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Planetary Treats and Celestial Delights During Gemini
For the Northern Hemisphere
May 21
- June 21, 2011

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All times are local unless otherwise specified.

 

Night Sky Visitors ...

My 2011 sabbatical continues. In this abbreviated edition of the Gemini Night Sky, I offer the following to keep you looking up and tuned to the wonders above.

Clear skies,
Susan Sun

Look Up!

Planetary and Steller Treats
Sky Lights ... What's up with the planets and stars?
The Planets ... Is it a planet? What planet is it?

Universe Today ... Search for any planet; learn the latest!
Star Gazer's Show Scripts
... Fun episodes about planets and stars
Celestial Delights
Sirius, Good-Bye!
The Festival of Goodwill and the Galactic Heart
Plus ...
Sky Calendars
Moon Dances 5/3-6/1
Moon Dances 6/1-7/1
Gemini Navigation Page
The Night Sky ~ Home Page

 

Planetary and Stellar Treats


Sky Lights ~ Gemini

Printable Sky Lights

May 21 - June 21

Planets ... those seen with the unaided eye

Saturn is our only evening planet. At magnitude 0.8 it can be seen overhead at nightfall. The Lord of the Rings moves westward all night long until it sets, around 3:30am in the beginning of Gemini and at 2:00am by its end. The planet's yellowish glow is eye-catching above (west of) bluish Spica. As the sky darkens, look overhead for the large triangle formed by Saturn, Spica and golden Arcturus. Use the Big Dipper to locate Saturn (see Arcturus below for details). 6/6-11 use the waxing Moon and the 5min.-video by Star Gazer, Let the Moon Lead the Way, to guide you to Regulus of Leo the Lion and to Porrima, Saturn and Spica in the constellation of Virgo the Virgin. 6/9 the waxing Gibbous Moon can be seen near Saturn and 6/10 near Spica. 6/9 Map ~ 6/10 Map Saturn, Spica and the Moon form a straight line the following evening. 6/11 Map/Text Saturn's rings are opening, revealing more and more of their northern face. The planet's ring tilt is 7 in June and widens to 15 by December. Generate images of Saturn's ring tilt as seen from Earth with the Solar System Simulator. With a 6- or 8-inch telescope you just may be able to see Saturn's 5 brightest moons.

Jupiter at magnitude -2.2 rises higher each morning as it pulls away from Mars, Venus and Mercury. 5/21 5:20am Map ~ 5/26 5:20am Map ~ 5/31 5:20am Map The gaseous giant planet rises in a dark sky at 4:00am in the beginning of Gemini and at 2:45am by its end. Jupiter dazzles in the dark sky for night owls and early birds. The waning Crescent Moon lies west (above) Jupiter 5/28 and nestles near the planet 5/29. 5/28 Dawn Map/Text ~ 5/29 5:15am Map

Mars is easier to see during Gemini, though you may still need binoculars to spot the planet in a twilit sky. Each morning our Red Planet, at magnitude 1.4, can be viewed in a dark sky a little higher above the eastern horizon. Mars rises about 4:45am in the beginning of Gemini and at 4:00am by its end. 5/22-23 use Jupiter to find the pairing of Mars and Venus in dawn's early light. 5/22 Dawn Map/Text ~ 5/23 5:15am Map As Gemini unfolds the distance between ascending Mars and descending Venus increases. 5/30 the waning Crescent Moon positions itself west of (above) Mars. 5/30 5:15am Map Watch the mini-dipper-shaped Pleiades rise to line-up with Mars during Gemini. By mid-June Mars lies south (right) of the Pleiades (M45). Use this 5/31 5:20am Map to see the star cluster's dipper-shape positioned to the right of the Moon and Mercury, preceding its alignment with Mars.

Venus at magnitude -3.8 is breathtaking, though low on the eastern horizon. The planet rises around 4:45am during Gemini. 5/22-23 use Jupiter to find the pairing of Venus and Mars in dawn's early light. Venus is 100x brighter than Mars. 5/22 Dawn Map/Text ~ 5/23 5:15am Map As Gemini unfolds the distance between descending Venus and ascending Mars increases. 5/31 the last vestige of the waning Crescent Moon lies to the left of Venus on the horizon. 5/31 Dawn Map/Text Early June Venus lies south (right) of the mini-dipper-shaped Pleiades, the shoulder of Taurus the Bull. Use this 5/31 5:20am Map to see the star cluster's dipper-shape positioned to the right of the Moon and Mercury preceding its line-up with Venus. By the end of Gemini Venus lies to the north (left) of Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus the Bull.

Mercury, hidden in the Sun's glaring light, disappears from view during Gemini. The elusive and innermost planet passes behind the Sun in superior conjunction 6/12 at 5:00pm PDT (00:00 UT 6/13).


Stellar Stars

Capella is the very bright star in the northwest setting around 11:45am in the beginning of Gemini and at 10:15am by its end. It is the brightest star seen the most often. Spring Stars

Arcturus is the bright golden star high in the east at sunset. Use the handle of the Big Dipper to arc down to Arcturus from there spike down to blue-white Spica in the south. Helpful Image In 2011 yellowish Saturn lies above (west of) bluish Spica; both are located south of Arcturus. Look for the large triangle formed by these 3 colorful celestial bodies. You can still use this early April Map to see how the triangle relates to blue-white Regulus of Leo the Lion. The westward movement of Arcturus and the Big Dipper can be observed until sunrise. Big Dipper Navigation Notice the seasonal position of the Big Dipper's bowl.

Scorpius the cosmic scorpion, a sprawling j-shaped constellation, is seen in the southeast at sunset. It's a summer constellation that's on the rise! Track Bunny's footprints in Scorpius throughout the year.

The Summer Triangle is also on the rise! Begin Looking for this stellar right triangle high in the northeast at sunset. Vega is the brightest star and western point; Deneb the dimmest star and eastern point, Altair is the southern point.

 

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Celestial Delights

 


So Long, Sirius ~ Good-Bye Until August!
The Christ Star Disappears May 24, 2011

Image: Classical Astologer

 

Sirius, Good-Bye! See you again at the beginning of August. Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens, is sinking very low on the west-southwest horizon as Gemini begins. Sirius reaches its heliacal setting in San Francisco May 23.

... the heliacal setting: the last visible setting of a star in the evening twilight. On the following evening, the star will pass below the horizon while there is still too much sunlight for it to be seen. Index to Time and Calendars / Rising and Setting of Stars

Sirius our spiritual Sun, which is sometimes referred to as the star of the Christ, disappears into the Sun’s glowing embrace and is no longer seen soon after the celebration of the Wesak Festival May 17. It’s as if the emanations of this star are aligning with our central luminary to flood the solar system with the Christ consciousness during the June 15 Goodwill Festival of Humanity. (see Festival of Goodwill below) The "christening" of humanity is inherent during this cycle with the outpouring and inflowing energies.

Heliacal setting times for Sirius vary in different locations and over time. The heliacal setting for Sirius occurs, when the Sun is at the altitude of 0 degrees on the horizon and Sirius is at the altitude of 7 degrees. Sirius at an altitude of less 7 than degrees is hidden from our view by the Sun’s light. See Heliacal Rising & Setting of Sirius.

 

Heliacal Setting of Sirius in San Francisco
The Last Sighting of Sirius Until August 7, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011– Western Horizon at Sunset
Sun’s Altitude 0 Degrees ~ Sirius’ Altitude 7 Degrees

Image: Distant Suns / Adobe Photoshop

* Printable Image *

west–bottom, east–top, south–left, north–right

Curved yellow line across the bottom of the image represents the western horizon.

Sirius visibly rises again in the east August 7, 2011. Stay tuned for these details and how Sirius relates to the Dog Days of Summer in a future Night Sky.

... the heliacal rising: the first visible, though brief, appearance of a star on the eastern horizon before sunrise. On the previous morning, sunlight made the star invisible. When the rising of a star is spoken of, it is usually the heliacal rising that is meant. In ancient Egypt, the heliacal rising of Sirius coincided with the annual rising of the Nile at Memphis. Index to Time and Calendars / Rising and Setting of Stars

 

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The Festival of Goodwill
, which occurs at the time of the Full Moon on Wednesday, June 15 at 1:14pm PDT (20:14 UT), inaugurates the third of the Three Major Planetary Festivals. The energies released at the Goodwill Festival are forces of the Divine Will that affect the nations of the world. These reconstructive energies can increase the aspect of national life or they can increase the potency of the objectives of world unity, peace and progress. With the keynotes of goodwill and "humanity, aspiring to God," this festival is also observed as the Festival of the Spirit of Humanity, the Christ Festival, the Festival of Unification and World Invocation Day.

 

The Goodwill Festival Links Us to the Heart of our Galaxy!
Journey Toward Its Central Stars!

Image: ESO / Stefan Gillessen et al.

Journey Toward the Central Stars (5.6M) ~ Video of the above Image (3M)

In this unparalleled picture of the Milky Way's heart, stars are seen ablaze around the galaxy’s center. Wavelengths of infrared light were used to penetrate the interstellar dust clouds that block our view of the Milky Way.

After 16 years of tracking the motions of 28 stars circling the galactic heart, dedicated European astronomers have gathered the best evidence yet that black holes exist and we have a super massive one at the center of our galaxy.

Just as swirling leaves caught in a gust of wind can provide clues about air currents, so the stars' movements reveal information about forces at work at the galactic centre.

The observations show that the stars orbit a central concentration of mass four million times greater than that of the Sun … The galaxy's central mass, long suspected of being a giant black hole, is known as ‘Sagittarius A star’.

The astronomers were also able to measure with great accuracy how far the Earth is from the centre of the galaxy - a distance of 27,000 light years. Daily Mail Reporter

The 1992-2008 European Southern Observatory study used the 3.5 metre New Technology Telescope and the Very Large Telescope - (an array of four 8.2 metre telescopes) for their observations. The NNT and VLT operate from the Atacama desert in Chile. See the ESO Press Release 12/10/08 for additional information.

What would our Milky Way Galaxy look like with its bright central bulging heart, if we weren’t stuck inside and could see through the opaque dust with our normal vision? Nobody knows for sure. Milky Way Illustrated and Barred Spiral Milky Way, however, are two good guesses based on many different types of observations. 6/3/08 findings show two major arms and two minor arms, not 4 major arms. In addition the stars and material of our galaxy, rather than neatly circling the galactic center as previous maps assumed, they are surprisingly tracing an elliptical orbit. A 180-foot poster, the largest picture of the Milky Way was unveiled 6/3/08. See the Poster ~ Read the Description (Btw, the video at this link crashed my internet).

Gemini’s Annual Festival in the Heavens
The Heart of our Galaxy Blesses the Earth

This Christ festival is as old as the earth itself. At the time of the solstice full moon a special festival is held in the spirit realms, a ceremony at which Christ the Sun comes among His disciples and pours a special blessing, a tremendous outpouring of love upon the earth, which is light and truth and beauty, which is in fact spiritual food. Grace Cooke guided by White Eagle / White Eagle on the Great Spirit

During Gemini with each Goodwill Festival there is a festival in the heavens. It occurs as the Full Moon enters the white ether of the Milky Way.

The white ether is the level of consciousness where all souls can hold communion with the Son of God, the Cosmic Christ. White Eagle On Festivals and Celebrations

This is the place of reunion, of true kinship, the place of cosmic consciousness. It is a place within the galactic magnetic field. It is from here that we receive an exceptional spiritual outpouring into our hearts from the spiritual Sun, Sirius. This galactic magnetic field carries this blessing to ALL on Earth during this time. Its highest effect is world unity. Audio Version (1:16 minutes)

Each Goodwill Festival Sagittarius, the centaur archer, points his arrow at both Antares, the red heart star of Scorpius, and the Goodwill Full Moon positioned at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, the family of 200 billion stars to which we and our Sun belong. Image The Milky Way is widest in Sagittarius and Scorpius because the great bulging central hub, the heart of our galaxy, also known as the galactic center, is in this direction.

... the Galactic Center surges like a Roman candle of infrared energy. Emanations of infrared energy (IFR) blast down upon us and perform two primary functions on our awareness.

First, IFR opens up the subconscious mind. This opening asks us to release and forget emotional trauma.... Second, IFR blasts open the root chakra in the energy system. This chakra releases the old, regenerates our energy, and lifts us off our duffs with renewed inspiration and a sense of real progress.

The Galactic Center acts like a satellite dish, directing divinely inspired information straight to the potentially receptive gray matter of our brains. If you believe in God, this might be the voice you hear. Regardless, within this connection you have the ability to pull down wild information which you would otherwise have no way of knowing. Phil Sedgwick The Astrology of Deep Space

Click Moon Dances for a Full Moon map and meditative reflections.

Gemini 2011 Global Meditation
Celebrating the Gemini Full Moon Festival ~
The Goodwill Festival of Unification

 

Goodwill to All ...
... and to All, the Will-to-Good

 

 

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I'd like to know your thoughts about The Night Sky ...
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May your Night Sky traveling always be filled
with Celestial Delights and Treats!
Susan Sun

 

Getting Started in Astronomy
Includes a downloadable Moon map and bimonthly star charts.

At Skymaps.com download a current monthly guide, evening sky map & calendar.

Link to Sky and Telescope's This Week's Sky at a Glance.

Spaceweather.com keeps you looking up!

Online Schools
A space and science study guide for kids

 

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