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Incoming! We’ve Got Science from Jupiter!

Our Juno spacecraft has just released some exciting new science from its first close flyby of Jupiter! 

In case you don’t know, the Juno spacecraft entered orbit around the gas giant on July 4, 2016…about a year ago. Since then, it has been collecting data and images from this unique vantage point.

Juno is in a polar orbit around Jupiter, which means that the majority of each orbit is spent well away from the gas giant. But once every 53 days its trajectory approaches Jupiter from above its north pole, where it begins a close two-hour transit flying north to south with its eight science instruments collecting data and its JunoCam camera snapping pictures.

Space Fact: The download of six megabytes of data collected during the two-hour transit can take one-and-a-half days!

Juno and her cloud-piercing science instruments are helping us get a better understanding of the processes happening on Jupiter. These new results portray the planet as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world that we still need to study and unravel its mysteries.

So what did this first science flyby tell us? Let’s break it down…

1. Tumultuous Cyclones

Juno’s imager, JunoCam, has showed us that both of Jupiter’s poles are covered in tumultuous cyclones and anticyclone storms, densely clustered and rubbing together. Some of these storms as large as Earth!

These storms are still puzzling. We’re still not exactly sure how they formed or how they interact with each other. Future close flybys will help us better understand these mysterious cyclones. 

Seen above, waves of clouds (at 37.8 degrees latitude) dominate this three-dimensional Jovian cloudscape. JunoCam obtained this enhanced-color picture on May 19, 2017, at 5:50 UTC from an altitude of 5,500 miles (8,900 kilometers). Details as small as 4 miles (6 kilometers) across can be identified in this image.

An even closer view of the same image shows small bright high clouds that are about 16 miles (25 kilometers) across and in some areas appear to form “squall lines” (a narrow band of high winds and storms associated with a cold front). On Jupiter, clouds this high are almost certainly comprised of water and/or ammonia ice.

2. Jupiter’s Atmosphere

Juno’s Microwave Radiometer is an instrument that samples the thermal microwave radiation from Jupiter’s atmosphere from the tops of the ammonia clouds to deep within its atmosphere.

Data from this instrument suggest that the ammonia is quite variable and continues to increase as far down as we can see with MWR, which is a few hundred kilometers. In the cut-out image below, orange signifies high ammonia abundance and blue signifies low ammonia abundance. Jupiter appears to have a band around its equator high in ammonia abundance, with a column shown in orange.

Why does this ammonia matter? Well, ammonia is a good tracer of other relatively rare gases and fluids in the atmosphere…like water. Understanding the relative abundances of these materials helps us have a better idea of how and when Jupiter formed in the early solar system.

This instrument has also given us more information about Jupiter’s iconic belts and zones. Data suggest that the belt near Jupiter’s equator penetrates all the way down, while the belts and zones at other latitudes seem to evolve to other structures.

3. Stronger-Than-Expected Magnetic Field

Prior to Juno, it was known that Jupiter had the most intense magnetic field in the solar system…but measurements from Juno’s magnetometer investigation (MAG) indicate that the gas giant’s magnetic field is even stronger than models expected, and more irregular in shape.

At 7.766 Gauss, it is about 10 times stronger than the strongest magnetic field found on Earth! What is Gauss? Magnetic field strengths are measured in units called Gauss or Teslas. A magnetic field with a strength of 10,000 Gauss also has a strength of 1 Tesla.  

Juno is giving us a unique view of the magnetic field close to Jupiter that we’ve never had before. For example, data from the spacecraft (displayed in the graphic above) suggests that the planet’s magnetic field is “lumpy”, meaning its stronger in some places and weaker in others. This uneven distribution suggests that the field might be generated by dynamo action (where the motion of electrically conducting fluid creates a self-sustaining magnetic field) closer to the surface, above the layer of metallic hydrogen. Juno’s orbital track is illustrated with the black curve. 

4. Sounds of Jupiter

Juno also observed plasma wave signals from Jupiter’s ionosphere. This movie shows results from Juno’s radio wave detector that were recorded while it passed close to Jupiter. Waves in the plasma (the charged gas) in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter have different frequencies that depend on the types of ions present, and their densities. 

Mapping out these ions in the jovian system helps us understand how the upper atmosphere works including the aurora. Beyond the visual representation of the data, the data have been made into sounds where the frequencies
and playback speed have been shifted to be audible to human ears.

5. Jovian “Southern Lights”

The complexity and richness of Jupiter’s “southern lights” (also known as auroras) are on display in this animation of false-color maps from our Juno spacecraft. Auroras result when energetic electrons from the magnetosphere crash into the molecular hydrogen in the Jovian upper atmosphere. The data for this animation were obtained by Juno’s Ultraviolet Spectrograph. 

During Juno’s next flyby on July 11, the spacecraft will fly directly over one of the most iconic features in the entire solar system – one that every school kid knows – Jupiter’s Great Red Spot! If anybody is going to get to the bottom of what is going on below those mammoth swirling crimson cloud tops, it’s Juno.

Stay updated on all things Juno and Jupiter by following along on social media:
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Learn more about the Juno spacecraft and its mission at Jupiter HERE.

On February 26th 2010, Seba Jun died in a car crash. He was the soundtrack of my childhood, producing the OST for the likes of Samurai Champloo, as well as his own beats on the album Metaphorical Music in which in collaborated with the Cincinnati local group Five Deez. To this day he remains a legend, and on this day, the records keep spinning. Rest In Beats, Nujabes.

anonymous asked:

What do you think about Ron being a prefect because that always pissed me off in my opinion he absolutely did not deserve it

By the time he was 15 Ron Weasley had faced down more genuinely terrifying obstacles than most adults. He had demonstrated that his loyalty would prevail even when he was scared or jealous. He had shown that he had valuable skills and knew his limits, and that he was willing to step aside and take one for the team. Why wouldn’t he deserve to be a prefect?

Even if you’re not a Ron fan, though, consider the context. In appointing prefects Dumbledore would have had several goals in mind:

  • Keeping a handle on Harry - no one was going to do that better than Ron, including Hermione, who both Ron and Harry sometimes disregard because she can be so by-the-book.
  • Making sure that Harry had the latitude to do what he needed to do - Ron was going to be understanding of that in a way no one else would have been.
  • Making sure that the Death Eaters didn’t get a foothold in Gryffindor - Ron would never have let that happen.
  • Developing the Order’s bench - Ron’s whole family was in the Order, developing his leadership skills and confidence was the safest bet going.
  • Creating balance in the house - Hermione might be a stickler for rules, but Ron would be a moderating influence.
  • Appointing prefects who could lighten adults’ loads as they focused on the war - Ron would have had important perspective on what really needed adult intervention and what students could be encouraged to work out on their own.
  • Appointing prefects who would stand up to each other and make sure no one abused their power - Ron definitely wouldn’t have had a problem stepping in if anyone else, especially Pansy and Draco, had tried pulling rank on younger kids, and the Slytherins would’ve realized that Ron wouldn’t have been above retaliating if they’d been tempted.
  • Making Ron a prefect also would’ve helped him come into his own among his siblings, given him a better understanding of power and authority (and helped reveal any lurking character issues that power might have brought out - remember how Percy changed when he became a prefect?)
  • And tbh, if Dumbledore saw what was coming he may have understood the virtue in giving Ron some privileges and creature comforts (for his sake and for Harry’s).

Consider the choices, too. There are only five possible Gryffindor boys prefects.

  • Harry was way too preoccupied and wouldn’t have benefited from additional responsibility, nor was it the best use of his energy.
  • Seamus had doubts about whether Voldemort’s return was real and had contributed to people second-guessing Harry, and it would’ve been risky to give him authority if that’s how he might have used it.
  • Neville still had his old wand and his magical strength wasn’t great yet, and he also may not have had the social authority to enforce rules, plus he had shown that he was willing to stand up to the trio and stop them from doing what they needed to do which, while brave and well-intentioned, had the potential to really get in the way of important stuff.
  • Dean was great and probably would’ve been a perfectly fine prefect but didn’t come with the same tactical advantages.

Any way you look at it, it’s gotta be Ron. He was the best choice going in any number of ways. Including because he had shown that he deserved it.

(P.S. - Why Pansy and Draco were the right choices too)

Solar System: Things to Know About the August Eclipse

We’re counting down until the August 21 total solar eclipse that will be visible across most of North America. Here are some things you can do to prepare.

1. Find A Spot 

The eclipse should be visible to some extent across the continental U.S. Here’s map of its path.

Our eclipse page can help you find the best viewing locations by longitude and latitude: eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2017Aug21Tgoogle.html

2. Citizen Science

Want to know more about citizen science projects? Find a list of citizen science projects for the eclipse: https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/citizen-science

3. Never look directly at the sun! Even during the early phases of the eclipse!

Get your eclipse viewing safety glasses beforehand: eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

4. Get Our Interactive Eclipse Module App

In this interactive, 3D simulation of the total eclipse on August 21, 2017, you can see a view of the eclipse from anywhere on the planet: 


5. Got questions? 

Join the conversation on social media. Tag your posts: #Eclipse2017.

Twitter: @NASASolarSystem, @NASA, @NASASunEarth
Facebook: NASA Solar System

Discover the full list of 10 things to know about our solar system this week HERE.

Follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Aurora in the Backyard: On the night of March 17/18 this umbrella of northern lights unfolded over backyards in Vallentuna, Sweden about 30 kilometers north of Stockholm. A result of the strongest geomagnetic storm of this solar cycle, auroral displays were captured on that night from back and front yards at even lower latitudes, including sightings in the midwestern United States. A boon for aurora hunting skywatchers, the space storm began building when a coronal mass ejection, launched by solar activity some two days earlier, struck planet Earths magnetosphere. So whats the name of the backyard observatory on the right of the wide field view? Thats Carpe Noctem Observatory, of course. via NASA



An aurora, sometimes referred to as a polar lights or northern lights, is a natural light display in the sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions. Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, mainly in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere / exosphere), where their energy is lost.

Image credit: Science Channel / Gardar Olafsson

i really hope that there are no redemption arcs in the star wars sequel trilogy, period. they feel outdated; like, it fit the late ‘70s and early ‘80s in part because it was very fresh storytelling at the time (esp in genre fiction) and in part because of the culture of the era

but tfa was very updated for the late 2010s, even if the basic story arc was still the monomyth (which doesn’t prescribe redemption or forgiveness or w/e anyway so it’s not A Given Just Because It’s Star Wars)

what would be fresh and culturally relevant storytelling today would be accountability arcs

I’m totally open to Rey and Finn and Poe d fucking up and having to be accountable and fix their own mistakes. I’m totally open to Luke and Han and Leia being acknowledged to have made mistakes in creating the New Republic and the new Jedi and being held accountable to fix them. but the difference is… no one ever held Vader accountable. that’s why i don’t believe he was redeemed, too, bc he got the easy way out of his massive bad choices. he just did one semi-decent thing and immediately died. neither he nor palpatine was ever held accountable for what they did.

i think it’s time to leave the idea of absolution or redemption or forgiveness being some kind of inherent rights to feel as outdated as the rest of 1977’s cultural landscape. that shit has to be earned through hard fucking work on yourself and accountability. just saying you’re sorry and doing nothing to change your behavior bc you conveniently immediately die means nothing tbh

i want to see Kylo Ren’s punishments fit his crimes. i don’t want anyone to forgive him just because he asks for it. I’m about accountability arcs. i want him to have to truly, truly face what he’s done and i want his victims to have the latitude to choose not to forgive him, even if he does get held accountable by some higher authority I’m the story. his victims owe him nothing and never will.

our culture right now needs to make accountability the priority of the decade in fucking general. that includes in our stories. i don’t think you can really call any idea a significant part of a culture until it’s embedded in its stories.

List of medieval European scientists
  • Anthemius of Tralles (ca. 474 – ca. 534): a professor of geometry and architecture, authored many influential works on mathematics and was one of the architects of the famed Hagia Sophia, the largest building in the world at its time. His works were among the most important source texts in the Arab world and Western Europe for centuries after.
  • John Philoponus (ca. 490–ca. 570): also known as John the Grammarian, a Christian Byzantine philosopher, launched a revolution in the understanding of physics by critiquing and correcting the earlier works of Aristotle. In the process he proposed important concepts such as a rudimentary notion of inertia and the invariant acceleration of falling objects. Although his works were repressed at various times in the Byzantine Empire, because of religious controversy, they would nevertheless become important to the understanding of physics throughout Europe and the Arab world.
  • Paul of Aegina (ca. 625–ca. 690): considered by some to be the greatest Christian Byzantine surgeon, developed many novel surgical techniques and authored the medical encyclopedia Medical Compendium in Seven Books. The book on surgery in particular was the definitive treatise in Europe and the Islamic world for hundreds of years.
  • The Venerable Bede (ca. 672–735): a Christian monk of the monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow who wrote a work On the Nature of Things, several books on the mathematical / astronomical subject of computus, the most influential entitled On the Reckoning of Time. He made original discoveries concerning the nature of the tides and his works on computus became required elements of the training of clergy, and thus greatly influenced early medieval knowledge of the natural world.
  • Rabanus Maurus (c. 780 – 856): a Christian monk and teacher, later archbishop of Mainz, who wrote a treatise on Computus and the encyclopedic work De universo. His teaching earned him the accolade of "Praeceptor Germaniae," or "the teacher of Germany."
  • Abbas Ibn Firnas (810 – 887): a polymath and inventor in Muslim Spain, made contributions in a variety of fields and is most known for his contributions to glass-making and aviation. He developed novel ways of manufacturing and using glass. He broke his back at an unsuccessful attempt at flying a primitive hang glider in 875.
  • Pope Sylvester II (c. 946–1003): a Christian scholar, teacher, mathematician, and later pope, reintroduced the abacus and armillary sphere to Western Europe after they had been lost for centuries following the Greco-Roman era. He was also responsible in part for the spread of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system in Western Europe.
  • Maslamah al-Majriti (died 1008): a mathematician, astronomer, and chemist in Muslim Spain, made contributions in many areas, from new techniques for surveying to updating and improving the astronomical tables of al-Khwarizmi and inventing a process for producing mercury oxide.[citation needed] He is most famous, though, for having helped transmit knowledge of mathematics and astronomy to Muslim Spain and Christian Western Europe.
  • Abulcasis (936-1013): a physician and scientist in Muslim Spain, is considered to be the father of modern surgery. He wrote numerous medical texts, developed many innovative surgical instruments, and developed a variety of new surgical techniques and practices. His texts were considered the definitive works on surgery in Europe until the Renaissance.
  • Constantine the African (c. 1020&–1087): a Christian native of Carthage, is best known for his translating of ancient Greek and Roman medical texts from Arabic into Latin while working at the Schola Medica Salernitana in Salerno, Italy. Among the works he translated were those of Hippocrates and Galen.
  • Arzachel (1028–1087): the foremost astronomer of the early second millennium, lived in Muslim Spain and greatly expanded the understanding and accuracy of planetary models and terrestrial measurements used for navigation. He developed key technologies including the equatorium and universal latitude-independent astrolabe.
  • Avempace (died 1138): a famous physicist from Muslim Spain who had an important influence on later physicists such as Galileo. He was the first to theorize the concept of a reaction force for every force exerted.
  • Adelard of Bath (c. 1080 – c. 1152): was a 12th-century English scholar, known for his work in astronomy, astrology, philosophy and mathematics.
  • Avenzoar (1091–1161): from Muslim Spain, introduced an experimental method in surgery, employing animal testing in order to experiment with surgical procedures before applying them to human patients.[4] He also performed the earliest dissections and postmortem autopsies on both humans as well as animals.
  • Robert Grosseteste (1168–1253): Bishop of Lincoln, was the central character of the English intellectual movement in the first half of the 13th century and is considered the founder of scientific thought in Oxford. He had a great interest in the natural world and wrote texts on the mathematical sciences of optics, astronomy and geometry. In his commentaries on Aristotle's scientific works, he affirmed that experiments should be used in order to verify a theory, testing its consequences. Roger Bacon was influenced by his work on optics and astronomy.
  • Albert the Great (1193–1280): Doctor Universalis, was one of the most prominent representatives of the philosophical tradition emerging from the Dominican Order. He is one of the thirty-three Saints of the Roman Catholic Church honored with the title of Doctor of the Church. He became famous for his vast knowledge and for his defence of the pacific coexistence between science and religion. Albert was an essential figure in introducing Greek and Islamic science into the medieval universities, although not without hesitation with regard to particular Aristotelian theses. In one of his most famous sayings he asserted: "Science does not consist in ratifying what others say, but of searching for the causes of phenomena." Thomas Aquinas was his most famous pupil.
  • John of Sacrobosco (c. 1195 – c. 1256): was a scholar, monk, and astronomer (probably English, but possibly Irish or Scottish) who taught at the University of Paris and wrote an authoritative and influential mediaeval astronomy text, the Tractatus de Sphaera; the Algorismus, which introduced calculations with Hindu-Arabic numerals into the European university curriculum; the Compotus ecclesiasticis on Easter reckoning; and the Tractatus de quadrante on the construction and use of the astronomical quadrant.
  • Jordanus de Nemore (late 12th, early 13th century): was one of the major pure mathematicians of the Middle Ages. He wrote treatises on mechanics ("the science of weights"), on basic and advanced arithmetic, on algebra, on geometry, and on the mathematics of stereographic projection.
  • Villard de Honnecourt (fl. 13th century): a French engineer and architect who made sketches of mechanical devices such as automatons and perhaps drew a picture of an early escapement mechanism for clockworks.
  • Roger Bacon (1214–94): Doctor Admirabilis, joined the Franciscan Order around 1240 where, influenced by Grosseteste, Alhacen and others, he dedicated himself to studies where he implemented the observation of nature and experimentation as the foundation of natural knowledge. Bacon wrote in such areas as mechanics, astronomy, geography and, most of all, optics. The optical research of Grosseteste and Bacon established optics as an area of study at the medieval university and formed the basis for a continuous tradition of research into optics that went all the way up to the beginning of the 17th century and the foundation of modern optics by Kepler.[8]
  • Ibn al-Baitar (died 1248): a botanist and pharmacist in Muslim Spain, researched over 1400 types of plants, foods, and drugs and compiled pharmaceutical and medical encyclopedias documenting his research. These were used in the Islamic world and Europe until the 19th century.
  • Theodoric Borgognoni (1205-1296): was an Italian Dominican friar and Bishop of Cervia who promoted the uses of both antiseptics and anaesthetics in surgery. His written work had a deep impact on Henri de Mondeville, who studied under him while living in Italy and later became the court physician for King Philip IV of France.
  • William of Saliceto (1210-1277): was an Italian surgeon of Lombardy who advanced medical knowledge and even challenged the work of the renowned Greco-Roman surgeon Galen (129-216 AD) by arguing that allowing pus to form in wounds was detrimental to the health of he patient.
  • Thomas Aquinas (1227–74): Doctor Angelicus, was an Italian theologian and friar in the Dominican Order. As his mentor Albert the Great, he is a Catholic Saint and Doctor of the Church. In addition to his extensive commentaries on Aristotle's scientific treatises, he was also said to have written an important alchemical treatise titled Aurora Consurgens. However, his most lasting contribution to the scientific development of the period was his role in the incorporation of Aristotelianism into the Scholastic tradition.
  • Arnaldus de Villa Nova (1235-1313): was an alchemist, astrologer, and physician from the Crown of Aragon who translated various Arabic medical texts, including those of Avicenna, and performed optical experiments with camera obscura.
  • John Duns Scotus (1266–1308): Doctor Subtilis, was a member of the Franciscan Order, philosopher and theologian. Emerging from the academic environment of the University of Oxford. where the presence of Grosseteste and Bacon was still palpable, he had a different view on the relationship between reason and faith as that of Thomas Aquinas. For Duns Scotus, the truths of faith could not be comprehended through the use of reason. Philosophy, hence, should not be a servant to theology, but act independently. He was the mentor of one of the greatest names of philosophy in the Middle Ages: William of Ockham.
  • Mondino de Liuzzi (c. 1270-1326): was an Italian physician, surgeon, and anatomist from Bologna who was one of the first in Medieval Europe to advocate for the public dissection of cadavers for advancing the field of anatomy. This followed a long-held Christian ban on dissections performed by the Alexandrian school in the late Roman Empire.
  • William of Ockham (1285–1350): Doctor Invincibilis, was an English Franciscan friar, philosopher, logician and theologian. Ockham defended the principle of parsimony, which could already be seen in the works of his mentor Duns Scotus. His principle later became known as Occam's Razor and states that if there are various equally valid explanations for a fact, then the simplest one should be chosen. This became a foundation of what would come to be known as the scientific method and one of the pillars of reductionism in science. Ockham probably died of the Black Plague. Jean Buridan and Nicole Oresme were his followers.
  • Jacopo Dondi dell'Orologio (1290-1359): was an Italian doctor, clockmaker, and astronomer from Padua who wrote on a number of scientific subjects such as pharmacology, surgery, astrology, and natural sciences. He also designed an astronomical clock.
  • Richard of Wallingford (1292-1336): an English abbot, mathematician, astronomer, and horologist who designed an astronomical clock as well as an equatorium to calculate the lunar, solar and planetary longitudes, as well as predict eclipses.
  • Jean Buridan (1300–58): was a French philosopher and priest. Although he was one of the most famous and influent philosophers of the late Middle Ages, his work today is not renowned by people other than philosophers and historians. One of his most significant contributions to science was the development of the theory of impetus, that explained the movement of projectiles and objects in free-fall. This theory gave way to the dynamics of Galileo Galilei and for Isaac Newton's famous principle of Inertia.
  • Guy de Chauliac (1300-1368): was a French physician and surgeon who wrote the Chirurgia magna, a widely read publication throughout medieval Europe that became one of the standard textbooks for medical knowledge for the next three centuries. During the Black Death he clearly distinguished Bubonic Plague and Pneumonic Plague as separate diseases, that they were contagious from person to person, and offered advice such as quarantine to avoid their spread in the population. He also served as the personal physician for three successive popes of the Avignon Papacy.
  • John Arderne (1307-1392): was an English physician and surgeon who invented his own anesthetic that combined hemlock, henbane, and opium. In his writings, he also described how to properly excise and remove the abscess caused by anal fistula.
  • Nicole Oresme (c. 1323–82): was one of the most original thinkers of the 14th century. A theologian and bishop of Lisieux, he wrote influential treatises in both Latin and French on mathematics, physics, astronomy, and economics. In addition to these contributions, Oresme strongly opposed astrology and speculated about the possibility of a plurality of worlds.
  • Giovanni Dondi dell'Orologio (c. 1330-1388): was a clockmaker from Padua, Italy who designed the astarium, an astronomical clock and planetarium that utilized the escapement mechanism that had been recently invented in Europe. He also attempted to describe the mechanics of the solar system with mathematical precision.

This is a comprehensive guide talking about 10 of the most used house systems in Astrology today.  Included are basic information pertaining to each system as well as the strengths and weakness each system presents.  Begins below:

A house system derived from the works of Placidus de Titis in the 17th Century based on the idea that life is motion and not stationary. This method casts a chart using the time measured for the Ascendant to become the midheaven.  Paths are drawn outward from every single degree occupying the space from the 4th house to the horizon and the horizon to the midheaven.  After that both drawn out quadrants are trisected which create the entirety of the houses.

Placidus is the most commonly used house system in the world today.  It began gaining popularity in the late renaissance period and was adapted as a standard onward.  Placidus is extremely popular in the United States and is used mainly in the psychological interpretation of a chart.  Despite its popularity it still has struggles as a time-space based system which causes controversy.  

Placidus well known for its unequal house sizes along with signs enveloped completely in a house called interceptions.  Interceptions can explain psychological issues pertaining to a person’s life; and intercepted planets can show potential issues with energies manifesting outward.

This house system is notorious for its struggles in higher latitudes.  As the latitude increases from a birth location the house cusps become wider, sometimes cause two or more signs to exist in a single house.  For this reason the distortion effect can cause struggles doing interpretations, thus other house systems can be used.

Due to the uneven house sizes this house system was the origin point for “Pletomy’s five degree rule”  all signs within five degrees at the end of the house are to be interpreted as being in the next house (or influencing both prior and the following.

Strengths of the Placidus House System

  • Much has been published about it due it’s mass accepted nature and popularity
  • Every major angle starts at a house cusp thereby diffusing any kind of controversy that confuses some astrologers.
  • inside the 66 parallels it works well and tends to explain issues on the psychological level due to interceptions created with the system
  • Intercepted planets have more strength coming out when transit planets or progressions activate them

Weakness of the Placidus House System

  • The mathematical time space formula to cast the system leaves distortion and holes in charts
  • People living above and below 66th parallels have distorted chart’s not may not always represent their psychological states
  • Planetary rulership readings can be out of line due to sign interceptions
  • Doing transits with this house system can be difficult and sometimes inaccurate more so then other house systems due to uneven house spacing
  • It is more difficult to do mass horoscope readings due to unequal house sizes that are more individualized in this system

Dr Walter Koch’s house system is based upon the idea that houses in a horoscope are relative to the birth place using geographic latitude. The Koch system uses mathematical time calculations from the birth data and points on the ecliptic to formulate it’s house divisions.  

Koch is a more advanced version of the Placidus house system and uses the Midheaven as the starting point for the casting of the chart.  After the midheaven is drawn houses are formed by trisecting the time it takes for the ascendant and midheaven to rise to the ecliptic from the horizon.

Strengths of the Koch House System:

  • More accurately uses the latitude birth location to draw up natal charts
  • The house cusps are more accurately defined due to more advanced math techniques in play
  • Rulerships flow better and the planets in houses may make sense for many more people
  • Since it is similar to Placidus many of the same rules can apply; namely Ptolemy’s five degree rule

Weakness of the Koch House System

  • “Dead zones” in the mathematical spacing from geographic latitudes to determine houses cause distortions in the charts (interceptions and inaccurate planets in houses.)
  • Still faces the issues of Placidus with Intercepted planets and signs
  • Struggles to portray equality when birth latitude is above 66th parallel

Quadrant based House system which is based on space as opposed to time. It is calculated using the prime vertical passing east to west of the Zenith of a specific point on a map.  The Campanus house system casts 12 houses after the prime vertical is cut into 12 equal parts.  The Ascendant begins the 1st house and the midheaven is fixed to the start of the 10th.  This house system shares many similarities to Placidus house system in theory.

As with the Placidus house system this chart is best used for psychological understanding purposes.  It does contain interceptions as every sign may not rule a house cusp despite the equal division of the chart.  Planets may be intercepted and contained within a sign of a house which is said to inhibit their expression outward.  Unlike Placidus this house system can be used all over the earth.  It does not have a restriction on the 66th parallel where the houses dissipate and get distorted.

Strengths of the Campanus House System:

  • Ability to accurately explain the psychological complex of a person
  • Intercepted signs and planets tend to explain shortcomings and issues expressing certain traits
  • Intercepted planets have more strength coming out when transit planets or progressions activate them
  • Is useable anywhere on the Earth with no distortion of the house sizes
  • Every major angle starts at a house cusp thereby diffusing any kind of controversy that confuses some astrologers.
  • The midheaven is fixed to the 10th house for easy interpretation of adult life focus

Weaknesses of the Campanus House System:

  • Planetary rulership readings can be off due to sign interceptions
  • Doing transits with this house system can be difficult and sometimes inaccurate more so then other house systems due to uneven house spacing
  • It is more difficult to do mass horoscope readings due to unequal house sizes that are more individualized in this system

Regiomontanus is a time based divisional quadrant house system.  The celestial equator is divided into twelve divisions and projected on the ecliptic plane. The houses are cast based off the division and come out very similar to Placidus.  The Ascendant starts the 1st house, IC starts the 4th house, 7th house begins the Descendant and Midheaven starts the 10th house.  

The difference with Placidus is usually seen in the degrees the succedent and cadent houses start at.  When compared to Placidus there is usually a difference in the position of the Moon’s nodes.  This is due to the positioning of the crossing of the moon in the elliptical orbit.  Usually the variance comes in the node falling in a different house in some Placidus charts.

Due to the striking similarities in the time based system shared with Placidus, Regiomontanus shares interceptions a cast horoscope.  Like most time-based systems not every sign will rule a house and distortions can exist in the houses when the birth place is close to the poles.

Strengths of the Regiomontanus House System

  • Takes into account the importance of birth location
  • Every major angle starts at a house cusp thereby diffusing any kind of controversy that confuses some astrologers
  • Intercepted planets have more strength coming out when transit planets or progressions activate them

Weaknesses of the Regiomontanus House system

  • The mathematical time space formula to cast the system leaves distortion and holes in charts
  • People living above and below 66th parallels have distorted chart’s not always representing their psychological states
  • Planetary rulership readings can be out of line due to sign interceptions
  • Doing transits with this house system can be difficult and sometimes inaccurate more so then other house systems due to uneven house spacing
  • It is more difficult to do mass horoscope readings due to unequal house sizes that are more individualized in this system

Meridian is a time based divisional quadrant house system sharing similarities to Regiomontanus.  The celestial equator is divided into twelve divisions and projected on the ecliptic plane. The Major difference between Meridian and Regiomontanus/Placidus is the Meridian system uses the east point in calculation as the ascendant. The houses are cast based off the division made. 

In many instances the Ascendant comes off wildly different than other popular house systems.  The houses also come out closer to equal all the way around due to using the equator to cast them.  The Ascendant itself can fall anywhere between the 1st and 12th house in this system.  An interesting factor to note is the Meridian ascendant tends to portray the way a person sees themselves.

Strengths of the Meridian House System

  • Takes into account the importance of birth location
  • Tends to cut down on house distortion due to casting the chart based on the eastern point causing more equal house sizes

Weaknesses of the Meridian House system

  • Still has a slight chance of containing intercepted signs and planets
  • The Ascendant is not traditional and may cause confusion in interpretation for some
  • Signs on the houses tend to come out dramatically different versus other house systems which may turn people away.

A house system which is based on the most simplest of formulas to divide houses.  Created by the Greek philosopher Porphyry, he created a simple system of dividing the ecliptic to cast charts quickly.  Some say this birth chart system was the birth and inspiration for all house systems used in Astrology going forward.  

The ascendant and midheaven are calculated and straight lines are drawn through the chart to create the angular houses of 1, 4, 7 and 10.  After that is established the remaining houses are drawn up by splitting each quadrant into three equal parts of 30 degrees each.  Easiest for drawing up house systems, can be done on the fly, and solves issues with 66 parallel issues with Placidus and Koch.

Strengths of the Porphyry House System:

  • Quick and simply way of dividing the ecliptic to form houses
  • Back in predated times it was easier to cast a chart without the need for mathematicians or computers (like we have today of course)
  • The chart is balanced and every house is equally defined with no chart interceptions
  • Has no issues with latitude parallel’s failing to form a readable chart

Weaknesses of the Porphyry House System:

  • Does not define the chart based on the birth latitude as well as more modern house systems like Placidus of Koch
  • Has short comings interpreting the psychological aspects of a person due to the simplicity of the chart
  • The quick calculating speed of present day computers has surpasses this house systems use

House system in which every house in the horoscope is divided up evenly in 30 degree segments.  Every house begins in the same degree in the next sign as the ascendant began.  The ascendant and it’s degree marks the start of the 1st house.  The 7th house of course is drawn opposite the ascendant a full 180 degrees.  

The midheaven and IC begin 90 degrees equally away from the Ascendant and Descendant.  The midheaven point itself “floats” and is not attached to the start of the 10th house cusp. The Succedent and Cadent houses are drawn up in each quadrant after the angular house 30 degrees apart from one another.

Strengths of the Equal House System:

  • Easy to Draw up.  Just need the ascendant starting degree.
  • Every sign rules a house cusp and is easier for predictive purposes.
  • The Midheaven floats allowing for more versatility in translation
  • No interceptions of signs or planets in house cusps.
  • The system works above and below 60 degrees lateral

Negatives of the Equal House System:

  • Does not factor deeply into the location born on Earth and its impact on development
  • Lacking interceptions with planets and signs means less psychological in depth translation potential of chart
  • The house size difference may cause issues with predictive astrology; especially transits and pinpointing when effects are felt
  • The midheaven may be confusing to interpret for less experienced Astrologers

One of the most ancient and simplest house systems ever created.  A system where all houses are equal in size, and every house is ruled by and contains an entire sign.  The sign of the Ascendant becomes the 1st first house despite the location in degree of the Ascendant.  This can mean a Capricorn ascendant at 15 degrees shows the Ascendant in the middle of the 1st house with 0 degree Capricorn starting the 1st house.  Unlike more modern house systems the Ascendant, Descendant, IC and midheaven points float and don’t always start the 1st 4th 7th and 10th houses cusps.  

This house system is used most popularly by modern astrologers to showcase transit readings in mass horoscope interpretation.  The area of life impacted is easily interpreted since a sign is enclosed in a single house.  Since a planet moves through an entire sign while in transit, it is easy to tell the impact for a specific ascendant.  The house shows the area of life impacted which is easy to read.

An example of above; Scorpio ascendant natal with Mars transiting Sagittarius.  An astrologer would see in whole sign that every Scorpio Ascendant has Sagittarius in the second house.  Mars would be transiting the 2nd house for every Scorpio Ascendant; thus an interpretation may look like “Scorpio Ascendant may have struggles or ups and downs with personal finances this month…”

Strengths of the Whole Signs House system

  • Very easy to draw a chart by finding the ascendant and equally dispersing a wheel around it
  • Lacks interceptions and house distortion due to every sign ruling a house
  • The chart casts and works well anywhere on Earth birth occurs with no parallel issues
  • Mudane aspects (planets aspecting planets through houses) are easier to see with equal sized houses
  • Strong with current transiting planets because every time a planet movies into the sky it starts transiting a new house
  • Astrologers can cast mass horoscopes based on ascendant signs because they can see when a planet switches and which area of life it will affect for a person based on the house it moves into
  • The ASC, DSC, MC and IC are not fixed to the start of the angular houses allowing for more interpretation of how they impact life
  • Due to the ancient working of the house systems, the Arabic lots works best in this house system because they were created using it.

Weakness of the Whole Signs House system

  • Inexperienced Astrologers can struggle without the ASC, DSC, MC and IC fixed to the start of the angular houses
  • Requires more intuitive interpretation to synthesize how the whole chart melds
  • Planets in houses can shift considerably when the chart is cast versus Placidus, Koch and Campanus

A specific form of Astrological chart used when the birth time is unknown.  The Sun is moved to the rising position of the horoscope and becomes the start of the ascendant and 1st angular house.  This chart is meant to show the fully developed Ego and how the aspects with it play out. Some argue it is not fully realized and accurate; but for many without birth times it is better than nothing.

Strengths of the Solar Chart house system

  • Gives a house system to work with when the birth time is unknown
  • Can help correct distorted house systems (Even though better options exist)
  • Can see important aspects to a person’s inner self

Weakness of the Solar Chart House System

  • Doesn’t have a true Ascendant so much of the chart is missing
  • Lacks any kind of angular house structure so it’s impossible to translate their impact on a person’s life

A Zodiac system in which the stars play a significant role in calculating the planet’s, houses and interpretation of the general celestial sky into a natal chart.  This system’s strength is the consistency over time with the degrees of signs not changing as they do in Placidus and other such western house systems.  This can be attributed by the fact that the stars are “fixed” and do not as wobble the earth does.  The wobble accounts for the variation in degrees over time between sidereal and time based western systems.

The effect of degree difference in the tropical zodiac is caused by the seasons change ever so slightly over time due to the wobble.  This action makes the equinox’s fall later in time.  This is why over the course of history Western Tropical house systems have a 23 degree difference (currently) in planets in signs as opposed to the Sidereal placements.  The stars have not moved from their celestial positions, but appear to through western house systems.  The Sidereal will always generate the same consistent chart throughout time.

Sidereal is mainly used in the Vedic Jjoytish Astrology.  When a chart is cast all houses are equal of 30 degree denominations.  Sidereal, unlike western, is mainly used for its fixed star interpretations seen in lunar mansions (or nakshatra’s.)  The moon is the main source of interpretation in Indian charts, as well as Rahu (the north node) and ketu (the south node.)  

Through interpretation, the other planets (up to Saturn, since this system is based on planets only observable by the naked eye) are either cited as malefic or benefic to a chart.  Depending on the ascendant, each sign on a house can create super charged friendly planets called functional benefics.  Functional malefics are the opposite end of the spectrum and can cause blockages from planets expressing themselves.  These concepts are used in place of planetary aspects like conjunctions, trines and sextiles.  

One of the most important things to realize is most people Astrologers do not judge a sidereal chart by planets in signs, rather by planets aspect each other, houses and fixed stars.  Since the sidereal system is consistent it has more scientific interpretations.  Divisional (or Varga charts) are the one of strengths of this house system which brings added depth to a person’s reading.  The other main advantage is the creation of Dasha periods in which a planetary time period is signified which give that planet priority in a chart.

Strengths of the Sidereal House System

  • Time proven and tested system which has been around for thousands of years
  • Consistent due to being based on fixed stars in the celestial sky
  • Does not create interceptions due to its equal house cusps
  • Strong scientific and mathematical calculation method allows for accurate divisional varga charts
  • Easy to read system of planets aspecting each other, houses and fixed stars

Weaknesses of the Sidereal House System

  • Does not incorporate new age philosophies into calculations and casting of chart
  • Since the system lacks interceptions it struggles and doesn’t dive into psychological issues a person may face
  • The system may be far too scientific and not esoteric like some Western Astrologers prefer
  • The translations of the texts that utilize the sidereal system are based off Jyotish writings
  • They can be hard to interpret and some of the translations are either out of date or seem nonsensical

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“Three years ago I booked a trip to Nicaragua for a yoga retreat, which got canceled at the last minute. I decided to go anyway, and I’m glad I did because I met The Latitude Project founders Jenn and Alanna Tynan in the little town of San Juan del Sur. The Tynans were working with impoverished local communities that needed infrastructure support, so I went with them to visit these areas and ended up volunteering in a school to repair desks and update the athletic equipment. I learned that Nicaragua is the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and each year The Latitude Project chooses a different community to partner with on a big initiative, which could be anything from building a preschool to improving access to latrines. Jenn and Alanna empower the community by fully involving everyone in the task at hand. Residents know that if they don’t show up to work then the project won’t get done. The locals take so much pride in it that they are motivated to maintain these structures and systems after the Latitude team leaves. Everyone knows the Tynan sisters as the hermanas. There is so much excitement around their presence because they have set a tone of trust and intimacy. This past fall I went on my second trip to San Juan del Sur and visited a new community. This area didn’t have any electricity, so we distributed solar lights. Because I’m not fluent in Spanish, the best way I can communicate with the people is physically—I play kickball with kids or act like a clown just to make them laugh. We’re all on the same level, and it’s important to remember that. For individuals who want to make a big impact, consider donating to a small nonprofit like Latitude (visit thelatitudeproject.com for information). Since it has no overhead costs, you’ll be able to see the direct effect of your contribution. Plus, you’ll walk away with new friends. Before I left Nicaragua, the kids I worked with asked, "When are we going to see you again?” Of course I’ll be back, so I responded, “Próximo año,” which means “next year.”“
Elizabeth Olsen on Volunteering in Nicaragua for the Latitude Project