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Posts Tagged ‘Zubenelgenubi’

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.

07/10/2018 – 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.

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.