Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Celebrity in the Neighborhood

This isn’t exactly astrology, I mean we’re not gonna follow this stellar object of interest around and watch what it does from one day to the next.  We’re just gonna make introductions and get a little how do you do, where do you hang out, how fast do you usually go kind of stuff.

I was on Stellarium looking at a  winter night sky, which means Gemini and Cancer are up all night long, which means a look toward the outside of the Milky Way instead of navel gazing.  I’ve been having a hard time picturing Earth’s motions around the Sun within the vast context of the Milky Way, much less neighboring galaxies.  Part of the problem is not knowing individual stars.  I’m having to wade through sporadic forays into lakes of text and images, almost all various colored dots on a jet black background, with tiny labels that are next to impossible to make out.  But today I clicked through the stars in Orion, knowing finally well and good, that anything in Orion faces the direction of escape from the Milky Way.  Not that I feel imprisoned, exactly; I guess it is more like the big bay window in the living room that the kids gaze out of at the beginning of The Cat in the Hat.
All the stars I clicked on were at least 100light years away, some of them over a 1000ly distant.  I’m talking about the stars in the constellation Orion which is kind of under the part of the ecliptic reaching the highest point in it’s ascent over the celestial equator, Gemini.  There’s a meaningless mouthful.  It meant something in my mind.  Let’s try an image from Stellarium.

 That's what I was looking at.  Now here is an image that might explain what I meant when I talked about the part of the ecliptic reaching it's highest rise above the equator (celestial that is).  

My apologies for sloppy blogging.  I hope those margins showing through the dark sky are not making the images unintelligible.  I did not even include any helpful directional marks.  Nothing up there but Betelgeuse under the highest part of the red umbrella.  The planets, like the Moon for instance, go from left to right along that red line.  Here are a few screen shots showing the Moon from one day to the next.  This one below is for the same hour and minute of the first chart, just one day later. 

Now the next day....

The 2nd chart from the top can get you confused.  So far we've got 3 charts for the same hour on successive days.  You can see how far the Moon has gone in 3 days.  Here is the 4th....

I should have made a video.  This post was supposed to be about Formalhaut but once again I am beating my ancient drum about the meaning behind those cute and not so cute critters in the zodiac.  Here is day 5, movement of the Moon as it approaches it's.....next.....um ... destination.

People that do stupid stuff like post a string of screenshots from Stellarium are called boring, or Taurus.  I have been called immature, in the 3rd person, by a respected poet.  That person was really immature.  I had stuff written all over the walls of my old apartment.  Dumb stuff.  I don't like embarrassing myself, but these phases must be passed through....6th day...

Does anyone see anything happening?  Does anyone care?  This isn't exactly front page news here.  Formalhaut is more interesting.  There are collisions out the behind there!  But I've taken all these screen shots of the Moon's movement from one day to the next so you will just have to scroll through them.  There are 3 more...here is day 7:

Lets skip a couple of days and see the Moon after it has passed from Gemini into Cancer and, at the same time, over Betelgeuse.

Ok, last one and then I will go to work like a good girl.  This is for almost 5 hours later, when the Moon in Cancer is at the top of the sky.  Maybe tonight I can get to what I was about to say about neighbor Formalhaut.  Put you to sleep real good.

You might wonder why the Sun is no where in sight for sky charts that say 7:45am and 12:35pm.  Well, I'll tell you.  I don't know how to set the Stellarium clock for different locations on the globe.  It always is set on Atlantic Coast time which is centered at 75W longitude.  The sky shots in this post are for Durgapur in Bengal, India which is on Indian time around 90E longitude.   Stellarium time lag is kind of like jet lag.