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Posts Tagged ‘scorpion’

07/27/2021 – Ephemeris – The celestial scorpion crawls over the southern horizon

July 27, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, July 27th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 9:14, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:24. The Moon, halfway from full to last quarter, will rise at 11:37 this evening.

There’s a large constellation located low in the south around 10:30, 11 o’clock tonight. It’s Scorpius the scorpion. Its brightest star is Antares in its heart, a red giant star, that I used to get calls about from time to time as being a UFO. From Antares to the right is a star, then a vertical arc of three stars that is its head. The Scorpion’s tail is a line of stars running down to the left of Antares, swooping to the horizon before coming back up and ending in a pair of stars that portray his poisonous stinger. Scorpius looks huge lying on the southern horizon. But if you go south, Scorpius will be higher in the sky, and will look smaller. Being close to the horizon from here, Scorpius shares with the rising and setting sun and moon the illusion of increased size.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hr). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Scorpius animated finder with claw stars

Scorpius animated finder for 10:30 pm July 27th. The Arabs saw a bigger scorpion with Antares in the upper part of its body, the arc of three stars near its head and its claws extending to Zubeneschamali (North Claw) and Zubenelgenubi (South Claw). The latter two stars belong to Libra the scales. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

07/26/2019 – Ephemeris – Scorpius the starry scorpion crawls over the southern horizon

July 26, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, July 26th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 53 minutes, setting at 9:15, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:23. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 2:11 tomorrow morning.

There’s a large constellation located low in the south at about about 11 tonight. It’s Scorpius the scorpion. Its brightest star is Antares in its heart, a red giant star, that I get calls about from time to time as being a UFO. With bright Jupiter above and left of it, it won’t be as noticeable. From Antares to the right is a star then a vertical arc of three stars that is its head. The Scorpion’s tail is a line of stars running down to the left of Antares swooping to the horizon before coming back up and ending in a pair of stars that portray his poisonous stinger. There is a beautiful star cluster seen in binoculars at that first bend in the tail that is unfortunately too low to appreciate from this far north. I was very impressed with it when spotting it from the Florida Keys when I was down there in 1986 observing Halley’s Comet.

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

Addendum

Animated finder chart for Scorpius the scorpion for 11 p.m. July 26, 2019. A year from now Jupiter will be just pass where Saturn is, and Saturn will be just off the frame of this image. Also note the “Teapot” asterism of Sagittarius just left of the scorpion with the Milky Way as steam rising from its spout.

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.

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.

01/16/2018 – Ephemeris – More thoughts about Orion and the Wintermaker

January 16, 2018 1 comment

Ephemeris for Tuesday, January 16th. The Sun will rise at 8:15. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 13 minutes, setting at 5:29. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

We come back to the central constellation of the winter sky Orion the hunter, now in the southeast at 9 p.m. with his three stars of his belt in a straight line, with his upper shoulder stars above and knees below. In one Greek story he was killed by the sting of a scorpion so the gods made sure the rising of the constellation Scorpius would chase him out of the sky to the west. To the Greeks he was a hapless hero. Orion is mentioned in the Bible in the book of Job. The name for Orion in Hebrew is Kesil, meaning “Fool”. To the native peoples around the Great Lakes, the stars here are those of the Wintermaker, who stretches his arms from Aldebaran in Taurus to Procyon in Canis Minor. When he is in the evening sky it is indeed winter.

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

Addendum

As the scorpion approaches Orion makes a hasty exit

When the scorpion (Scorpius) crawls over the southeastern horizon, Orion takes a powder to the west. This is about 5 a.m. in mid January. Created using Stellarium.

Orion-Wintermaker finder animation

Orion-Wintermaker finder animation for 9 p.m., January 16. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

07/24/2017 – Ephemeris – The celestial scorpion

July 24, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, July 24th. The Sun rises at 6:20. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 56 minutes, setting at 9:16. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 10:12 this evening.

Crawling just above the southern horizon at 11 p.m. is the zodiacal constellation of Scorpius the scorpion. His heart is the red giant star Antares. Its facing the west or right with a short arc of three stars as its head. His body and tail drop to the left and scrape the horizon before curving up to the critter’s poisonous stinger of two stars. It really makes a great scorpion. One story of the scorpion concerns Orion the hunter the great winter constellation. In that story Orion was killed by the sting of a scorpion. Therefore Orion and Scorpius are never seen in the sky at the same time. That is certainly true around here and for the Greeks, whose legend it is. However if one travels far enough south that is no longer true.

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

Addendum

Scorpius

Scorpius finder chart for 10:30 p.m., July 24, 2017. Created using Stellarium, which has a bug in the newest version and is also showing Ophiuchus.

08/02/2016 – Ephemeris – The Scorpion has visitors this year

August 2, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, August 2nd.  The Sun rises at 6:30.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 35 minutes, setting at 9:06.  The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

There’s a large constellation located low in the south as it gets dark about 10:30 tonight  It’s Scorpius the scorpion.  Its brightest star is Antares in its heart, a red giant star whose name means “Rival of Mars”.  From Antares to the right is a star then a vertical arc of three stars that is its head.  The Scorpion’s tail is a line of stars running down to the left of Antares swooping near the horizon before coming back up and ending in a pair of stars that portray his poisonous stinger.  This year the planet Saturn appears almost directly above Antares.  Tonight Mars is right of Antares.  On the 23rd of this month Mars will pass just above

Antares, between it and Saturn, making line of three bright objects.  Mars is currently brighter than Antares.

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

Addendum

Scorpius with Mars and Saturn

Scorpius with Mars and Saturn at 10:30 p.m. August 2, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

The red lines are the official constellation boundaries by the International Astronomical Union.  From the look of some of the boundaries, astronomers apparently gerrymander as well as our politicians.

For those unfamiliar with gerrymandering put “gerrymander” in your favorite search engine or Wikipedia.

12/23/2013 – Ephemeris – The constellation Orion: The hard luck hero

December 23, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, December 23rd.  The sun will rise at 8:17.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:06.   The moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:29 this evening.

The large and bright constellation of Orion is now in the southeast at 9 p.m.  It is seen as an upright rectangle of bright stars tilting to the left, his shoulders and knees, with a belt of three stars in the center.  Orion is a minor character in Greek mythology, much less celebrated than Hercules, which has a dim constellation named for him.  Orion was a hunter.  He had an ill-fated romance with Merope, whose father King Oenopion, had him blinded.  After having his sight restored, Orion became a companion of Diana goddess of the hunt and they wanted to marry.  Apollo, Diana’s brother disapproved of Orion also and was able to trick Diana into accidentally killing Orion with her bow.  Another story had Orion dying of a scorpion sting.

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

Addendum

Orion and Taurus

Taurus and Orion with Orion’s brightest stars named. Created using Stellarium.

07/09/2013 – Ephemeris – Thank goodness this is as close as scorpions get to northern Michigan

July 9, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, July 9th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 9:28.   The moon, 1 day past new, will set at 9:58 this evening.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 6:07.

Crawling just above the southern horizon at 11 p.m. is the zodiacal constellation of Scorpius the scorpion.  His heart is the red giant star Antares.  Its facing the west or right with a short arc of three stars as its head.  His body and tail drop to the left and scrape the horizon before curving up to the critter’s poisonous stinger of two stars.  It really makes a great scorpion.  One story of the scorpion concerns Orion the hunter the great winter constellation.  In that story Orion was killed by the sting of a scorpion.  Therefore Orion and Scorpius are never seen in the sky at the same time.  That is certainly true around here and for the Greeks, whose legend it is.  However if one travels far enough south that is no longer true.

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

Addendum

Scorpius

Scorpius at 11 p.m. on July 9, 2013. Credit Stellarium. I don’t agree with the artist’s drawing of the scorpion. To me it’s larger. The arc of three stars in the drawing’s right claw to me is its head and start of the claw appendages. I’ve added two star names from the constellation of Libra to the right. The Arabic translation of Zubeneschamali and Zubenelgenubi is North Claw and South Claw respectively. At one time Scorpius was larger than it is depicted today. Click on the image to enlarge.