Explanation:Observe the Moon each night and its visible sunlit portion will gradually change. In phases progressing from New Moon to Full Moon to New Moon again, a lunar cycle or synodic month is completed in about 29.5 days. They look full, but top left to bottom right these panels do show the range of lunar phases for a complete synodic month during August 2019 from Ragusa, Sicily, Italy, planet Earth. For this lunar cycle project the panels organize images of the lunar phases in pairs. Each individual image is paired with another image separated by about 15 days, or approximately half a synodic month. As a result the opposite sunlit portions complete the lunar disk and the shadow line at the boundary of lunar night and day, the terminator, steadily marches across the Moon’s familiar nearside.
Explanation: How come the crescent Moon doesn’t look like this? For one reason, because your eyes can’t simultaneously discern bright and dark regions like this. Called earthshine or the da Vinci glow, the unlit part of a crescent Moon is visible but usually hard to see because it is much dimmer than the sunlit arc. In our digital age, however, the differences in brightness can be artificially reduced. The featured image is actually a digital composite of 15 short exposures of the bright crescent, and 14 longer exposures of the dim remainder. The origin of the da Vinci glow, as explained by Leonardo da Vinci about 510 years ago, is sunlight reflected first by the Earth to the Moon, and then back from the Moon to the Earth.
Neutrinos are elementary particles, just like electrons that buzz about atomic nuclei or quarks that combine to make protons and neutrons. They are fundamental building blocks of matter, but they don’t remain trapped inside atoms. Also unlike their subatomic cousins, neutrinos carry no electric charge, have a tiny mass, and hardly ever interact with other particles. A typical neutrino can travel through a light- year’s worth of lead without interacting with any atoms. Therein lies the snag: neutrinos are pathologically shy. Their severe reluctance to mingle makes these particles hard to pin down, so neutrino hunting is a tricky business. But every so often, a neutrino does collide with something, such as a proton inside a water molecule, essentially by accident. It is to raise the odds of accidental collisions, and thus to increase our chances of observing neutrinos, that scientists build extremely large detectors like IceCube
You still can’t see neutrinos directly, but you can get a whiff of their presence from the clues they leave behind. On the rare occasions that neutrinos do interact with matter, they produce charged particles such as muons that physicists can detect with their instruments. But distinguishing neutrino signals from unrelated “noise” poses a challenge: cosmic rays, fast- moving particles that arrive from deep space, also produce muons, which might be confused with muons produced by neutrino interactions. Neutrino hunters place their equipment deep underground, or under a thick layer of ice, so that cosmic ray muons cannot get through. As Janet Conrad of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explains, “If you’re trying to listen to a whisper, you don’t want a lot of noise around.” -Ray Jayawardhana, The Neutrino Hunters
Explanation: The center of our Milky Way galaxy can be found some 26,000 light-years away toward the constellation Sagittarius. Even on a dark night, you can’t really see it though. Gaze in that direction, and your sight-line is quickly obscured by intervening interstellar dust. In fact, dark dust clouds, glowing nebulae, and crowded starfieds are packed along the fertile galactic plane and central regions of our galaxy. This annotated view, a mosaic of dark sky images, highlights some favorites, particularly for small telescope or binocular equipped skygazers. The cropped version puts the direction to the galactic center on the far right. It identifies well-known Messier objects like the Lagoon nebula (M8), the Trifid (M20), star cloud M24, and some of E.E. Barnard’s dark markings on the sky. A full version extends the view to the right toward the constellation Scorpius, in all covering over 20 degrees across the center of the Milky Way.
Explanation: Our Moon’s appearance changes nightly. As the Moon orbits the Earth, the half illuminated by the Sun first becomes increasingly visible, then decreasingly visible. The featured video animates images taken by NASA’s Moon-orbiting Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to show all 12 lunations that appear this year, 2018. A single lunation describes one full cycle of our Moon, including all of its phases. A full lunation takes about 29.5 days, just under a month (moon-th). As each lunation progresses, sunlight reflects from the Moon at different angles, and so illuminates different features differently. During all of this, of course, the Moon always keeps the same face toward the Earth. What is less apparent night-to-night is that the Moon‘s apparent size changes slightly, and that a slight wobble called a libration occurs as the Moon progresses along its elliptical
A very full Moon rose over Manhattan’s Upper Eastside on June 28, known to some as the Strawberry Moon. Near the horizon, the warm yellow lunar disk was a bit ruffled and dimmed by a long sight-line through dense, hazy atmosphere. Still it fit well with traffic and lights along East 96th street in this urban astroimage. The telephoto shot was (safely) taken from elevated ground looking east-southeast from Central Park, planet Earth. Of course, the East 96th street moon was the closest Full Moon to this year’s northern summer solstice.
The planets play a key role in the design of who we are. In fact, everything is based on the movements and impact of the planetary spheres.
The key to understanding the impact of something as distant as a planet on our lives is a tiny, subatomic particle known as the neutrino. Neutrinos are extremely fine matter produced by the nuclear reactions within stars. All the stars, including our own Sun, are producing neutrinos all the time. The stars out in space are constantly beaming these neutrinos at us, and being made of such fine substance, the neutrinos can pass through our bodies, as well as the body of the Earth. Imagine then, how the movements of the planets around our Sun refract the neutrino information as it passes into us.
Planets vary greatly in density and makeup. Some consist of solid rock, whilst others consist purely of layers of gases. Every planet also has its own mythology as perceived by man. Our mythologies are, and always have been, our method of attuning to our greater body.
The planets are our local programming agents. This is why we have always seen them as the gods in our mythologies down the ages. Every planet lends its flavor to our nature.
Sun – Our Light – Yang
Here on Earth, scientists have estimated that 70% of the neutrinos that pass through the Earth come from our Sun. The remainder comes from either Jupiter or the stars in deep space. Thus, 70% of all the neutrino information that we receive is seen in the position of our Sun and Earth. The Sun represents the primary yang force of our nature. It is the archetype of the Father, just as the Earth is the Mother. The Sun and Earth are the prime yin/yang within us all. The Sun creates the electromagnetic field of the solar cell in which we live. The design Sun represents the bio-genetic themes inherited from our father. If you look at your own design Sun, you will see the theme that you have inherited from your father. The personality Sun is the window through which the very light of who we are shines out on the world. Read more
“A Note About Sky Phenomena
The known universe has been around 14 billion years — Earth 4.5 billion years. If we’re lucky, we live 100 years. When anything happens in the sky while you are alive, it is not likely rare in the cosmos. It’s not even likely rare in your lifetime. But our collective urge to think so is strong. This state of mind exists deep within us, and drives all urges to believe that our fate lies in the stars and not within ourselves.
Further, there can be events in your life that don’t repeat for hundreds or even thousands of years. But those tend to be categories of events that repeat hundreds, even thousands of times in your life. For example, the precise configuration of all eight planets in this moment will not repeat for nearly 150,000 years. But the same is true for yesterday’s configuration of planets. And tomorrow’s configuration of planets.
So it’s possible for an event to be rare, but wholly uninteresting.
A Note About the Moon
“Blue” moons (the second full moon in a calendar month) occur, on average, every two and a half to three years. An event more frequent than the Summer Olympics. But nobody ever declares “Watch out for a rare Olympics coming up!”
Total Lunar Eclipses are more frequent than that, occurring, on average, once every two years or so. Some years have two. More frequent than any Olympics at all. Occasionally, the eclipsed Moon will take on a deep red-Rose color from sunlight filtering through Earth’s atmosphere that disperses into Earth’s shadow on the darkened full Moon. Note that our collective morbid mindsets have embraced the term “Blood Moon” instead.
Once every lunar month the Moon is at perigee — the closest to Earth in the Moon’s oval orbit. Perigee coincides with the day of a Full moon about once every 30 months — 2.5 years. Some people who are adjective-challenged call this a “super moon”. Even though a such a moon is only 1% bigger than the full Moon that follows it a month later.
On January 31, 2018, all three events occur on the same calendar day: Blue Moon, Lunar Eclipse, Perigee. You get that every fifteen years or so on average. Although many time zones on Earth (all of Australia and New Zealand included) will not enjoy the Blue Moon since they will instead experience the Perigee Eclipse on calendar day February 1st.
For observing details on the Lunar Eclipse ( the only event of any real astronomical significance on January 31 ) I now, and often reference the Earth & Sky website.
As Always, keep looking up.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson, New York City
RCW 114: A Dragon’s Heart in Ara
Explanation: Large and dramatically shaped, this cosmic cloud spans nearly 7 degrees or 14 full moons across planet Earth’s sky toward the southern constellation Ara. Difficult to image, the filamentary apparition is cataloged as RCW 114 and traced in this telescopic mosaic by the telltale reddish emission of ionized hydrogen atoms. In fact, RCW 114 has been recognized as a supernova remnant. Its extensive filaments of emission are produced as the still expanding shockwave from the death explosion of a massive star sweeps up the surrounding interstellar medium. Consistent estimates place its distance at over 600 light-years, indicating a diameter of about 100 light-years or so. Light from the supernova explosion that created RCW 114 would have reached Earth around 20,000 years ago. A neutron star or pulsar has recently been identified as the collapsed remains of the stellar core.