The Super Moon made a spectacular appearance around the Globe. Here are 7 amazing photos of the breathtaking event.

deliaopran:

Solar Activity In Still Images 

Is it the #Sun, or a cell? These amazing images of the Sun, captured by Alan Friedman, show in great detail last week’s intense solar activity, when the Sun was sprinkled with large spots and prominences, which appear in the photos as dark spots. Sunspots are temporary events, caused by intense magnetic activity, forming areas of reduced surface temperature. They usually appear as pairs, with each sunspot heaving the opposite magnetic pole to the other.
Sunspots expand and contract as they move across the surface of the Sun and can be as small as 16 kilometers and as large as 160,000 kilometers (100,000 mi) in diameter, making the larger ones visible from Earth without the aid of a telescope. They may also travel at relative speeds of a few hundred meters per second when they first emerge onto the solar photosphere.

Compared to last week’s intense solar activity, this week’s sun is almost blank, with low activity and a quiet solar disk.

#Stargazing: Guide to #Planets#Stars and #Constellations for the week of July 14 - 20, 2014

In mid-July, the sky is filled with bright stars. From remote places, with little artificial illumination, you can see the beautiful arch of the Milky way stretching across the sky. It looks as if it rises from the Sagittarius constellation and sinks in darkness below Cassiopeia.

The #Moon reached its full phase on Saturday, and now it’s waning, moving toward a new moon. 

#Venus as the Morning Star & #Mercury

If you are an early waker, or a late sleeper, you can catch Venus rising about two hours before sunrise, in the eastern sky. It is the most brilliant star in sky, and if you look below, you can find Mercury, the innermost planet, shining at 0 magnitude. With large binoculars you can spot the tiny planet, if the sky is dark enough. 

#Mars & #Saturn 

You may have already noticed the beautiful pair of “stars” formed by Mars and Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, and the 15th brightest star in the night sky. They rise in southwest, at nightfall, and stay visible until midnight. There is a visible color contrast between the red Mars and the blue giant Spica. 

Saturn lies in the constellation Libra, shining at magnitude 0.4, being brighter than any star in Libra. 

Brightest Stars in July

The three brightest stars in the summer sky make up the Great Summer Triangle. The asterism defined by #Vega#Altair and #Deneb, lies overhead at mid-northern latitudes during the summer months. It can also be visible in the southern hemisphere, where it appears upside down and low in the sky during the winter months.
The three stars which form the triangle, are found in three different constellations. Vega, the brightest star in Lyra, shines intensely, next to the other four stars of the constellation, which form a diamond-shaped pattern. Deneb marks the tail of the Cygnus, the Swan, constellation, also known as the Northern Cross. Altair is in Aquila, and is the southernmost star of the asterism. 

Some of the Best Summer Sky Constellations 

Maybe one of the most beautiful constellations, #CoronaBorealis, is visible in the northern hemisphere in summer, between Hercules and Bootes. Its name is Latin for “northern crown”, a name inspired by its shape; its main stars form a semicircular arc. It represents the crown that Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, wore at her wedding. Her ball of thread helped Theseus defeat the Minotaur, and he gave her the crown when they married. The crown was created by the supreme goldsmith, Hephaestus. The brightest star is Alphecca, which shines like a jewel in the tip of the crown. 

#Hercules is best seen during the summer in the northern hemisphere. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today. It is the fifth largest of the modern constellations, but not that easy to observe, because it doesn’t have first or second magnitude stars. You can find it by looking between Draco and Ophiuchus.

#Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, is best seen in summer in the northern hemisphere. It is located between Aquila, Serpens and Hercules, northwest of the center of the Milky Way. The southern part lies between Scorpius to the west and Sagittarius to the east. Ophiuchus is depicted as a man grasping a serpent; the interposition of his body divides the snake constellation Serpens into two parts, Serpens Caput and Serpens Cauda, which are nonetheless counted as one constellation.
The brightest stars in Ophiuchus include Ras Alhague, the head of the serpent charmer, and Sabik, the preceding one. Other bright stars in the constellation include β Ophiuchi, Cebalrai, or heart of the shepherd, and λ Ophiuchi, or Marfik, the elbow.

#Draco, meaning dragon in latin, held special significance in the past. About 4000 years ago, it was the location of the pole star, as Ursa Minor is today. Thuban, or Alpha Draconis, was the north pole star in ancient times. Due to the Earth’s precession, the pole has now shifted to Polaris. Draco was the guardian of the star that never moves, the celestial pole. Draco is located very close to the celestial pole, which makes it circumpolar. It is visible throughout the night. During the course of the year, it rotates upside down and back again. Draco contains one Messier object, M102, which is an edge-on galaxy with a dark dust lane.

The zodiacal constellation of #Scorpius, the Scorpion, can be seen in summer from the northern hemisphere, but is low in the sky and is best seen from the southern hemisphere or southern United States. It has a distinct “J” shape, also described as a fishhook. It lies between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. This constellation is home to the red supergiant star known as Antares, the rival of Mars.
 (8 photos)
July’s Full Thunder Moon, the first Super Moon in a series of threeThis weekend, on July 12, we have the first Full Super Moon of 2014’s three full super moons. That means that the Full Moon will be as close as it can get to Earth. This Full Moon is the first one after the summer solstice, and between its center and the Earth’s center will be a distance of about 361,863 kilometers. This point, when the moon is closest to the Earth during a month, is called perigee. When the full moon falls within the perigee time, it is a Super Moon, and it means the Moon will look really big and bright. This effect can be enhanced if you are viewing the Moon near a horizon or through trees and other foreground objects. The North American tribes used to call July’s Full Moon “the Buck Moon”, because during this month the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.

July’s Full Thunder Moon, the first Super Moon in a series of three

This weekend, on July 12, we have the first Full Super Moon of 2014’s three full super moons. That means that the Full Moon will be as close as it can get to Earth. This Full Moon is the first one after the summer solstice, and between its center and the Earth’s center will be a distance of about 361,863 kilometers. This point, when the moon is closest to the Earth during a month, is called perigee. When the full moon falls within the perigee time, it is a Super Moon, and it means the Moon will look really big and bright. This effect can be enhanced if you are viewing the Moon near a horizon or through trees and other foreground objects. 
The North American tribes used to call July’s Full Moon “the Buck Moon”, because during this month the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.

Summer Solstice 2014: The Longest Day of the Year

Saturday, in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year. The longest day of 2014 arrives on Saturday, June 21 at 6:51 a.m. EDT.

Solstice comes from the Latin words ‘sol’ - sun, and ‘sistere’ - to stand still, meaning the day when the sun stands still. During the northern summer solstice, the sun stops its northward motion and begins heading south.Today, due to the fact that the Earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the Sun, the North Pole is tipped closer to the sun than any other day in 2014. Actually throughout the entire summer the North Pole stays in full sunlight all day long and this is the reason why the Arctic is called the land of the Midnight Sun. After the Summer Solstice, the sun starts to sink towards the horizon.

While it’s the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, in the Southern Hemisphere it’s the beginning of winter. Antarctica, at the bottom of the Earth, is currently isolated by winter storms and perpetual darkness.

The summer solstice is recognized and often celebrated in many cultures around the world, in both the past and present. Although there are differences between cultures, there are also some striking similarities. Bonfires are set on hilltops. People dance around the fires. In many places, after the fire has died away and only the hot coals are remaining, children will be lifted across the coals to be blessed and cleansed by the smoke. And many different places have monuments designed so that during the solstice, they will line up with the sun.

* Celebrating the Summer Solstice *

The Chinese mark the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light. 

In Ancient Egypt, summer solstice was the most important day of the year. The sun was at its highest and the Nile River was beginning to rise. Ra, the Sun deity, is one of the gods honored at the time of the Summer Solstice along with Horus.The Great Pyramids was built so that the sun, when viewed from the Sphinx, sets precisely between two of the pyramids on the summer solstice. 

The Celts and Slavs celebrated the first day of summer by lighting bonfires to increase the sun’s energy. 

In Russian and Ukrainian mythology, the evening before the solstice is the only time that ferns bloom. Because finding a fern flower is supposed be a sign of future wealth, many people will be out in the forests and gardens looking for this lucky sign. 

The name for the festival of the summer solstice in Druidry is Alban Hefin, which means ‘The Light of the Shore’. Many people make an annual pilgrimage to the ancient site of Stonhenge, on England’s Salisbury Plain, to celebrate the first day of summer. Stonehenge has been associated with the winter and summer solstices for about 5,000 years. Observers in the center of the standing stones can watch the summer solstice sun rise directly over the Heel Stone, which stands just outside Stonehenge’s famous circle.

Prior to the arrival of Christianity to northern Europe, cultures celebrated the arrival of the June solstice because it was seen as one of the few times of the year when magic was at its most powerful. When Europe became mostly Christian the festivals stayed but turned into a celebration of St John the Baptist. To this day, Christians in many parts of the world celebrate St John’s Day, which takes place on 24th June. 

The Summer Solstice is a time to be happy. It is a time to remove unwanted things from your life. It is a time to dance and sing and spread joy and be filled with love.

musicantarctica:

Poetically beautiful combinations between nature and sound waves by Anna Marinenko

Full Strawberry Moon Tonight’s Moon will be in its full phase shortly after midnight. Although we saw a full looking like Moon last night, only tonight the Moon will be full, 100%, and that occurs only for a moment, at exactely 12:11 a.m. EDT, or 04:11 GMT, the instant when the Sun, the Earth and the Moon will align on a straight line - the Moon is in opposition with the Sun, with the Earth in the middle. The month of June’s full Moon’s name is the Full Strawberry Moon. June’s Full Strawberry Moon got its name because the Algonquin tribes knew it as a signal to gather ripening fruit. Europeans have dubbed it the Rose Moon, while other cultures named it the Hot Moon for the beginning of the summer heat. It’s also known as the “Honey Moon”, in recognition of a pagan wedding tradition of drinking honey-based liquor. Other names for this Full Moon are: Moon of Horses, Lovers’ Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Aerra Litha (Before Lithia), Brachmanoth (Break Month), Rose Moon, and Moon of Making Fat.Universe Today says that a Full Moon falling on Friday the 13th in June is typically a rare occurrence. According to the outlet, the last June Friday the 13th Full Moon happened on June 13, 1919 while the next after this year’s June Friday the 13th Full Moon is set to occur on June 13, 2098.Image credit: Scott Syring

Full Strawberry Moon 

Tonight’s Moon will be in its full phase shortly after midnight. Although we saw a full looking like Moon last night, only tonight the Moon will be full, 100%, and that occurs only for a moment, at exactely 12:11 a.m. EDT, or 04:11 GMT, the instant when the Sun, the Earth and the Moon will align on a straight line - the Moon is in opposition with the Sun, with the Earth in the middle. 
The month of June’s full Moon’s name is the Full Strawberry Moon. June’s Full Strawberry Moon got its name because the Algonquin tribes knew it as a signal to gather ripening fruit. Europeans have dubbed it the Rose Moon, while other cultures named it the Hot Moon for the beginning of the summer heat. It’s also known as the “Honey Moon”, in recognition of a pagan wedding tradition of drinking honey-based liquor. Other names for this Full Moon are: Moon of Horses, Lovers’ Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Aerra Litha (Before Lithia), Brachmanoth (Break Month), Rose Moon, and Moon of Making Fat.
Universe Today says that a Full Moon falling on Friday the 13th in June is typically a rare occurrence. According to the outlet, the last June Friday the 13th Full Moon happened on June 13, 1919 while the next after this year’s June Friday the 13th Full Moon is set to occur on June 13, 2098.
Image credit: Scott Syring

Astounding fluorescent body painting revealed through the use of black light, by John Poppleton.

deliaopran:

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” 
― C.G. Jung

 The Red Book, a.k.a. Liber Novus: A Window Into Jung’s Dreams

Solar Eclipses Effects On Wildlife A solar eclipse is a rare and uncommon event, so when we get the chance to witness one, we tend to focus most of our attention on the Sun, and less to how wildlife around us responds to totality. The circadian rhythm is the most important biological rhythm in nature, and its biggest factor is the day/night, light/dark cycle. Although many organisms have a built-in mechanism for dealing with daily rhythms (instinctive you would say in animals), these rhythms can be altered by environmental factors. During a total solar eclipse, some animals have been observed to be responsive to the twilight imitation of totality. As a general rule, diurnal animals start behaving as night has come, and nocturnal animals get active.As the New Moon passes in front of the Sun blocking out the light, nature seems to get really confused. Birds stop flying and singing, crowding together in trees, as they believe it is time to go to bed. Flowers that open during the day and close during the night will close, while night flowers will bloom in day, and most of the animals become quiet, anxious and confused, like they would before a storm. Bees become disoriented and stop flying. All of nature seems still and quiet for this brief moment of daytime darkness. During solar eclipses behavioral changes have been noticed in fish, who are going down at the bottom of the water, and hiding themselves in groups. In a study conducted in Mexico during a 1991 total solar eclipse, observers examined the behavior of colonial orb-weaving spiders. At the totality of the eclipse, many of the spiders started dismantling their webs - save for those that were being artificially illuminated. The majority of spiders that had deconstructed their webs started reassembling them when the post-eclipse brightening occurred. Here is another interesting study done during a 1984 solar eclipse, on a group of captive chimpanzees. The apes were visually monitored commencing two days prior to the eclipse, and for a day following. As the darkness of the eclipse began and temperatures started to decline, female chimpanzees, including those with infants, ascended their climbing structure, eventually followed by others. The chimps stared toward the eclipse. “One juvenile stood upright and gestured in the direction of the sun and moon,” the researchers noted in their abstract. After the eclipse, the chimps gradually dispersed. The researchers did not detect the behaviors the chimps displayed during the maximum eclipse at any other time of the study.When the eclipse is over, there is still an acute sense of confusion among the animals, but apparently everything goes back to normality.Sources: http://science.opposingviews.com/animals-reaction-solar-eclipse-3503.html | http://www.eclipse-chasers.com/wildlife01.html |http://www.bangkokpost.com/print/208789Image credit: http://www.new-wallpapers.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/eclipse-Animals.jpg

Solar Eclipses Effects On Wildlife 

A solar eclipse is a rare and uncommon event, so when we get the chance to witness one, we tend to focus most of our attention on the Sun, and less to how wildlife around us responds to totality. 
The circadian rhythm is the most important biological rhythm in nature, and its biggest factor is the day/night, light/dark cycle. Although many organisms have a built-in mechanism for dealing with daily rhythms (instinctive you would say in animals), these rhythms can be altered by environmental factors. During a total solar eclipse, some animals have been observed to be responsive to the twilight imitation of totality. As a general rule, diurnal animals start behaving as night has come, and nocturnal animals get active.
As the New Moon passes in front of the Sun blocking out the light, nature seems to get really confused. Birds stop flying and singing, crowding together in trees, as they believe it is time to go to bed. Flowers that open during the day and close during the night will close, while night flowers will bloom in day, and most of the animals become quiet, anxious and confused, like they would before a storm. Bees become disoriented and stop flying. All of nature seems still and quiet for this brief moment of daytime darkness. 
During solar eclipses behavioral changes have been noticed in fish, who are going down at the bottom of the water, and hiding themselves in groups. 
In a study conducted in Mexico during a 1991 total solar eclipse, observers examined the behavior of colonial orb-weaving spiders. At the totality of the eclipse, many of the spiders started dismantling their webs - save for those that were being artificially illuminated. The majority of spiders that had deconstructed their webs started reassembling them when the post-eclipse brightening occurred. 
Here is another interesting study done during a 1984 solar eclipse, on a group of captive chimpanzees. The apes were visually monitored commencing two days prior to the eclipse, and for a day following. As the darkness of the eclipse began and temperatures started to decline, female chimpanzees, including those with infants, ascended their climbing structure, eventually followed by others. The chimps stared toward the eclipse. “One juvenile stood upright and gestured in the direction of the sun and moon,” the researchers noted in their abstract. After the eclipse, the chimps gradually dispersed. The researchers did not detect the behaviors the chimps displayed during the maximum eclipse at any other time of the study.
When the eclipse is over, there is still an acute sense of confusion among the animals, but apparently everything goes back to normality.

Sources: http://science.opposingviews.com/animals-reaction-solar-eclipse-3503.html | http://www.eclipse-chasers.com/wildlife01.html |http://www.bangkokpost.com/print/208789

Image credit: http://www.new-wallpapers.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/eclipse-Animals.jpg

musicantarctica:

All night (imaginary) owls in Antarctica are still transfixed after experiencing the glowing ring of fire.

musicantarctica:

All night (imaginary) owls in Antarctica are still transfixed after experiencing the glowing ring of fire.

deliaopran:

First Photos of the April 29, 2014, Solar Eclipse 


A partial solar eclipse took place earlier this morning, in Australia, where viewers were able to catch the “crescent” sun setting. The peak of the eclipse, which was “a ring of fire” annular eclipse, happened above an uninhabited area of Antarctica, so no one witnessed it. These are some of the first photos snapped by the lucky stargazers who witnessed the dramatic event:
 

First Solar Eclipse of 2014 Occurs Tomorrow, April 29

Eclipses are times when we experience one of the most fascinating celestial spectacles, in which the Sun and the Moon play equally important roles, while their discs perfectly cover each other. We might be used to the fact that the enormous Sun and the tiny Moon appear to have the same size when we see them in the sky, but that is actually a truly remarkable event, because the Sun, which is 400 times bigger than the Moon, is also about 400 times farther away, so their discs seem to have equal sizes. As far as we know, such a splendid show, this ‘cosmic coincidence’ that makes possible total eclipses, can only be witnessed from planet Earth. We don’t know other planets in the solar system or in other star systems where a moon and the star exhibit these coordinates. That does not mean that in an alien world a similar event can not happen, it is just that until now, we have not been aware of it. 

The first solar eclipse of 2014 occurs tomorrow, April 29, and it won’t be a totality. Those living in Australia and some penguins in Antarctica will be able to witness the celestial event. The Annular Phase of the eclipse, which happens when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun, will be visible only from a remote and inaccessible area of Antarctica. This phase is also known as ‘The Ring of Fire Eclipse’, because the Sun looks like a bright incandescent aura surrounding the Moon. 
A partial eclipse, with the Sun only partially obscured by the Moon, will be visible by those living in Australia. In Southern Australia, about 50% of the Sun’s surface will be blocked by the Moon, while in Northern Australia only a tiny portion of the solar disk will be eclipsed by the Moon. 
Solar eclipses occur when the Sun, Earth and Moon are in a straight line, with the Moon between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks (“occults”) the Sun. This can happen only at New Moon, when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth in an alignment referred to as syzygy. In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon. In partial and annular eclipses only part of the Sun is obscured.
For those who are not that fortunate to see the eclipse live, there are several sites broadcasting the event:http://events.slooh.com/stadium/annular-solar-eclipse-australia-april-26-2014,http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#.U12XfvmSzl8

illuminatizeitgeist:

“The soul has no limits.”
—  Heraclitus

illuminatizeitgeist:

“The soul has no limits.”

Heraclitus

musicantarctica:

The Music of Milkomeda

One day, in about 4 billion years, a cosmic galaxy collision is predict to occur between the Milky Way and Andromeda. What will the music sound like in 4 billion years?