Posts filed under ‘Astronomy Notes on the Web’

More Evidence for Noon as Start of Day?

by Milky Way Maid

Dave over at AstroAmerica.com keeps harping on using noon as the start of the day in the pre-railroad era. He tends to run a chart both for the stated time, which assumes that the legal began at midnight, and a chart for 12 hours later which assumes that the day began at noon since it was a verifiable event.

I have just run across something that tends to support noon as a verifiable event, a verifiable astronomical event — because ships for example would reset their clocks to an authoritative source.

The fact is that beginning in 1845, at the request of the Secretary of the Navy, the Navy Observatory dropped a ball precisely at noon. This ball was installed at the telescope dome, and was apparently visible even to ships in the Potomac River. The ships would set their clocks before putting out to sea.

This system apparently stayed in force until the adoption of Ephemeris time in 1956, and later the adoption of Dynamical time in 1984 (a measure of time based on the motion of the celestial bodies).

For the original source please dial your browser to the Navy website at http://www.USNO.navy.mil/about.shtml.

Continue Reading February 3, 2014 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

2012 Venus Transit times, etc.

by Milky Way Maid

Dear Readers:
I wanted to post a bit more info on the spectacular and meaningful Venus transit of the Sun which occurs this week, along with a repost of my article from 6-15-2011.
OK, you came here looking for the exact times that Venus crosses the Sun. Here goes:
FIRST CONTACT: The leading edge of Venus first strikes the Sun in late afternoon of June 5 at 6”04 pm EDT. Venus begins her contact at the upper left (northeast) edge of the Sun’s disk, and proceeds to the lower right.
SECOND CONTACT: The point when the shadow of the planet Venus is entirely withing the Sun’s disk is projected to be at 6:22 pm EDT.
Note that times may vary by a minute or two depending on where you are in your time zone (in other words, your latitude). But I am assured that these times are exact for the cities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.
LENGTH OF TRANSIT: Six hours. Natch, we will not be able to watch the entire transit because the Sun will SET at 8:21 pm on the East Coast. If you wanted to watch more of the transit, you should have booked a flight to Hawaii, Alaska, or perhaps Asia.
Venus will then become visible, like normal, after dawn on Wednesday.
PRECAUTIONS: Protect your eyesight if viewing this transit. Just like viewing an eclipse or any appearance of the sun, please wear protective goggles or use a pinhole viewer. One type of goggle or filter specifically recommended is the #14 welder’s filter. Even better are “Eclipse Shades” which are cheap and safe; they resemble 3D glasses for watching old sci-fi movies. Another option is a hand-held Eclipse Viewer available from Rainbow Symphony at rainbowsymphony.com/soleclipse.html
BINOCULARS: You may wish to view the eclipse closeup thru binoculars or a telescope. However, you still need a protective device, and it should cover the FRONT of the binocs, NOT over the eyepiece. Optical solar filters can be had from Orion Telescopes & Binoculars at telescope.com.
PINHOLE VIEWER: Take a piece of cardboard about 8 x 8 inches or so, punch a small hole in the center, and angle it so the sunlight peeps thru the hole onto a sheet of paper held below it. It really does work; I have used it years ago in viewing an eclipse. Experiment with moving the paper closer or further from the cardboard. You could also make a couple of cardboard viewers with different sizes of holes, from a pinprick to a nail hole to a hole punch.
THOUGHTS: Since the beginning of the current Mayan cycle was in about 3100 BC, and since the advent of writing also dates from that era, it is possible that this Venus transit may mark a radical advance in communications. See below for the mention of Susan Custer and her correlation of Venus transits with advances in communications. I have not tried to find if there was a Venus transit around 3100 BC, but the fact that a Venus transit occurs in the year of the end of the cycle is sure intriguing.

The article from June of 2011 follows here:
The year 2012 is not only the culmination of the Mayan calendar’s Long Count, it is not only marked by the Neptune-Pluto square (discussed in a previous entry on this column), it is also the year that Venus makes another trip across the Sun. AND we will also see a solar eclipse within weeks of that Venus transit, one that aligns with the Pleiades star cluster in the sign Taurus.
The ancient Mayans (not to mention astrologer Barbara Hand Clow) believe that the Pleiades was a gateway for the ancients to come to earth or conversely, for shamans of several cultures to expand their minds.
Venus does not cross the Sun but rarely. She makes her visits in pairs, spaced eight years apart. But these paired visits may occur 105-130 years apart. So we are rather privileged to be able to view her transits in this decade with all the high-power telescopes trained on her progress across the Sun.

Venus made a transit of the Sun in June 8, 2004, at 17 degrees Gemini. Venus will make her return trip on June 6, 2012 at 15 degrees Gemini. Astrologer Susan Custer interprets the Gemini transits as presaging advances in communications and shrinking the ‘global village.’ For example, the 1631 and 1639 transit was the year that mail service was first instituted, in Denmark and Sweden. In 1874, the Atlantic telegraph cable was completed. Magellan sailed around the globe during the Venus transits in the 1600s. You may read her article on the topic on her website, The Astrology Page dot com, at http://www.theastrologypage.com/Archives/transit_of_venus.htm

The Mayans revered Venus, some might say they feared her even more. But they built temples and other observatories aligned to key phases in her cycle. Kukulkan was deemed a manifestation of Venus. Kukulkan, according to some, symbolized the return of the Christ energy, a time to rebalance the spiritual and material values we hold.

Some transits of Venus have been accompanied by the most dreadful events. The 2004 transit marked the year of the gigantic tsunami that killed 275,000 people. Yet this event triggered a spontaneous outpouring of concern and donations for the relief of the survivors rendered homeless and jobless. (A previous transit marked the year that the Spanish conquistadores subjugated Mexico.)

The fact that this second leg of the series occurs in Gemini may hold out some hope that we may see an advance in communications or internet capability, similar to the Sagittarius transits in the 1600s.

Let’s look at what else happened in 2004 for more clues. On Jan. 4, 2004, Spirit, a NASA Mars Rover, lands on that planet. (It ceased communicating all too soon but was fixed remotely and resumed its chatter on Feb. 6.) The Queen Mary 2 is christened on Jan. 8. (She embarks on her first Trans-Atlantic crossing on April 16.)
On Feb. 12, the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples who wished to wed. Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage on May 17.
On March 15, the discovery of the farthest natural object in the solar system (so far) was announced with the naming of Sedna. On March 29, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia join NATO.
On April 1, Google introduced gmail.
On May 24, North Korea bans mobile phones. On May 26, the New York Times publishes a list of its journalistic failings, including flawed reporting about the buildup to the 2003 launch of the war in Iraq.
On June 11, the probe Cassini-Huygens makes its closest flyby of Phoebe.
On June 21 and Sept. 29, the first privately funded space plane achieves space flight, SpaceShipOne. On June 24, New York state declares capital punishment to be unconstitutional.
On Dec. 8, the Cuzco Declaration is signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the South American Community of Nations.
On Dec. 25, Cassini orbiter releases Huygens probe which successfully landed on Saturn’s moon Titan on January 14, 2005.
(Events listed above are from the HistoryOrb.com webpages.)

So we can see that 2004 was not just about gloom and doom and disaster, although some terrible hurricanes, earthquakes, and of course the Dec. 26 tsunami occurred. The year was also marked by private space travel, solar system discoveries and exploration, gmail, gay marriage rights, and the expansion of international working groups (NATO, the South American Community of Nations).

In 2012, we may see more ordinary people embark on space flights, the scientific conclusions of some of the 2004 landings may be released, gay marriage may once again go forward, and greater international cooperation.

Let us hope so, anyway.
——————————————————————————————
RE the solar eclipse of 2012, let me look in the ephemeris… NASA shows an Annular Solar Eclipse on May 20 – actually May 21 in Asia. Its path skirts the edges of the East China Sea, Japan, the Aleutian Islands, then to California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Texas. It is at zero degrees Gemini, reinforcing the Venus transit later in the same sign. BTW there is a conjunction of Saturn with the star Spica on May 11, the second of a series of contacts between them.

A chart cast for Washington D.C. on May 20, at 7 pm shows Mars high and conjunct the MC at 10 degrees Virgo. The Ascendant is 27 degrees Scorpio. Venus is setting and the Sun and Moon are just above the horizon in the West. Jupiter and Mercury are just below the horizon. Pluto is in the second house, Neptune in the third near the IC, Uranus in the fourth, Saturn in the eleventh. The MC and Mars trine Pluto. Venus is trine Saturn. Mercury is semisquare Uranus. Jupiter is sesquiquadrate Pluto.

NASA reference page on 2004 and 2012 Transits of Venus: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/venus0412.html

NASA world map showing where we may view some or all of Venus’ 2012 transit across the Sun: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/venus/Map2012-1.GIF

NASA map of May 2012 track of Annular Solar Eclipse http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2012May20Agoogle.html

My prior article on the Neptune-Pluto square in 2011 and 2012 is at: https://milkywayastrology.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/return-to-the-summer-of-love-the-uranus-pluto-square/
SEE ALSO TransitofVenus.org

Continue Reading June 4, 2012 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

Did you see article on May’s “Super Moon”?

Please go and see what Space.com says about the upcoming Super Moon on May 5. What does “super moon” mean? It just means that the moon will be VERY close to earth and appear larger than usual. Remember the movie “Moonstruck” that Cher won an Oscar for? And the BIG full moon pictured in that film? That is probably what the moon will look like.

Cannot promise that you will get to dress like Cher or go to the opera with Nick Cage or fall in love with a baker or any of that.

Tides may be higher of course, and it is unknown whether it could trigger more earthquakes than usual. But enjoy the moon, and if you have a telescope or camera, please do yourself a favor and pull them out.

http://www.space.com/15474-supermoon-full-moon-2012.html
‘Supermoon’ Alert: Biggest Full Moon of 2012 Occurs This Week

Continue Reading May 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm 2 comments

Venus to Cross Sun During 2012, Too

by Milky Way Maid

The year 2012 is not only the culmination of the Mayan calendar’s Long Count, it is not only marked by the Neptune-Pluto square (discussed in a previous entry on this column), it is also the year that Venus makes another trip across the Sun. AND we will also see a solar eclipse within weeks of that Venus transit, one that aligns with the Pleiades star cluster in the sign Taurus.
The ancient Mayans (not to mention astrologer Barbara Hand Clow) believe that the Pleiades was a gateway for the ancients to come to earth or conversely, for shamans of several cultures to expand their minds.
Venus does not cross the Sun but rarely. She makes her visits in pairs, spaced eight years apart. But these paired visits may occur 105-130 years apart. So we are rather privileged to be able to view her transits in this decade with all the high-power telescopes trained on her progress across the Sun.

Venus made a transit of the Sun in June 8, 2004, at 17 degrees Gemini. Venus will make her return trip on June 6, 2012 at 15 degrees Gemini. Astrologer Susan Custer interprets the Gemini transits as presaging advances in communications and shrinking the ‘global village.’ For example, the 1631 and 1639 transit was the year that mail service was first instituted, in Denmark and Sweden. In 1874, the Atlantic telegraph cable was completed. Magellan sailed around the globe during the Venus transits in the 1600s. You may read her article on the topic on her website, The Astrology Page dot com, at http://www.theastrologypage.com/Archives/transit_of_venus.htm

The Mayans revered Venus, some might say they feared her even more. But they built temples and other observatories aligned to key phases in her cycle. Kukulkan was deemed a manifestation of Venus. Kukulkan, according to some, symbolized the return of the Christ energy, a time to rebalance the spiritual and material values we hold.

Some transits of Venus have been accompanied by the most dreadful events. The 2004 transit marked the year of the gigantic tsunami that killed 275,000 people. Yet this event triggered a spontaneous outpouring of concern and donations for the relief of the survivors rendered homeless and jobless. A previous transit marked the year that the Spanish conquistadores subjugated Mexico.

The fact that this second leg of the series occurs in Gemini may hold out some hope that we may see an advance in communications or internet capability, similar to the Sagittarius transits in the 1600s.

Let’s look at what else happened in 2004 for more clues. On Jan. 4, 2004, Spirit, a NASA Mars Rover, lands on that planet. (It ceased communicating all too soon but was fixed remotely and resumed its chatter on Feb. 6.) The Queen Mary 2 is christened on Jan. 8. (She embarks on her first Trans-Atlantic crossing on April 16.)
On Feb. 12, the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples who wished to wed. Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage on May 17.
On March 15, the discovery of the farthest natural object in the solar system (so far) was announced with the naming of Sedna. On March 29, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia join NATO.
On April 1, Google introduced gmail.
On May 24, North Korea bans mobile phones. On May 26, the New York Times publishes a list of its journalistic failings, including flawed reporting about the buildup to the 2003 launch of the war in Iraq.
On June 11, the probe Cassini-Huygens makes its closest flyby of Phoebe.
On June 21 and Sept. 29, the first privately funded space plane achieves space flight, SpaceShipOne. On June 24, New York state declares capital punishment to be unconstitutional.
On Dec. 8, the Cuzco Declaration is signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the South American Community of Nations. On Dec. 25, Cassini orbiter releases Huygens probe which successfully landed on Saturn’s moon Titan on January 14, 2005.
(Events listed above are from the HistoryOrb.com webpages.)

So we can see that 2004 was not just about gloom and doom and disaster, although some terrible hurricanes, earthquakes, and of course the Dec. 26 tsunami occurred. The year was also marked by private space travel, solar system discoveries and exploration, gmail, gay marriage rights, and the expansion of international working groups (NATO, the South American Community of Nations).

In 2012, we may see more ordinary people embark on space flights, the scientific conclusions of some of the 2004 landings may be released, gay marriage may once again go forward, and greater international cooperation.

Let us hope so, anyway.
——————————————————————————————
RE the solar eclipse of 2012, let me look in the ephemeris… NASA shows an Annular Solar Eclipse on May 20 – actually May 21 in Asia. Its path skirts the edges of the East China Sea, Japan, the Aleutian Islands, then to California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Texas. It is at zero degrees Gemini, reinforcing the Venus transit later in the same sign. BTW there is a conjunction of Saturn with the star Spica on May 11, the second of a series of contacts between them.

A chart cast for Washington D.C. on May 20, at 7 pm shows Mars high and conjunct the MC at 10 degrees Virgo. The Ascendant is 27 degrees Scorpio. Venus is setting and the Sun and Moon are just above the horizon in the West. Jupiter and Mercury are just below the horizon. Pluto is in the second house, Neptune in the third near the IC, Uranus in the fourth, Saturn in the eleventh. The MC and Mars trine Pluto. Venus is trine Saturn. Mercury is semisquare Uranus. Jupiter is sesquiquadrate Pluto.

NASA reference page on 2004 and 2012 Transits of Venus: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/venus0412.html

NASA world map showing where we may view some or all of Venus’ 2012 transit across the Sun: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/venus/Map2012-1.GIF

NASA map of May 2012 track of Annular Solar Eclipse, http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2012May20Agoogle.html

My prior article on the Neptune-Pluto square in 2011 and 2012 is at: https://milkywayastrology.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/return-to-the-summer-of-love-the-uranus-pluto-square/

Continue Reading June 15, 2011 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

Note on the Asteroid Vesta

by Milky Way Maid
Hi,
I’ve been reading a book about Roman times, and came across some references to the Vestal Virgins. You might want to make a note of this if you use the asteroids.
It seems that the Vestal Virgins of Rome were charged with not only keeping up prayers to the gods. They were also charged with the duty of keeping wills. They had a system for storing all the wills that had been entered to their keeping, so that a particular will could be quickly located upon the demise of the owner. The Vestals held over two million wills. Wills from provinces and foreign countries were in one wing, Italian wills in another area, and those from Rome itself in yet another. The temple had upstairs, downstairs and part of a basement devoted to storage of these wills.
And the most important part of their mission was to protect the privacy of these wills. No one was to have access to learn the contents of these wills until after the demise of the owner/writer. No bumping off old Uncle Cornelius or Aunt Livia to gain the thousand talents he or she intends to bestow on you.

So we can add ‘privacy’ to the list of ideas attached to the asteroid Vesta. I had already suspected that privacy was key to Vesta rather than security as so many suppose, and this just seals it for me.
Vesta has nothing to do with the writing of the wills, per se; that would come under the purview of Mercury or perhaps the signs Gemini and Virgo. She has nothing to do with the legal functions connected with estates; that would come under Jupiter (law) and the eighth and ninth houses. She has nothing to do with the lawyers who draw up the will; that would possibly come under the purview of Pallas Athena, in her role as advocate. And she has nothing to do with the wealth redistributed upon execution of the estate; that might come under the purview of Pluto, the immensely wealthy god of mining riches.
Vesta just maintains the privacy of personal records and in particular the privacy of wills. There have been only rare breaches of this sacred duty, one of which was when the contents of Marcus Antonius’ will became public and caused a political brouhaha. But this is a case when the exception proves the rule, as my old fourth grade teacher used to say.

Continue Reading May 27, 2011 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

An Open Letter to Barbara Hand-Clow

by Milky Way Maid

The following is a letter I am sending to Ms. Clow care of her publisher. But it might get to her sooner by posting it here, maybe.

—————————————–

Dear Ms. Barbara Hand-Clow,

I have been a reader of your books, though not for as many years as I would have liked. With regard to the theories posited in Catastrophobia and in The Mayan Code, I believe I have found some interesting material that intermeshes with yours.

Continue Reading April 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm Leave a comment

Mars’ redness may be due to natural nuclear explosion

by Milky Way Maid, from news reports

According to a new report from a senior propulsion scientist at Orbital Technologies Corp., Mars’ redness may be linked to a nuclear past. In a story that has been picked up by AOL news service, this hypothesis is supported by the presence of radioactive materials still found on the planet surface.

Excerpt:

“A natural nuclear reaction could have occurred on our own planet — and could happen again, said Dr. John Brandenburg, a senior propulsion scientist at Orbital Technologies Corp.

‘ “The Martian surface is covered with a thin layer of radioactive substances including uranium, thorium and radioactive potassium — and this pattern radiates from a hot spot [on Mars],” Brandenburg told FoxNews.com.”

Very interesting article. Let’s hope that funding is successfully sought for a mission to Mars to verify this hypothesis. Article may be read at:

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/04/01/natural-nuclear-blast-mars/#

Continue Reading April 2, 2011 at 6:45 am Leave a comment

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A gift to my lovely readers —

As a special gift to my readers I thought you might enjoy some background music. A terrific writer and geek found these archived radio recordings of the Beatles for a Swedish radio show way back when. He cleaned them up a bit and edited them, and here they are. Five songs in cool condition. So turn up the volume alright already.

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