, you can see the sun during the day, but paradoxically, we are told not to do it for fear of harming our eyes. And that is quite right. Gazing at the sun directly can damage your eyes. It comes as a surprise to some folks, then, that there are safe and relatively simply ways of observing the sun safely and inexpensively. In fact, I regularly assign an activity for students to project an image of the sun with no more than a mirror. This is the same kind of thing done whenever there is a solar eclipse or transit. How do you do it? Find out about a sun-observing technique called pinhole projection here.
By the way, the sun is the source of a whole range of atmospheric effects, which are beyond the scope of this post. To learn about things like rainbows and solar haloes, go to Les Cowley’s great website on atmospheric optics.
I don’t have any survey statistics, but I would be willing to bet that at least 75% of the public is unaware that the moon can be seen in the daytime sky. That’s not too hard to understand, since so many people nowadays spend so much time indoors and are unaware of the sky at all. In addition, the moon is not in the daytime sky every day. Like the sun, it is below the horizon half the time, such that about half the month it is in the daytime sky, and the other half in the night sky. Add that to the fact that much of the time the moon is up during the day, it is a thin crescent too close to the sun to be seen easily. It is easy to see why some people are surprised to discover the moon in the daytime sky. But voila. If you look up frequently, you’ll notice it often.
Moon and Venus in daylight via
Anyone who is surprised that the moon can be seen in the daytime will be amazed that, under the right conditions, you can see the planet Venus with the sun also in the sky. In fact, many folks are surprised that planets can be seen with the unaided eye at all, much less during the daytime. However, anyone with good eyesight and a little patience can find Venus in the daytime sky, when Venus is well situated for this observation. The planet appears as a tiny white dot, which often seems to “pop” out at you once you find it. Anyone who has seen Venus in a reasonably dark sky knows that it is usually truly brilliant. Observations in the daytime sky are more difficult simply because the surrounding sky is so bright during the day. The contrast between planet and sky is much lower during the day, making the planet hard to see. Imagine how easy it is to see a bright light at the top of a tower at night versus daytime. That’s similar to seeing Venus at night versus day.
Iridium satellites via
Many folks are very surprised that satellites can be seen at all, but these days they are quite common in dark, nighttime skies. Seasoned observers are more surprised when an hour of nighttime observing goes by without seeing at least one! They look like steadily moving “stars” – silent – and very high up. At least one type of satellite (Iridium) can sometimes be seen in the daytime sky, although this is uncommon. These communications satellites have very reflective surfaces and under the right conditions, can reflect enough sunlight to appear as bright dots moving across the sky for a few seconds. These flashes are known as Iridium flares.
Even some seasoned astronomers are surprised to learn that mighty Jupiter can be glimpsed with the unaided eye in a sunlit sky. I do not want to mislead you, as this is not an easy observation. Jupiter is significantly dimmer than Venus, and finding it takes a good bit more effort (not to mention exceptionally good eyesight and excellent atmospheric conditions). The best time is near a “quadrature” when Jupiter is about 90 degrees away from the sun in the sky. This is similar to the arrangement of first quarter and last quarter moon. In fact, it is also very helpful to have a quarter moon nearby as a kind of sky landmark to guide you to Jupiter. The reason you want the planet at about 90 degrees from the sun is that the sky is slightly darker there, due to a phenomenon known as polarization.
Only a relative few observers have caught Jupiter with the unaided eye the daytime, and even fewer have seen Mars. However, it is possible. On occasion Mars can be as bright as Jupiter (or perhaps a tiny tad brighter), and the suggestions for catching it are the same as for Jupiter. Although I personally have not seen Mars in the daytime sky (I’ve seen Jupiter twice), a correspondent in the Middle East has reported to me an apparently genuine observation, and I have no doubt that it can be done.
Stars can be seen in the daytime sky, but this is a bit of a cheat. Stars, along worth the brighter planets already mentioned, can be seen with the unaided human eye in a daytime sky (that is, when the sun is above the horizon) normally only during a total solar eclipse. Such observations are of historical significance, and in fact played a crucial role in one of the first confirmations of Einstein’s theories of relativity. A few observers report that they have seen some bright stars, such as Sirius, with the unaided eye in the daytime sky. If indeed this is possible, it would require exceptional eyesight and exceptional sky conditions. On the other hand, observers with telescopes can see certain bright stars (not to mention the bright planets) on any clear day, although the scientific reasons for doing so are few and far between.
Comet McNaught, seen in daylight by
Click here to expand image above
Like the meteors with which they are sometimes confused, bright comets have been documented in the daytime sky. In fact, although not necessarily easy to observe, they are not all that rare. Comet McNaught became visible in daylight skies in 2007, and a bright daytime comet preceded Halley’s Comet in 1910. Daytime comets are perhaps easier than daytime meteors because they sometimes can be predicted a short time ahead.
Rare and unpredictable, very bright meteors are sometimes seen in the daylight sky. One of the most famous incidents occurred over the western part of North America in 1972. It was seen and even filmed by observers from Utah to Alberta. The most recent (as of this writing) was reported over California and Nevada on April 22, 2012. This meteor streaked across the daylight sky, creating a sonic boom that rattled windows. It was seen by thousands. Later, astronomers said the meteor began as a mini-van-sized asteroid, and they located a debris field containing fragments of the meteorite, which is now known as the Sutter’s Mill meteorite.
Last on our list of space objects (sometimes) visible in the daytime sky are supernovae, or exploding stars. Estimates vary as to the expected frequency of supernovae explosions in our Milky Way galaxy from as many as once every 20 years to once every 300 years. We simply do not have enough records of these infrequent phenomena to give much of an average. Many of these would not even be visible from Earth due to intervening gas and dust. In any event, the last supernova bright enough to be seen in the daytime sky was in 1572, and then only barely. The most likely candidate for a supernova explosion visible during daytime is the star Betelgeuse. Unquestionably it will be visible in the day sky when it explodes, but when that will be is still unknown. It could be tonight, but more likely in a few thousand, or tens of thousands, or maybe even a million years from now.
Moon’s dark side not synonymous with far side
It’s a large waxing gibbous moon that lights up the evening sky right now. The moon is moving toward full phase, which will come in early August 2012. In fact, this upcoming full moon will be the first of two full moons to occur in August. By popular acclaim, the second of two full moons to fall in a single calendar month is called a blue moon.
At tonight’s phase of the moon, we in North America see roughly 90% of the lunar disk illuminated in sunshine tonight. Only about 10% of the moon appears engulfed in shadow. If you could see the far side of the moon, you’d see just the opposite: 90% of the lunar disk in shadow and 10% illuminated by sunshine.
The moon has a day side and a night side just as Earth does. We on Earth say that the moon waxes and wanes, but this is, in a way, a charming fiction. The reality is that the moon is always half illuminated, just as Earth is. From Earth, we see various fractions of the moon’s day side, as our vantage point of the day and night sides of the moon shift as the moon orbits around Earth.
Now maybe you can see why the far side of the moon is not the same thing as the dark side of the moon.
The near side of the moon – the side that we see from Earth – is sometimes illuminated, and sometimes dark. The far side of the moon – the part that we don’t see from Earth – is also sometimes illuminated, and sometimes dark. A full half of the moon is always illuminated, but this day side shifts around and around the entire globe of the moon – just as Earth’s day side shifts around and around our globe, endlessly. The far side of the moon is only the dark side of the moon at full moon.
The terminator – the shadow line on the moon that divides day from night – shows you where it’s sunrise on the moon when the moon is waxing from new moon to full moon.
Fire grand trine sun, moon, and Uranus with mercury retrograde conjunction sun and Jupiter opposite the moon speaks to walking the walk rather than talking the talk. Considering this is happening within the energy of the first quarter square and it's "crisis in action" energy there may be a feeling of paradox today. Bullshit detectors up! You may just find yourself (or hear between the lines of others) "truths" that require more experience to understand. Fire grand tribe says: I must feel it in my blood and bones before I say I know it. Today, we all would do well to agree.
Lovers behold (beware?) the sun is in Leo radiating drama, theatrics, and more while the moon waxes in libra tugging at heart strings.
Sturdy Saturn stands guard over the contracts that come up for consideration within the Uranus Pluto square....what to do, what to do????
Think awhile before you jump.
The moon entered Aquarius in time for 4th of july festivities.
A good time to step away from the crowd and consider the true meaning of independence.
How free are you right now? How do you know?
Planet Earth reaches its most distant point from the sun for 2012 on July 4, at 10 p.m. Central Daylight Time in the U.S. (July 5 at 3 UTC). By Universal Time, that’s July 5, at 3 in the morning.
Astronomers call this farthest point aphelion, and, at aphelion we’re about three million miles farther from the sun than we will be six months from now. That’s in contrast to our average distance from the sun of about 93 million miles. Looking for Earth’s exact distance from the sun today? It’s at 94,505,851 miles. Last year, on July 4, 2011, the Earth at aphelion was a tiny bit farther, at 94,511,923 miles.
We’re always farthest from the sun in July during a Northern Hemisphere summer – and closest in January during a Northern Hemisphere winter – and that’s a good illustration of the fact that it’s not the Earth’s distance from the sun that creates the seasons on our world. Instead, the seasons result from Earth’s tilt on its axis. Right now, it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere because the northern part of Earth is tilted most toward the sun.
Meanwhile, it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere because the southern part of Earth is tilted most away from the sun.
Why isn’t the hottest weather on the year’s longest day?
So Earth’s varying distance from the sun doesn’t create the seasons. But it does affect the length of the seasons. That’s because, at our farthest from the sun, like now, Earth is traveling most slowly in its orbit. That makes summer the longest season in the Northern Hemisphere and winter the longest season on the southern half of the globe.
Conversely, winter is the shortest season in the Northern Hemisphere and summer is the shortest in the Southern Hemisphere – in each instance, by nearly 5 days.
Link to ARTICLE: http://earthsky.org/tonight/earth-farthest-from-sun-for-year-in-early-july
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