Posts tagged ‘astronomy’
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/
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.
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.
“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:
by Milky Way Maid
It looks like the ancient Australian bushmen may have been astronomers, too. A recent story going around the Australian press shows what look like ordinary stones in a semi-circle was really a quite accurate sun clock.
Well, you read the article and look at the picture and decide for yourself. Admittedly, it is nowhere near as impressive as Stonehenge. But they can’t all be photogenic, ya know.
A new app for your iPad will put the planets at your fingertips. The app, unimaginatively dubbed ‘Solar System’, It’s actually an electronic book written by former radio astronomer Marcus Chown. You can touch pictures of a planet, or Saturn’s rings, for example, to find out more about it. The review in WSJ says the articles are well-written, the galleries have dozens of high-resolution images, plus animated sequences. Basic data is of course included (diameter, mass, volume, gravity, atmosphere). Priced at $13.99, it is more expensive than a lot of apps, but it manages to combine info with beauty.
I was astonished when I attended a museum showing of Chinese astronomical artifacts, which toured a couple years ago to the Midwest.
One exhibit displayed a chart of the many different types of comets – 27 in all, according to an ancient chart. Their close observations noted not only the size and shape of the tail, but any discernible differences in the core of the comet. You can view this chart online at http://hua.umf.maine.edu/China/astronomy/tianpage/0009H_comets6563w.html
Comets were called ‘broom stars’ (tui xing), named after their tails, which they duly noted always pointed away from the sun. They had no idea what the cause of that orientation was, but they made copious notes of that and other details. The Chinese are believed to have made the first observation of the legendary Halley’s comet in 240 BC. On its return in 530 BC, they noted that “In September, it was one degree to the northwest of Xiatai ( a star in Ursa Major).”
According to the folks at China.org, the Chinese noted in addition to comets, the lunar and solar eclipses (the ones visible in their region), novas, and more. They invented astronomical clocks, and a type of armillary showing the relative positions of the planets. [The Greeks and the Arabs also had armillaries.] Yet astrology as we know it today or even in medieval times was not part of Chinese astronomy.