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Posts Tagged ‘Zeus’

02/11/2019 – Ephemeris – The stars Castor and Pollux

February 11, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, February 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 6:05, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:47. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 12:57 tomorrow morning.

At 9 p.m. the constellation of Gemini the twins will be seen high in the southeast. The namesake stars of the two lads are the two bright stars at the top of the constellation. Pollux the pugilist, or boxer, is the lower of the two, while Castor, the horseman, is the other star, or rather a six star system. In telescopes two close stars may be seen each is a spectroscopic binary, meaning the lines of two stars can be seen in the spectrum. A faint nearby spectroscopic binary also belongs. Pollux, though a single star, does have at least one planet, over twice the mass of Jupiter orbiting the star at a distance somewhat greater than Mars is from the Sun. Pollux is 34 light years away while Castor is 50 light years away. Not too far away as stars go.

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

Addendum

Gemini with Castor and Pollux

Gemini with Castor and Pollux. Created with Stellarium.

Castor star system

The Castor star system exploded in this JPL/NASA infographic.

01/24/2019 – Ephemeris – Taurus the bull

January 24, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, January 24th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 5:40, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:09. The Moon, half way from full to last quarter, will rise at 10:14 this evening.

Midway up the sky in the southeast at 8 p.m. is the constellation of the giant hunter Orion. Above him, to the right is Taurus the bull. His face is a letter V shape of stars lying on its side, the star cluster Hyades, with the bright orange-red star Aldebaran at one tip of the V as its angry blood-shot eye, but actually about half way between us and the cluster. Orion is depicted in the sky facing, with club in one hand and a shield in the other, the charging Taurus. The Pleiades star cluster is in his shoulder. Taurus in Greek mythology was the form the god Zeus when he carried off the maiden Europa. Europa’s still with him as the intriguing satellite orbiting Zeus’ Roman equivalent the planet Jupiter.

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

Addendum

Taurus and Orion

Taurus and Europa at 8 p.m. January 24, 2019. Created using Stellarium.

Rape of Europa

The Rape of Europa by Titian. According to the story Zeus as a bull abducted Europa and swam to Crete, where she became the first queen of that island, and bore him three sons. Other paintings of this subject are by Rembrandt and de Troy. This painting belongs to the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston, MA. Click on the image to enlarge.

Jupiter's moon Europa

Jupiter’s satellite Europa, slightly smaller than the Earth’s moon, has a fresh ice surface with very little cratering. The ice floats on a deep water ocean supposedly containing more water than all the Earth’s oceans. Click on the image to enlarge. This is a place NASA will send a spacecraft to look for the chemistry of life. Credit NASA/JPL, Ted Stryk.

07/14/2017 – Ephemeris – Constellations of the Summer Triangle II: Cygnus the swan

July 14, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, July 14th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 14 minutes, setting at 9:25, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:11. The Moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 12:32 tomorrow morning.

Fairly high in the east at 11 p.m. Is the constellation of Cygnus the swan, flying south through the Milky Way. It is also called the Northern Cross. At the left, the tail of the swan or the head of the cross is the bright star Deneb, one of the stars of the Summer Triangle. The next star right is Sadr the intersection of the body and the wings of the swan seen in flight, or the intersection of the two pieces of the cross. There are two or three stars farther to the right that delineate the swan’s long neck or upright of the cross, that ends with the star Alberio in the beak of the swan or foot of the cross. The crosspiece of the cross extends to the stars on either side of the intersection star Sadr, while the swan’s wings extend to a couple more stars each.

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

Addendum

The Summer Triangle July 5, 2012 at 11 p.m. Created using Stellaruim and The Gimp.

The Summer Triangle. Created using Stellarium and The Gimp.

Cygnus finder animation

Animated Cygnus finder chart. Created using Stellarium.

In mythology Cygnus was the form Zeus took in the Leda and the swan affair.  Out of that union was born Pollux of Gemini fame.  His half-brother and twin Castor was fathered by a mere mortal.  Go here for their story.

Alberio is the star that shows in Cygnus’ eye.  In telescopes of even low power Alberio shows as a binary star whose components are distinctly and beautiful blue and gold.  Binoculars are not quite powerful enough to split these two.

04/25/2016 – Ephemeris – Arcas and Callisto

April 25, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, April 25th.  The Sun rises at 6:41.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 59 minutes, setting at 8:40.   The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 11:56 this evening.

Appearing mid way up the sky in the east at 10 p.m. is the kite shaped constellation of Boötes the herdsman.  The bright star Arcturus is at the bottom of the kite, pointed to by the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper, above it.  In one story Boötes represents a young hunter named Arcas, son of Callisto, a beautiful young lady who had the misfortune of being loved by Zeus the chief of the Greek gods.  Zeus’ wife Hera, found out about the affair, and since she couldn’t punish Zeus, turned the poor woman into an ugly bear.  Arcas, unaware of the events surrounding his mother’s disappearance was about to kill the bear when Zeus intervened and placed them both in the sky to save her.  To this day Boötes continues to chase the great bear Ursa Major around the sky each night.

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

Addendum

Arcas and Callisto

Bootes and Ursa Major aka Arcas chasing Callisto around the pole of the sky. Created using Stellarium.

Arcas and Callisto woodcut

Arcas about to slay the bear by the 17th century artist Baur. Source: University of Virginia Electronic Text Center

12/08/2015 – Ephemeris – The hard charging Taurus the bull

December 8, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, December 8th.  The Sun will rise at 8:07.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 5:02.   The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 6:03 tomorrow morning.

Low in the east at 9 p.m. is the constellation of Orion the giant hunter .  Above him is Taurus the bull.  His face is a letter V shape of stars lying on its side with the bright orange-red star Aldebaran at the bottom left tip of the V as its angry blood-shot eye.  Orion is depicted in the sky facing with club in one hand and a shield in the other the approaching and in some depictions charging Taurus.  The V of stars is a star cluster called the Hyades.  The Pleiades are in his shoulder above.  Taurus in Greek mythology was the guise the god Zeus when he carried off the maiden Europa.  Europa’s still with him, sort of, as the intriguing satellite orbiting Zeus’ Roman equivalent Jupiter.  In fact the moons around the planet Jupiter are generally named for Jupiter’s lovers and friends.  His wife is missing from the entourage, and will be until the NASA spacecraft Juno reaches Jupiter next year.

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

Addendum

Taurus and Orion

Three views of Taurus the bull and Orion the hunter for 9 p.m. on December 8, 2015. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

08/06/2015 – Ephemeris – There’s an eagle in the stars

August 6, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, August 6th.  The Sun rises at 6:34.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 27 minutes, setting at 9:02.   The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 12:46 tomorrow morning.

The southernmost star in the Summer Triangle of three bright stars is Altair, high in the south-southeast in the evening.  It’s in the head of the constellation Aquila the Eagle.  Altair is flanked by two stars, the eagle’s shoulders, and farther out are the wing tips.  Other stars to the lower right are in its body and a last three in its tail.  Near the tail binoculars will show a fuzzy spot that telescopes show as a compact star cluster, sometimes called the Wild Duck Cluster for its nearly triangular shape.  Aquila is flying northeastward through the Milky Way, where it is split in two by a cloud of gas and dust.  According to mythology the Trojan boy Ganymede was taken to heaven at the behest of the god Zeus by this eagle.

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

Addendum

Aquila

Aquila the Eagle in the southeastern sky. Created using Stellarium.

Finder chart for M11, the Wild Duck Cluster, Created using Stellarium.

Finder chart for M11, the Wild Duck Cluster, Created using Stellarium.

05/28/2013 – Ephemeris – Boötes the bear chaser

May 28, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 28th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 14 minutes, setting at 9:17.   The moon, half way from full to last quarter, will rise at 12:34 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 6:02.

Appearing high in the southeastern sky at 10:30 tonight is the kite shaped constellation of Boötes the herdsman.  The bright star Arcturus is at the bottom of the kite, pointed to by the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper, overhead.  In one story Boötes represents a young hunter named Arcas, son of Callisto, a beautiful young lady who had the misfortune of being loved by Zeus the chief Greek god.  Zeus’ wife Hera, found out about it, and since she couldn’t punish Zeus, turned Callisto into an ugly bear.  Arcas, unaware of why his mother disappeared in his youth was about to kill the bear when Zeus intervened and placed them both in the sky.  Now Arcas as Boötes chases the Great Bear forever around the pole of the sky each day and night.

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

Addendum

Bootes and Ursa Major

Bootes and Ursa Major high overhead on late spring evenings at 11 p.m. Created using Stellarium.