Category Archives: Astronomy

For the Love of Stars and planets!

Here is a photo – fresh off my digital camera – taken just over an hour ago. I’ve labeled the stellar objects you can see.   There’s Orion’s belt (of the Orion the Hunter), a waxing moon (1st quarter), Venus, and Jupiter (now lessening in brightness, and sets by about 21hrs GMT in London). [we are now in British Summer time..  so I have given GMT].

Remember, about few weeks ago (14march’12) there was a conjunction of Venus & Jupiter..  and few days ago, the moon had conjunctions with – first jupiter, then venus.  Moon moves fast ofcourse.  Yesterday it was practically next to (left of) Venus. You can see ho wmuch it has moved in just 1 day.  The distance between Jupiter & venus is also widening..

Moon-venus-Jupiter

I must confess, after tracking these objects (just oberving every day or so and taking photos) and watching their conjunctions (seeing them right next to one another), I am in a strange way, quite sad to see them drift apart. It’s quite a bizzare feeling.  I mean, they are just planets, right? They move about – that’s what they do.  It’s not like they were some close friends of mine who are now going away – or is it?   well, that’s the sort of feeling I have been getting, as I watch them obsessively every night, almost (as long as there’s no clouds – and we are so lucky that it’s very much cold cloudless skies these  nights!).

These photos (I’ll put more ) show just one thing-  all you need is a small tripod, a clear enough sky, and a digital (ordinary) camera that has either night setting, or manual setting, where you can adjust the exposure/ `film’ sensitivity  (ISO setting..  goes from about 100 or 200 for ordinary to 400 or more for fast moving or dim objects). Also you need a timmer setting.   I set these ones mostly for 2 seconds, or 10seconds…press the button, and move away…so that within 2 sec, the camera triggers, keeps one it’s shutter for about 5 seconds, and shuts again..   In that time, you don’t touch it!!   It avoids hand-shakes..  and trust me, otherwise, those tiny dots (stars) will look like blurry footballs..!!
I’ve been as astrologer, looking at horoscopes and start positions on a birth chart for over 2 decades. I have had an interest in science, technology, space etc for even longer – close to  3 and a half decades..   But I must admit – only now, that those have started to propel into a highly rewarding hobby. These past 2 months have bene thrilling..  tracking these stellar objects. Not only has it been rewarding to actually see the planets and know which ones they are, but also sitting out in the garden, setting up and taking photos..   has given me a sort of relaxation, as well as peace, and excitement about how it’s developing my photography skills..  Stargazing..  wow!

I have asked myself the question why? Well, knowing the theory is one thing. but to see with own eyes, and capture it all with own simple camera makes these things `really real’!!  It makes me feel that – yes – we humans are so tiny in a vast Universe, and if this is real, so are all the other things that we see in NASA/space photos..  Stars, constellations, black holes, supernovae, distant horizons – infinity, eternal and mystical beauty of it all.

Don’t take my word for it. Go out there and take a look.  It’s amazing..  and magical out there!!

-Mani Navasothy

ps. If you want the unmarked original of this photo.. just mail me and I’ll send it to you by e-mail. Stars belong to no one and everyone 🙂

 

Photo of Jupiter-conjunct-Venus (13March’12)

Hi all,  skies have been cloudy in London all night…but just after sun-set, I remembered to dash out and take some photos of the venus-jupiter conjunction.   I used a fujifil digital camera, set on 3megapixel. Camera mounted on a simple tri-pod, then set on 2 second timer.. to avoid hand-shakes!.    Did some close up photos too.  Enjoy.   -Mani

(ps. these 2 planets form one tip of the grand-trine, with Pluto & Mars on the other 2 tips!)

How Mercury retrograde showed up last night

 

The Astrology webinar last night (Venus trines & transits) went …well, almost 🙂

I had been planning the slides all day (previous day) and yesterday started creating them on my graphics package.. The art & creative process is enjoyable and rewarding in it self for me.

All was well, till the evening, when at one point I picked up a sudden energy.. I shook it away and continued, but then things started to get frantic, and a bit disruptive with technology. I think that culminated much later – suddenly – when my phone-link (and the phone-link of webinar tech /host) both got cut off …just about 1 hr into the webinar.  Luckily we had covered all the basics relevant to the webinar, and were doing last sections and future topics.  My partner who was listening in live in north london via website also said she had experienced tech problems.

We did manage to recover..  I think the Hostess Ivy was off aiar for 30 seconds. She came online and explained some features, and texted me to re-log in. And I was online within 2 minutes and covered the missing bit before progressing with further 25+ minutes!

I could get all upset about this technical glitch (Ivy had never had one in 6 yrs she has been running webinars. This was the first it seem).

But thing is, I am actually smiling to myself.  Yesterday was when mercury started retrograde. While I had been pre-occupied with the trines, I had not paid much attention to this, so the universe reminded me in a sharp way. But more importantly, it was a real live `evidence’ of the mishaps that mercury retrograde can bring..  So in a way, during  an astrology webinar,  we actually got a bit of `real live demo’ of the astrology influence!

Okay jubilation of proof aside, we do have the next 3 weeks of mercury retrograde. So it’s good to double check agreements, plans, contracts, appointments, transport time tables, and ..back-up computer files etc.

Stellar wishes to all.

-Mani 🙂

 

Jupiter-Moon-Venus photo

Two days ago, I was out in the local park, doing some filming (some video tutorials for the e-witch course). And on my way back home, looked up and saw the crescent moon & venus, and a little further away the planet Jupiter.

I was able to identify them as such because the ephemeris gives planetary positions, as well as moon positions for every day. And on some occasions, when the moon moves closer to planets, it’s easy to work out which bright `dot’ is a planet and not one of the many hundreds of stars in the sky.

So here’s the Jupiter (top left)  1’5″ Taurus, and crescent moon (right) ..about 4′ Pisces and Venus ( closer to moon) at 13’37” Pisces.

Photo taken with just an ordinary digital camera, on 25th January 2012, around 5pm (GMT) from Beddington Park, South London.

You can still see these stellar objects in the night sky.

By the way, 14th March’12 is going to be very special…that’s when Jupiter and venus conjunct (9’37” Taurus).  Moon will be wanning then and in Sagittarius.  (On that day,  there is also a venus-trine-mars, venus-trine-pluto, mars-trine-jupiter…It’s going to be a very auspicious day… magically, astrologically).

ps. If you are going to use this photo, can you pls mention that it was taken by `Mani Navasothy’? Thanks.

pps. The Eclipse Magic e-workbook (with full transcript of the webinar added) is coming along..  Will be published in a few months, in time for the next set of Eclipses.  There ‘s also some info in it – magical workings, for the upcoming venus-transit of the Sun (happening on 6th June).

-Mani

Jupiter-Moon (aka Happy New Year 2012)

Happy New Year!

First blog of the year 2012 – and so many thoughts and observations to blog about. Where to start?

Okay this isn’t exactly in the chronological order – but then, they say neither is Time itself – that is to say, Time is not linear??! And Space-Time is warped and the closest distance between 2 points is not a straight line, but a curved line etc.

Back to the New Year. Or rather to the picture.  This one was taken on 2nd Jan’12, at 23.59hrs.  It’s been brightened slightly, contrast increased, and obviously reduced in size.   But apart from that, what you see is the waxing moon and the planet Jupiter – no special effects. Just a digital camera set to 3 Megapixels, put on 10 seconds timer to reduce any shakes, sat on a normal ladder outside, and put on night mode (takes an exposure of about 4-5 seconds I think).

Astrologers say Jupiter and Moon are both auspicious, and Venus – so am posting this picture as the first entry of 2012  (I saw all 3 a few days later at the same time…albeit separated by half a sky.  They will be conjunct in a few moons, so should appear right next to each other).

I’ll put a reminder nearer the time.  Meanwhile, around 24th January, we should see Moon with Venus. Am hoping for a photo like this for that event.  If you have a digital camera, just go out there and take it.  Astronomy starts easy!!

-Mani

Stellar Event of 2012 – Transit of Venus

TRANSIT of VENUS    (6th June 2012)

The biggest astronomical event of 2012 – that both Scientists and Astrologers are talking about – is the Venus transit of the Sun!   This is where the planet Venus is going to be `seen’ passing in front of the Sun.  (It’s like a Solar Eclipse – where the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun and blocks out the Sun temporarily..  But because of the stellar distances involved, Venus will be seen as a little spot moving across the width of the Sun.  (Warning: do not look at this with naked eyes or any optical devices. It will blind you). It happens every 100+ years or so, and so is very unique.  It happens in pairs – and what we are about to see in 2012 is the 2nd of the pair (first of this pair was in 2004, and lasted 6 hrs!).  Next one will be in the year 2117 – and none of us alive today will see it again!!

“Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena. They occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years .”  Says the Wikipedia article.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transit_of_Venus

I am in the process of writing about the astrological symbology of this, as well as the Eclipse-Magic that can be done centered around the Transit of Venus.  The `Eclipse-Magic e-workbook‘ will be published in early 2012.   Keep an eye on my website  http://www.craftandmagic.org/ for details of this in January.

-Mani

ps. Reminder:   BBC Tv’s  Astronomy show  `Stargazing Live!’    returns in January 2012  – for 3 nights – 16th, 17th & 18th January (8pm on BBC2). It covers the surface of the Moon, our galaxy the Milky Way, and Planets beyond Solar system (is here life out there?!)   I’ll do a reminder nearer the time.