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Posts Tagged ‘Libra’

07/10/2018 – Ephemeris – The celestial scorpion

July 10, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, July 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 9:28, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:08. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 4:38 tomorrow morning.

For most of the year I’ve been referencing the constellation of Scorpius the scorpion in passing. Let’s take a good look at this creature. There are no scorpions in Michigan, unless someone imported some. However the one celestial scorpion now seen in the south near 11 p.m. is a beautiful example of one. His heart is the red giant star Antares. Another to the upper right leads to a trio of stars in a bit of a vertical bow. It’s claws extend into the next constellation over, Libra and the stars Zubenelgenubi, near Jupiter and Zubeneschamali, the south and north claws. From Antares the body droops down and curves just at the horizon, before making that distinctive curved tail with two stars at the stinger.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Scorpius finder animation

Scorpius finder animation. I’m leaving the artwork to another image, since I really don’t see the scorpion as Stellarium’s artist sees it. Animation created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Scorpius artwork

Scorpius artwork closer to how I see it with the claws extending into Libra. I was able to find the image using a Google search, but was unable to find the original source.

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06/12/2018 – Ephemeris – Virgo the virgin

June 12, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, June 12th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 9:28, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:56. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 6:02 tomorrow morning.

Tonight in the sky: to the south, is bright Jupiter. The brightest star to the right of Jupiter is Spica. It is in the constellation and member of the of the zodiac: Virgo the virgin. Virgo is a large constellation of a reclining woman holding a stalk of wheat. The bright star in the center of the constellation, Spica, is the head of that spike of wheat; and as such it ruled over the harvest in two of Virgo’s guises as the goddesses Persephone and Ceres. Ceres is now a dwarf planet and the root of the word cereal. Virgo is also identified as Astraea the goddess of justice. The constellation of Libra, the scales of justice, which she is associated with, is found just east of her low in the southeast.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Virgo finder chart

Virgo finder animation for 10:30 p.m. June 12, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

06/11/2018 – Ephemeris – Jupiter and the claws of the scorpion

June 11, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, June 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 9:28, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:56. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 5:17 tomorrow morning.

Right now the bright planet Jupiter is seen in the south as it gets dark. There is a star visible below Jupiter now. The name of that star is my favorite star name: Zubenelgenubi. It roughly translates from the Arabic, and most star names are Arabic, as “Southern Claw”. This star, also known as Alpha Librae, is in the zodiacal constellation of Libra the scales or balance, a roughly square constellation standing on one corner. The name relates to Scorpius the scorpion to the east who in the Arab’s imagination extended farther to the west. The star farther to the upper left of Jupiter tonight is Zubeneschamali, you guessed it, the northern claw, also part of Libra. It’s the longest star name at 14 letters.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Jupiter with Zubenelgeubi

Jupiter with Zubenelgenubi, the South Claw and with nearby Zubeneschamali, the North Claw of Scorpius, still rising at 11 p.m. June 11, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

05/15/2017 – Ephemeris – A look at the constellation of Virgo the virgin

May 15, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, May 15th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 9:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:13.  The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 1:03 tomorrow morning.

Tonight at 10 p.m. in the south-southeast, is the constellation and member of the of the zodiac: Virgo the virgin.  Now Jupiter is seen against the constellation appearing above and right of its brightest star, Spica.  Virgo is a large constellation of a reclining woman holding a stalk of wheat.  Spica, is the head of that spike of wheat; and as such it ruled over the harvest in two of Virgo’s guises as the goddesses Persephone and Ceres.  Virgo is also identified as Astraea the goddess of justice.  The constellation of Libra, the scales, which she is associated with, is found just east of her low in the east-southeast.  Early Christians who sought to de-paganize the heavens saw Virgo as the Virgin Mary.  Virgo is the host to a grand cluster of galaxies.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Virgo finder chart

Animated Virgo finder chart for 11 p.m., May 15, 2017. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

06/08/2015 – Ephemeris – Libra in the balance

June 8, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, June 8th.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 9:26.   The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 1:46 tomorrow morning and tomorrow the Sun will rise at 5:57.

One of the constellations of the Zodiac or circle of animals isn’t either animal or human.  It is Libra the Scales or balance.  It lies low in the southeastern sky at 11 p.m., just to the right of the rising Saturn and Scorpius the scorpion.  Libra, it seems, is an afterthought, a simple diamond shape of four stars.  Its two brightest stars Zubeneschamali and Zubenelgenubi translate to the north and south claw respectively, of Scorpius to the left of it.  The Arabs, at least, seemed to view this as part of Scorpius.  The balance was perhaps to signify the equality of day and night, at the time the sun was in this part of the sky at the start of autumn, over 2000 years ago.  Now its in Virgo.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Libra

Libra with Saturn and Scorpius rising behind in the southeast at 10:30 p.m. on June 8, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

05/14/2015 – Ephemeris – The constellation Virgo in mythology

May 14, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, May 14th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 46 minutes, setting at 9:02.   The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:51 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:14.

Tonight in the sky: to the left of the constellation of Leo the lion, which lies in the west-southwest at 11 p.m. is the next constellation of the zodiac: Virgo the virgin, is seen in the south.  Virgo is a large constellation of a reclining woman holding a stalk of wheat.  The bright star in the center of the constellation, Spica, is the head of that spike of wheat; and as such ruled over the harvest in two of Virgo’s guises as the goddesses Persephone and Ceres.  Virgo is also identified as Astraea the goddess of justice.  The constellation of Libra, the scales, is found just east of her.  Early Christians saw Virgo as the Virgin Mary.  Virgo is the home of the Virgo Cluster of thousands of galaxies.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Leo, Virgo, Libra

Virgo with the also mentioned constellations of Leo and Libra for 11 p.m., May 14, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Virgo

Virgo as depicted in Urania’s Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c.1825. From the Library of Congress. H/T Wikipedia.

Libra

Libra as depicted in Urania’s Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c.1825. From the Library of Congress. H/T Wikipedia.

06/27/2014 – Ephemeris – Scorpius invades Libra

June 27, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, June 27th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 9:31.  The moon is new today, and won’t be visible.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 5:59.

One of the constellations of the Zodiac or circle of animals isn’t either animal or human.  It is Libra the Scales or balance.  It lies low in the southern sky at 11 p.m., just to the right of the rising Scorpius the scorpion.  Libra, it seems, is an afterthought, a simple diamond shape of four stars.  This year with Saturn inside.  Its two brightest stars Zubeneschamali and Zubenelgenubi translate to the north and south claw respectively, of Scorpius to the left of it.  The Arabs, at least, seemed to view this as part of Scorpius.  The balance was perhaps to signify the equality of day and night, at the time the sun was in this part of the sky at the start of autumn, over 2000 years ago.  Nowadays the sun is one constellation west, in Virgo at the start of autumn.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Libra

Libra with Saturn this year (2014). Created using Stellarium.  Note: the named stars to the left belong to Scorpius.