Tag Archives: NASA

Encounter with Pluto..soon (in 2015!)

Countdown to PlutoI came across this marvelous news..!   NASA’s fastest spacecraft `New Horizon’ launched in 2006, has been hurtling towards planet Pluto at 1 million miles per day…! Closest approach to Pluto is next year (July, 2015)..but will start taking photos …(tons I imagine) from next January 2015 onwards…!  So we are just under a year away from this event!

Bit of astrology :   The 7 sharp aspects between Pluto and Uranus (squares) will be complete by March 2015..  so it is interesting that humanity’s first proper closest look at Pluto comes just at the end of it..  Uranus is a planet that rules technology..and innovation.. (the `Age of Aquarian planet’) ..and Pluto symbolises smallest things that create the biggest impact..  So by July 2015, I’d say (as an Astrologer), we on Earth will have had some revolutionary changes…at least in our own lives..  if not on a global level..

Right then..  Here’s that NASA post from  http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/scitech/display.cfm?ST_ID=2627

“One of the fastest spacecraft ever built — NASA’s New Horizons — is hurtling through the void at nearly one million miles per day. Launched in 2006, it has been in flight longer than some missions last, and it is nearing its destination: Pluto.

“The encounter begins next January,” says Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute and the mission’s principal investigator. “We’re less than a year away.”

Closest approach is scheduled for July 2015 when New Horizons flies only 10,000 km from Pluto, but the spacecraft will be busy long before that date. The first step, in January 2015, is an intensive campaign of photography by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager or “LORRI.” This will help mission controllers pinpoint Pluto’s location, which is uncertain by a few thousand kilometers.

“LORRI will photograph the planet against known background star fields,” explains Stern. “We’ll use the images to refine Pluto’s distance from the spacecraft, and then fire the engines to make any necessary corrections.”

At first, Pluto and its large moon Charon will be little more than distant pinpricks-“a couple of fat pixels,” says Stern–but soon they will swell into full-fledged worlds.

By late April 2015, the approaching spacecraft will be taking pictures of Pluto that surpass the best images from Hubble. By closest approach in July 2015, a whole new world will open up to the spacecraft’s cameras. If New Horizons flew over Earth at the same altitude, it could see individual buildings and their shapes.

Stern is looking forward to one of the most exciting moments of the Space Age.

“Humankind hasn’t had an experience like this–an encounter with a new planet–in a long time,” he says. “Everything we see on Pluto will be a revelation.”

He likens New Horizons to Mariner 4, which flew past Mars in July 1965. At the time, many people on Earth, even some scientists, thought the Red Planet was a relatively gentle world, with water and vegetation friendly to life. Instead, Mariner 4 revealed a desiccated wasteland of haunting beauty. New Horizons’ flyby of Pluto will occur almost exactly 50 years after Mariner 4’s flyby of Mars-and it could shock observers just as much.

Other than a few indistinct markings seen from afar by Hubble, Pluto’s landscape is totally unexplored. Although some astronomers call Pluto a “dwarf” planet, Stern says there’s nothing small about it. “If you drove a car around the equator of Pluto, the odometer would rack up almost 5,000 miles-as far as from Manhattan to Moscow.” Such a traveler might encounter icy geysers, craters, clouds, mountain ranges, rilles and valleys, alongside alien landforms no one has ever imagined.

“There is a real possibility that New Horizons will discover new moons and rings as well,” says Stern.

Yes, Pluto could have rings. Already, Pluto has five known moons: Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. Numerical simulations show that meteoroids striking those satellites could send debris into orbit, forming a ring system that waxes and wanes over time in response to changes in bombardment.

“We’re flying into the unknown,” says Stern, “and there is no telling what we might find.”

Author: Dr. Tony Phillips
Credit: Science@NASA

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Night Sky in June 2013- what you can see (NASA video & summary)

Butterfly Nebula: Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble
Butterfly Nebula:
Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble

What’s up in the stars for June 2013?  Am talking about astronomy now, and what you can see (mostly with naked eye, and some with small telescopes).

Here’s a video from NASA, that explains all the special features for June 2013.

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=164055491   (you can also download this video for your own personal view, at the NASA site! How good are they!)

Summary of video

1. Mercury, Veus & Jupiter

Can be seen just after sunset, in the West-North-West sky (in the constellation of Gemini)

2. Meteor Shower

On 11th June. High in SouthEast sky around 4.30am.  You can see the rare `Gamma Delphinids’ meteo shower  (close to Aquila and Capricornids..is a small constellation called Delphinus).

3. Four major Asteroids

Ceres, Pallas, Vesta & Juno are the first 4 asteroids to have been discovered. All are visible this month. Ceres & Pallas near Gemini, Juno near Aquarius.

4. Asteroid 1998 QE2

This one passed by Earth not so long ago – on 31st May 2013! A medium-large telescope is needed now to see it. Look south after 9pm..in the Constellations of Libra & Ophiucus.

5. Milky Way

By the end of June, Moon is rising very late, by midnight, so that gives plenty of evening / early night  time to look at the night sky..and without the bright light of gthe moon, parts of our galaxy Milk Way can be seen..  (as a fine dust of stars in bands that are obvious to miss. I saw this some years ago and was amazed!)

By the way asteroid Watch in NASA at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch/

-Mani Navasothy

ps. The Butterfly Nebula can not be seen by naked eye or normal telescopes from Earth. I was merely sharing another beautiful image from NASA 🙂

Comet PANSTARRS (C/2011 L4) visible to naked eye in mid-March’13

Comet Panstarrs-visible to naked eye - mid-March2013   (graphics by NASA)
Comet Panstarrs-visible to naked eye – mid-March 2013 (graphics by NASA)

Comet PANSTARRS (C/2011 L4) was discovered in June 2011, and will be visible to the naked eye..in the Western horizon, just after sunset (only to people of the northern hemisphere).  It is not that bright, and will be quite low to the horizon, so an unobstructed view of the western horizon, and a clear night sky is going to be essential. Too early, and there will be too much sky light, and too late and the comet will be below horizon. So catching it is going to be tricky, says NASA.

“Comets visible to the naked eye are a rare delicacy in the celestial smorgasbord of objects in the nighttime sky. Scientists estimate that the opportunity to see one of these icy dirtballs advertising their cosmic presence so brilliantly they can be seen without the aid of a telescope or binoculars happens only once every five to 10 years. That said, there may be two naked-eye comets available for your viewing pleasure this year..” says NASA , which includes the Comet ISON that will be visible later in the year (October to late December 2013), and of course this one!

This comet  2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) bears the name of the telescopic survey that discovered it —  “Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System” (The survey is based atop the Haleakala volcano in Hawaii).

Observing comet PANSTARRS

NASA advises, “By March 8, comet PANSTARRS may be viewable for those with a totally unobstructed view of the western horizon for about 15 minutes after twilight. On March 10, it will make its closest approach to the sun about 28 million miles (45 million kilometers) away. As it continues its nightly trek across the sky, the comet may get lost in the sun’s glare but should return and be visible to the naked eye by March 12. As time marches on in the month of March, the comet will begin to fade away slowly, becoming difficult to view (even with binoculars or small telescopes) by month’s end. The comet will appear as a bright point of light with its diffuse tail pointing nearly straight up from the horizon like an exclamation point”

Astrology connection

Looking at the fact that the Comet Panstarrs is going to be visible near the moon on 12t March tells me that it’s in the area close to the start sign of Aries!  And even by 24th March, it’s visible close to the Sun’s position, that is still in the sign of Aries, as by then Sun will have moved to Aries!  (Comets are on a long orbit around the Sun, just like planets..  and as they swing past the Sun… that’s when we see them at their brightest and with the longest `tail’, as the heat of the Sun melts contents which spew out as a gas tail that glows!)

The Comet ISON visible by late October, November, December will be mainly visible in the sign of Sagitarrius, but this one is a messenger for Aries.

The New Pope  & Shivarathri connections

Interestingly, the new Pope will be elected around about the 12th March..just as this comet Panstarrs is visible and close to the Sun. And comet ISON will be closer to Earth by the 26h December (close to Christmas!).

Shivarathri (Night of Shiva) happens to be on Sunday 10th, just on the eve of the new Moon..   and of course it is all about the infinite Flames of Hindu God Shiva – the Cosmic Dancer.  The comet could be said to be a symbol of that cosmic flame!

Make what you will of  all that! Am sure the Christians and Hindus will be inspired by these synchronous events . 🙂

-Mani Navasothy

Link  

Full feature on  Comet PANSTARRS  on NASA site.

Blog on Comet ISON

New Pope- will he be the penulimate?

Shivaratri – Great Night of God Shiva

NASA Questions & Answers about Asteroid 2012 DA14

Here’s a highly valuable set of Q&A on Asteroid 2012 DA14 … provided by NASA on their page

(you know am a big fan of NASA)

-Mani Navasothy

Graphics of 2012 DA14 showing Earth flyby - image by NASA/JPL
Graphics of 2012 DA14 showing Earth flyby – image by NASA/JPL

Q: What is asteroid DA14

 A: Asteroid 2012 DA14 is a small near-Earth object – approximately 150 feet (45 meters) in diameter. On Feb. 15, 2013, the asteroid will pass by our planet at a remarkably close distance, but the asteroid’s path is understood well enough that there is no chance of a collision with the Earth.

Q: What date and what time will the asteroid be closest to Earth?

 A: Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be closest to Earth on Feb. 15 at approximately 19:24 UTC (2:24 p.m. EST/11:24 a.m. PST). This time may change by a minute or two as the asteroid is tracked on its approach and predictions are refined.

At the time of closest approach, the asteroid will be over the eastern Indian Ocean, off Sumatra — approx. latitude: -6 deg South. / longitude: 97.5 deg East.

Q: How far away will asteroid 2012 DA14 be at time of closest approach?

 A: Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be only about 17,200 miles (27,700 kilometers) above Earth’s surface at the time of closest approach on Feb 15, 2013. This distance is well outside Earth’s atmosphere, but it is inside the belt of satellites in geostationary orbit, which is located 22,200 miles (35,800 kilometers) above Earth’s surface. The close-approach distance is only about one-tenth the distance between Earth and moon. Another way to express the distance between asteroid and Earth at time of closest approach is 4.4 Earth radii from Earth’s surface – or about twice the diameter of the Earth.

Q: Could asteroid DA14 impact Earth?

 A: No. The orbit of asteroid 2012 DA14 is well understood – it will not come any closer than 17,150 miles (27,650 kilometers) above Earth’s surface during its flyby on Feb 15, 2013.

The asteroid’s orbit around the sun is roughly similar to that of Earth, and it makes relatively close approaches to our planet’s orbit twice per orbit. But, the 2013 flyby is by far the closest the asteroid will approach our planet for many decades. The next notable close approach to Earth will be on February 15, 2046, when the asteroid will pass no closer than 620,000 miles (1,000,000 kilometers) from the center-point of Earth.

While this is the closest possible distance based on observations and calculations as of February 4, 2013, future observations will refine the calculation and may increase the minimum distance of the flyby. As of Feb 9, 2013, the minimum distance is now 1.6 million km or 995,000 miles from the center of Earth. For the most current calculations for this asteroid, visit: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2012%20DA14;orb=1;cov=0;log=0;cad=1;rad=0#cad

Q: What makes 2012 DA14 special?

 A: The flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14 is the closest ever predicted Earth approach for an object this large.

Q: How long will asteroid 2012 DA14 be within the Earth/moon system?

 A: Asteroid 2012 DA14’s will be within the Earth/moon system for about 33 hours. Its orbit will bring it within the Earth/moon system (approach within one lunar distance, 237,000 miles of the Earth) on Feb. 15 at about 0300 UTC (7 p.m. PST on Thursday, Feb. 14). The asteroid will exit the Earth/moon system on Feb. 16 at about 1200 UTC (4 a.m. PST).

Q: Is there a chance that asteroid 2012 DA14 could be eclipsed by Earth?

 A: Because of its trajectory, there is no chance that asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass through Earth’s shadow.

Q: How big is asteroid 2012 DA14?

 A: Asteroid 2012 DA14 is currently estimated to be about 150 feet (45 meters) across and has an estimated mass of about 130,000 metric tons. If radar observations of this asteroid are successful, we might have a more accurate estimate of the asteroid’s size after its close approach.

Q: How fast will the asteroid be traveling at closest approach?

 A: Asteroid 2012 DA 14 is traveling at about 17,450 miles per hour (28,100 kilometers per hour), or 4.8 miles per second (7.82 kilometers per second) relative to Earth.

Q: Who discovered asteroid DA14?

 A: Asteroid 2012 DA14 was discovered by the La Sagra Sky Survey operated by the Astronomical Observatory of Mallorca in Spain on Feb. 23, 2012. The asteroid was about 2.7 million miles (4.3 million kilometers) distant when it was detected. Their observations were reported to the NASA funded Minor Planet Center, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for the International Astronomical Union, where all observations from observatories worldwide are combined to maintain the database on all known asteroids and comets in our solar system.

Q: How many asteroids are out there similar in size to asteroid DA14?

 A: Scientists believe there are approximately 500,000 near-Earth asteroids the size of 2012 DA14. Of those, less than one percent have been discovered.

Q: How many times do asteroids the size of DA14 fly this close?

 A: Scientists at NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office in Pasadena, Calif. estimate that an asteroid the size of 2012 DA14 flies this close every 40 years on average and that one will impact Earth, on average, about once in every 1,200 years.

Q: Is there a chance that asteroid DA14 will collide with one or more satellites?

 A: There is very little chance that asteroid 2012 DA14 will impact a satellite or spacecraft. Because the asteroid is approaching from below Earth, it will pass between the outer constellation of satellites located in geosynchronous orbit (22,245 miles/35,800 kilometers) and the large concentration of satellites orbiting much closer to Earth. (The International Space Station, for example, orbits at the close-in altitude of 240 miles/386 kilometers.). There are almost no satellites orbiting at the distance at which the asteroid will pass.

Q: What will asteroid DA14’s close pass do to Earth’s rotation/tides/fault lines/etc.

 A: The gravitational influence upon Earth and its inhabitants by the flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14 will be infinitesimally small.

Q: What would happen if DA14 were to impact Earth?

 A: Asteroid 2012 DA14 will not impact Earth, but if another asteroid of a size similar to that of 2012 DA14 (about 150 feet across) were to impact Earth, it would release approximately 2.5 megatons of energy in the atmosphere and would be expected to cause regional devastation.

A comparison to the impact potential of an asteroid the size of 2012 DA14 could be made to the impact of a near-Earth object that occurred in 1908 in Tuguska, Siberia. Known in the asteroid community as the “Tunguska Event,” this impact of an asteroid just slightly smaller than 2012 DA14 (approximately 100 – 130 feet/30-40 meters across) is believed to have flattened about 825 square miles (2200 square kilometers) of forest in and around the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.

Q: Can I see the asteroid during its close approach?

 A: Asteroid 2012 DA14 is small, so even though it will make a close flyby of Earth, the asteroid’s apparent magnitude is expected to peak at about only 7.4 – too dim to be viewed by the naked eye. To view the asteroid, you will need a good pair of binoculars, or even better, a moderately powered telescope.

During the closest approach, and dependant on local weather, the asteroid will be visible from parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. The asteroid will appear to be moving relatively quickly as it crosses the sky from the south to the north.

Q: What is NASA doing about asteroid 2012 DA14?

 A: As there is no chance of impact, there is nothing that needs to be done about the asteroid. However, the flyby of 2012 DA14 is a great opportunity for science. NASA’s Goldstone Solar System Radar, located in California’s Mojave Desert, will observe the asteroid on Feb. 16, 18, 19 and 20. Due to the asteroid’s small size, the radar images generated are expected to be no more than a few pixels across. It will also be observed by numerous optical observatories worldwide to attempt to determine its spin rate and composition.

Q: What is NASA doing about Near-Earth Objects?

 A: NASA has several ongoing programs regarding asteroid discovery and science.

The NASA Near Earth Object Observation (NEOO) Program detects and tracks asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using both ground- and space-based telescopes. The network of projects supported by this program, commonly called “Spaceguard,” discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them and plots their orbits to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet.

All observations from observatories worldwide are sent to the NASA funded Minor Planet Center, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for the International Astronomical Union, where they are combined to maintain the database on all known asteroids and comets in our solar system. The Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL manages the technical and scientific activities for NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program of the Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. The NEO Program Office performs more precise orbit determination on the objects, and predicts whether any will become an impact hazard to the Earth, or any other planet in the solar system. The NEOO Program also performs orbit analysis on the discovered Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) at Goddard Space Flight Center to determine which ones may become good robotic or human spaceflight destinations in the near future.

NASA’s 70-meter (230-foot) Goldstone antenna, located about 35 miles north of Barstow on the Ft. Irwin Military Base, is part of NASA’s Deep Space network. The antenna is one of only two facilities capable of imaging asteroids with radar. The other is the National Science Foundation’s 1,000-foot-diameter (305 meters) Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The capabilities of the two instruments are complementary, and NASA’s NEOO Program supports the radar capability at both these facilities. The Arecibo radar is about 20 times more sensitive, can see about one-third of the sky, and can detect asteroids about twice as far away. Goldstone is fully steerable, can see about 80 percent of the sky, can track objects several times longer per day, and can image asteroids at finer spatial resolution. JPL manages the Goldstone Solar System Radar and the Deep Space Network for NASA.

NASA has also started serveral basic research and technology demonstration projects to better understand the nature of asteroids and how they might best be deflected from an Earth impacting trajectory, or to develop the space technology required to do this. This development work includes improved Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) systems that could push or pull an asteroid for an extended time, and close proximity operations and grappling mechanisms to work in and around asteroids and manipulate their surfaces. This technology will also be useful for future robotic and human missions to these objects, and even potentially resource mining operations.

Q: What current/future NASA missions are targeting asteroids and near-Earth objects?

A: NASA has one asteroid mission underway and another slated for launch in 2016.

Link to this NASA page

Magnificent image of Spiral Galaxy M106

Here’s an extract from the NASA website  www.NASA.gov.

spiral-galaxy-m106-cnasa-reblog-by-mani-navasothy.jpg
spiral-galaxy-m106-cnasa-reblog-by-mani-navasothy.jpg

“Working with astronomical image processors at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., renowned astro-photographer Robert Gendler has taken science data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) archive and combined it with his own ground-based observations to assemble a photo illustration of the magnificent spiral galaxy M106.

Gendler retrieved archival Hubble images of M106 to assemble a mosaic of the center of the galaxy. He then used his own and fellow astro-photographer Jay GaBany’s observations of M106 to combine with the Hubble data in areas where there was less coverage, and finally, to fill in the holes and gaps where no Hubble data existed.

The center of the galaxy is composed almost entirely of HST data taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys, Wide Field Camera 3, and Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 detectors. The outer spiral arms are predominantly HST data colorized with ground-based data taken by Gendler’s and GaBany’s 12.5-inch and 20-inch telescopes, located at very dark remote sites in New Mexico. The image also reveals the optical component of the “anomalous arms” of M106, seen here as red, glowing hydrogen emission..”

-Mani Navasothy

Link:

Full feature article at NASA site

Science@NASA: Why the World didn’t end Yesterday

A film from Nasa about the Mayan prophecy that the world will end on 21 December has been released 10 days early. The Mayan calendar’s 5,125-year run is due to end in 10 days, but the film – entitled The World Didn’t End Yesterday – argues that the calendar should be interpreted as cyclical.

-Mani Navasothy

links 

Astrology Chart for 21st December 2012 (& relative planetary positions)

NASA questions & Answers – Why the world won’t end

Astrology at QuantumPhoenix

Uranus-Pluto transits of 2012-2015 and their world changing effects

NASA: Beyond 2012: Why the World Won’t End

Those nice guys & gals at NASA have put together a good scientifically based Questions & Answers fact sheet…for  each of the possible reasons that `End of the World on 21st December 2012′  Doom-believers have been suggesting till now (using believable science).  So it’s the real Scientists putting out fact-based responses.

The NASA link is this..

But I’ve cut n pasted the document (in case NASA moves their web doc).

-Mani Navasothy

Dec. 21, 2012, won’t be the end of the world as we know, however, it will be another winter solstice.

Contrary to some of the common beliefs out there, the claims behind the end of the world quickly unravel when pinned down to the 2012 timeline.

Below, NASA Scientists answer questions on the following 2012 topics:

  • End of the World
  • ‘Prediction’ Origins
  • Mayan Calendar
  • Total Blackout
  • Planetary Alignment
  • Nibiru/Planet X/Eris
  • Polar Shift
  • Meteor Strike
  • NASA Science
  • Solar Storms

Question (Q): Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Many Internet websites say the world will end in December 2012.

 Answer (A):The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.

Q: What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in 2012?

 A: The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 — hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012.

Q: Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012?

 A: Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then — just as your calendar begins again on January 1 — another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.

Q: Is NASA predicting a “total blackout” of Earth on Dec. 23 to Dec. 25?

 A: Absolutely not. Neither NASA nor any other scientific organization is predicting such a blackout. The false reports on this issue claim that some sort of “alignment of the Universe” will cause a blackout. There is no such alignment (see next question). Some versions of this rumor cite an emergency preparedness message from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. This is simply a message encouraging people to be prepared for emergencies, recorded as part of a wider government preparedness campaign. It never mentions a blackout.
›Watch the Video

Q: Could planets align in a way that impacts Earth?

 A: There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. One major alignment occurred in 1962, for example, and two others happened during 1982 and 2000. Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence.
› More about alignment

Q: Is there a planet or brown dwarf called Nibiru or Planet X or Eris that is approaching the Earth and threatening our planet with widespread destruction?

 A: Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims. If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Obviously, it does not exist. Eris is real, but it is a dwarf planet similar to Pluto that will remain in the outer solar system; the closest it can come to Earth is about 4 billion miles.

Q: What is the polar shift theory? Is it true that the Earth’s crust does a 180-degree rotation around the core in a matter of days if not hours?

 A: A reversal in the rotation of Earth is impossible. There are slow movements of the continents (for example Antarctica was near the equator hundreds of millions of years ago), but that is irrelevant to claims of reversal of the rotational poles. However, many of the disaster websites pull a bait-and-switch to fool people. They claim a relationship between the rotation and the magnetic polarity of Earth, which does change irregularly, with a magnetic reversal taking place every 400,000 years on average. As far as we know, such a magnetic reversal doesn’t cause any harm to life on Earth. Scientists believe a magnetic reversal is very unlikely to happen in the next few millennia.
› More about polar shift

Q: Is the Earth in danger of being hit by a meteor in 2012?

 A: The Earth has always been subject to impacts by comets and asteroids, although big hits are very rare. The last big impact was 65 million years ago, and that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today NASA astronomers are carrying out a survey called the Spaceguard Survey to find any large near-Earth asteroids long before they hit. We have already determined that there are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs. All this work is done openly with the discoveries posted every day on the NASA Near-Earth Object Program Office website, so you can see for yourself that nothing is predicted to hit in 2012.

Q: How do NASA scientists feel about claims of the world ending in 2012?

 A: For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, where is the science? Where is the evidence? There is none, and for all the fictional assertions, whether they are made in books, movies, documentaries or over the Internet, we cannot change that simple fact. There is no credible evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012.
› Why you need not fear a supernova
› About super volcanoes

Q: Is there a danger from giant solar storms predicted for 2012?

 A: Solar activity has a regular cycle, with peaks approximately every 11 years. Near these activity peaks, solar flares can cause some interruption of satellite communications, although engineers are learning how to build electronics that are protected against most solar storms. But there is no special risk associated with 2012. The next solar maximum will occur in the 2012-2014 time frame and is predicted to be an average solar cycle, no different than previous cycles throughout history.
› Video: Solar Storms
› More about solar storms

Additional information concerning 2012 is available on the Web, at:

Saturn: Peering into the Storm (on 27Nov2012)

709337main_N00198348-43 – Saturn from the pole 27nov2012 (c) NASA

Here’s a brilliant photo of the planet Saturn..

Peering into the Storm

This image from NASA’s Cassini mission was taken on Nov. 27, 2012, with Cassini’s narrow-angle camera. The camera was pointing toward Saturn from approximately 224,618 miles (361,488 kilometers) away. This image has not been validated or calibrated.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

-Mani Navasothy

ps. hey this is a special photo- cos it was taken on the day of my birthday 🙂

 

The Real Sun-Signs of modern era

I am an Astrologer – that means I look at the stars and planets and believe that their movements out there in space somehow affects and influences my life here on planet Earth.

Yes, there’s a whole load of arguments about if the starts determine everything, then do we have free will?  And if we know what’s going to happen (through astrology), how can we change it? Surely everything is `fated’ so what’s the point in free will? etc etc.  Well, that’s a debate worth having – another time. Just like, `is God real’? and if so, is God good or evil…(because if God is good, then why does he or she or it allows bad things to happen to us? etc) That’s definitely a debate worth having.. without getting into `because  it says so in some  book or a Prophet said so, or because a Saint believed so etc).

This one is about astrology – especially one where we have been accepting that every month our Sun `travels’ through a different background of stars (Zodiacs).. For so long we have believed there are 12 signs to the western astrological system. (By we, I mean people..and for many hundreds of years).  And many already know that the zodiacs (Constellations) are not of equal size in width across the celestial equator (where the Sun travels along).

But did you know that it’s really way off now? Because, over 3,000 years the earth axis of rotation has changed, and so the starts that line up the celestial equator are slightly `off’ now..

I found out just by how much in a NASA website!  This is the latest measures..  If you were born in the 70’s or 60’s or 50’s or even in 1800’s.. this still applies…because all that is still `modern and present day’ by cosmic standards..

This is all because those Babylonians left out one of the signs (of the 23) to fit things in nice and equal …even in their times..

This is how long the Sun takes to travel through Constellations now..  (credit to Dr.Dr. Lee T. Shapiro, Director
Morehead Planetarium University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)    Source of info: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/starfinder3/

 

Constellation Dates Number
of Days
Sagittarius Dec 18 – Jan 18 32
Capricornus Jan 19 – Feb 15 28
Aquarius Feb 16 – Mar 11 24
Pisces Mar 12 – Apr 18 38
Aries Apr 19 – May 13 25
Taurus May 14 – Jun 19 37
Gemini Jun 20 – Jul 20 31
Cancer Jul 21 – Aug 9 20
Leo Aug 10 – Sep 15 37
Virgo Sep 16 – Oct 30 45
Libra Oct 31 – Nov 22 23
Scorpius Nov 23 – Nov 29 7
Ophiuchus Nov 30 – Dec 17 18

So erm, if you thought you were a particular Sun-Sign, think again..   And it’s going to give a head ache to all the astrologers, sadly. It’s bad that the scientists already give astrologers a hard time ..but this sort of thing pushes forecasts and even chart analysis a bit `unbelievable’.

Truth is, astrology is – despite working with real stellar objects that have measurable cycles – an esoteric system. It’s not hard science.  but it is hard-boiled Esoterica. It works with established rules,  formulae, predictions, qualities..and intuition.

Well, that’s the kind of astrology I do anyway..

More on this topic later.

-Mani

Astronomical Data & visibility Map for Transit of Venus: What, where and how long

Hi all,

here’s a fabulous world map / data by Fred Espenak of NASA.   (His website is one I use regularly for a lot of astronomical data, especially Eclipses…and now for this. If you are quoting this or him, please  due acknowledgement to Fred Espenak.  Thank you)

Global visibility map – Transit of Venus – June 2012 by Fred Espenak of NASA

Transit of Venus- what is it and how does it happen:

Venus transit (and eclipses) are all similar..   In Solar Eclipses, the moon comes between us on earth and blocks the Sun for a bit.  In transit of venus, the planet Venus comes and blocks the Sun out. except because the Venus is further away from us, but closer to the Sun, it doesn’t `seem’ to cover the whole of the Sun..  It just appears as a small spot passing across (in front) of the Sun.

Because of orbits, geometry (relationship between shapes, distances, angles) and speeds of planetary motion,  the transit of Venus  `happens’ (for us!) twice every century (once, then 8 years later, then next century).   After 6th June’12, next transit of venus will be in the year 2117 (unless you have the secrets of long life, you won;t live to see it again).   The last time this event occurred (as it happens on pairs) was on June 8, 2004.

Time variations Why?

Stellar events (like planets moving) take time.  The Transit of venus is – simply put- us from Earth viewing the Sun and Venus. Planets are moving around the Sun in different orbits (circular or elliptical paths).   Because of the geometry of shapes and distances involved (ie planets are spheres, and distances between Sun, venus  & earth are vast!), what we view from earth changes. Specifically, where on Earth you are located makes a big difference to the exact image you will see..   It’s a bit like watching the Football in a field being kicked about – what you see depends on where about in the auditorium / seats you are at.   It’s one event (the ball moving on the ground.. but thousands of people watch it from different parts of the stadium..).

 Visibility of transit of venus

Anyway, when the transit of venus starts, it will be different times..  for different parts of the world (time zones).  Here’s the thing- for some people, it will actually be middle of the night!  That means they can’;t see the Sun (!), and if ya can;t see the Sun, you can’t see Venus going in front of the Sun.   In the map attached, you can see the shaded parts of the world  `No transit visible’. If you are in one of those counties, or parts of those countries, alas, you are having night time..  so you won;t see it.  (parts of South America, parts of Africa).   For everyone else, the transit of venus is visible..   at least the beginning, middle, or end of the transit.

For the people in Australia, for example, the time happens to be Sunrise..when transit of venus starts…Lucky them.- they get to see the whole event…from beginning  to end.  For those of us in UK, as Sunrise occurs (our time), the transit is almost over, but we still get to see the end of it..

Start & End times (Universal Time equals GMT for all intends and purposes)

In the NASA site, Fred Espenak gives times for this transit as below.  I have added simple *explanations of what we `see’

    Phase         +Time         *Explanation (by Mani Navasothy)

 Contact I      22:09:38  (outer edge of Venus first `touches' the Sun's edge).
 Contact II     22:27:34  (whole of Venus first fully `inside the Sun disc).
 Greatest       01:29:36  (Venus in the mid-part of transit).
 Contact III    04:31:39  (edge of Venus starts to come `out of the Sun' disc)  
 Contact IV     04:49:35  (trailing end of Venus fully `leaves' the Sun disc).

+Don’t forget your local `summer time adjustments’.   Here in UK,  for example, the `Greatest Transit’  at 01:29 hrs UT/GMT is  seen at local British  Summer time of  02:29 hrs .

Okay, feel  free to FOLLOW my blog, or SUBSCRIBE…for future updates.

-Mani