Tagged: Astronomy

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Meteor Over Canada

APOD’s November 25th posting features a ‘desk-sized’ meteor which fell to earth over western Canada, illuminating Alberta and British Columbia skies late in the evening of November 20th.

This police dashboard camera captures the meteor in its final moments.  Astronomers hope to attempt to triangulate its position to both determine its impact site, and also discover its origin.  The heavy gravitational field of Mars and Jupiter conventionally pull most all meteors, compets and asteroids away from the earth’s orbit, but on rare occasions, foreign bodies land on our planet.

It is speculated that lake Huron (and possibly the wide spread of lakes spanning Canada’s provinces and territories) could have been created by an earth-killer, explaining why there are so many rare and precious metals and rocks surrounding the Great Canadian Shield.

Even the Astronomers Are Excited About Venus & Jupiter…

Astrologers are stoked about this Sunday’s Venus-Jupiter conjunction in Tropical Capricorn, but Astronomers and Jyotishas alike are equally as eager to see the same conjunction in Sidereal-Sagittarius.

Precession moves the tropical-seasonal zodiac by the vernal equinox, but the slow movement of precession is guilty of slowly shifting this equinox point of 0 degrees Aries at march 20th away from the Sidereal-fixed star zodiac by 1 degree every 72 years.  Multiply that out by about 26,000 years and that is how long it would take for the two beginning points on the zodiac to return the same position.

As of now, the two zodiacs are approximately 24 degrees apart – making this venus/jupiter conjunction tropically occur at 20 degrees Capricorn, and Sidereally (astronomically) at 16 degrees Sagittarius.

Both Zodiacs are equally as valid, as astrologers use both tropical and sidereal, but astronomers use the argument that the tropical zodiac is invalid due to it’s movement away from the astronomical fixed point.  The yearly cycle of the Sun’s movement throughout the seasons creating zeniths and nadirs in daylight and 4 very distinguishable seasons along with a traceable analemma.

Regardless of the audience, on the evening of November 30th and December 1st, come outside in the cold with a friend or family member to witness the syzygy of the night sky’s two most luminous bodies.

Spotting Constellations

The sidereal sky can confuse those who attempt to connect the dots when visualizing the constellations as vivid imagery and art.  One website Pixhaven.net has posted some beautiful night skies with both the constellations and the art associated with it.



Regulus (The Lion) & Ursa Major (The Great Bear or the Big Dipper)

Regulus (The Lion) & Ursa Major (The Great Bear or the Big Dipper)

It’s difficult to spot the constellations here, so the image below will connect the dots.




Regulus and Ursa Major Constellations

Regulus and Ursa Major Constellations



To see them together, this image overlays the constellations on top of the illustrations.  More constellations to come!



Constellations and Illustrations Overlaid

Constellations and Illustrations Overlaid