Category Archives: Astronomy

May the great stars of the night, Shining Fire-Star, heroic Irra, Bow-star, Yoke-star, Sitaddaru, Mushussu-star, Wagon, Goat-star, Goatfish-star, Serpent-star, stand by and put a propitious sign on the entrails of the lamb I am blessing now.
(Old Babylonian prayer, from Ancient Astrology by Tasmyn Barton)

Fomalhaut: the Fish’s Mouth

Fomalhaut was one of the four year-stars. Since the other three belong to the “fixed” astrological signs Taurus, Leo and Scorpio, Fomalhaut is assumed to be associated with Aquarius, the fourth fixed sign. It can be seen low in the southern sky in the fall, and can be seen due south around 11:00 p.m. in early October.

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Antares: the scorpion’s heart

The main star in Scorpio is the 15th brightest star in the sky. Its name means “Rival of Ares” or “Equal to Ares”, because of its brightness and red colour. And its size – Antares is a red supergiant, 3 000 times the size of our sun. (If we switched our sun for Antares, its bulk would extend out to Mars.) A clould of reddish metallic dust surrounds it, five light years in diameter, which makes it look even larger in the night sky.

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