Astronomy

What’s the opposite of Supermoon?

moon at apogeeAstrologer coined the term Supermoon to describe the Full Moon at perigee when it’s closest to the Earth.   Last night’s Full Moon was at apogee and at its furthest from Earth, so the Moon appeared about 15% smaller than usual.

The influence of the Moon does appear to be more intense when it is at perigee and therefore appears larger, so perhaps last night’s Minimoon did not pack as powerful a punch.

 

 

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By | 2010-08-26T14:41:32+00:00 August 26th, 2010|Astronomy|3 Comments

Sun in Virgo, Full Moon, and a galactic “super volcano”

The Sun has moved into Virgo, shifting the energy from the creative fire of Leo to the grounded and practical Virgo.  When the Moon moves into Pisces tomorrow morning (EDT) the Sun and Moon will begin to align in the Full Moon opposition formation and we will begin to see the necessity to balance our inner world of dreams (Pisces) with the outer world of details (Virgo).

The movement of the Sun through the signs has a relatively minor effect on the way that we perceive the world, but it does cast an overarching filter of light across all of our experiences.  Right now, in the Virgo galaxy cluster, a “super-volcano” driven by a huge gas pocket is taking place in the M-87 galaxy that could create new stars except for the interference of a massive black hole.

Galactic Super-volcano

I can’t help but be struck by the symbolism of this event considering current planetary cycles:

  • The conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus, recently in Aries and now separating as Uranus retrogrades into Pisces.  Jupiter’s expansion and the explosive potential of Uranian surprise in the hot fire of Aries.
  • Saturn square Pluto – the two lords of darkness facing off in what could be called a “black hole” of despair and negativity with a subsequent transformation.
  • Saturn opposing Jupiter – Jupiter’s expansive potential to create millions of new stars hampered by the Saturnian restriction of darkness via the black hole.

For us personally, though, the intensity of the summer’s planetary cycles is beginning to wane and we are now moving into the integration phase, something which will be helped along by the retrograde cycle of Mercury which helps us to assimilate and process information.

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By | 2010-08-23T07:31:49+00:00 August 23rd, 2010|Astrology, Astronomy|4 Comments

The Sun is definitely waking up

After a prolonged “solar minimum,”  with record long periods without sunspots, the Sun has become extremely active again.  These periods of solar maximum alternating with solar minimum are a normal part of solar activity but the last solar minimum was particularly long: 12.4 years rather than the usual 11 years.

A positive effect of the delay in the return of sunspot activity is that the maximum period will not coincide with December 2012 as previously feared.  This was one of the explanations for the fearmongering surrounding the December 2012 date, but it’s now behind schedule and the maximum of the maximum period likely won’t arrive until 2013 or 2014.

In the meantime, reports that “the entire Earth-facing side of the Sun erupted in a tumult of activity” with a C3-class flare, a solar tsunami, radio bursts, coronal mass ejection (CME) .  The impact of the CME hit the Earth’s magnetic field today at 1:30 pm EDT.

It’s interesting (but not necessarily significant) that this burst of solar energy comes when there’s a lot of planetary energy anyway with Mars and Saturn facing off against Jupiter and Uranus.

CMEs can sometimes affect communication satellites and power grids, but this C-class flares typically do not create a lot of problems.  But those in northern latitudes may be treated to some nice auroras!

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By | 2018-06-11T12:13:19+00:00 August 3rd, 2010|Astronomy, Sun|Comments Off on The Sun is definitely waking up

The July 11 eclipse over Easter Island

Makemake, a god in Easter Island mythology, may have smiled for a moment as clouds parted long enough to reveal this glimpse of July 11’s total solar eclipse to skygazers. In the foreground of the dramatic scene, the island’s famous large, monolithic statues (Moai) share a beachside view of the shimmering solar corona and the darkened daytime sky. Other opportunities to see the total phase of this eclipse of the Sun were also hard to come by. Defined by the dark part of the Moon’s shadow, the path of totality tracked eastward across the southern Pacific Ocean, only making significant landfall at Mangaia (Cook Islands) and Easter Island (Isla de Pascua), ending shortly after reaching southern Chile and Argentina.

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By | 2010-07-14T09:40:12+00:00 July 14th, 2010|Astronomy|Comments Off on The July 11 eclipse over Easter Island
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