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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Astronomers discover the largest known solar system, consisting of a large planet that takes a million years to orbit its star.

Source: Astronomers discover largest solar system – BBC News

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Planet would orbit the sun once every 15,000 years

Source: Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto | Science | AAAS

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Understanding whether Jupiter’s relative uniqueness is a real feature, or another product of selection effects, has real implications for our understanding of exoplanets.

Source: Look for ‘Jupiters’ to Find Solar Systems Like Ours

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Scientists think they’ve solved the mystery of what causes those weird bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres — and you may have a jar of it in your bathroom at home.

Source: Ceres’s mysterious bright spots identified as common bath additive – Technology & Science – CBC News

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Witnessing an aurora first-hand is a truly awe-inspiring experience no matter what planet you may be on.

Source: What’s It Like to See Auroras on Other Planets?

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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New observations of Pluto’s moons reveal a system in pandemonium, according to scientists with the New Horizons mission.

Source: Pandemonium! Motion of Pluto’s Moons Perplexes Scientists

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https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/science-pics-of-the-week-the-hazy-blue-sunsets-of-pluto/58325

Sun-Catcher Myths and Magic

A number of myths around the world related how the sun was once captured, and either fixed in its proper sphere or else made to stand still in the sky.

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