Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mars under Acrab on way to Saturn

Last night was the first clear night since Mars was a pinky width west of Acrab.  In the mostly clear Caraleigh sky (just south of Raleigh's city center) it is one of the first objects visible at sunset along with slightly fainter Saturn a few fingers east.  Antares, below and between the two planets is also fairly bright.  But Acrab, now just above Mars is pretty faint.  If skies are clear again tonight Mars should still be only a hair to the east passing under Acrab. While we see Mars passing a couple of degrees below the ecliptic, Acrab hovers just a tad above it.  So maybe tonight we'll get another chance to see the bright red planet near the fainter star above it .

Mars has been hanging around Saturn since April.  We haven't seen the planet of blind action spend so much time near the planet of integrity since April-August 1984.  That protracted meeting took place after the action hero had overtaken the elder.  This time around the adrenalin soaked actor is lingering on its way to meet the sober one.  It reminds me of the shoe shiner and his escort/guard in Things Change, at the dinner and hotel before being turned over to the 'justice system.'  The actor is moving toward a meeting with authority but there are delays and regressions along the way. 

In the end of March we saw Mars rise less than an hour before Saturn every day.  As Mars appeared to fall behind the philosophical reaper (Saturn is in Sagittarius these days) the time between their rising spread out a bit, giving us a little more time to digest the action of Mars before the consequential ringed planet appeared.

Now as Mars is finally on its way to the 25 month performance review with Saturn, in which it will also receive a new set of marching orders, we see Saturn rising closer on the heals of Mars every day.  

Saturn will also get a report from Mars, they will inspire one another, it will be a fresh start for the pair by the end of August.  Right now though, the suspense that was dormant, is building.  What will come of the deferred line up?

Mercury is passively ruling most of the planets in the solar system, including Mars and Saturn.  It is in Virgo!  Fidelity to details ruling over such a loaded meeting is hard to imagine and kind of meaningless until the meeting takes place.  But there the words are for us to return to and recall as the actual event unfolds.

And look where the Moon will be....

The 4 charts after this one show Mars rising 48min before Saturn in March and then a more leisurely 1hr29min spread in June.