ORION had no mother and was a gift to a peasant from Jupiter, Neptune and Mercury. He was a skilled blacksmith and was able to walk on water, and had greater strength than any other mortal. He walked to the coast of Sicily against the sea and built a temple to honor the gods there.
He fell in love with Merope, daughter of Oenopion. Her father, the king, did not approve even after he rid their island of wild beasts. Orion acted out in anger and violence and her father did not approve of this conduct. As a consequence, he deprived Orion of his sight and cast him out to the sea shore.
The blinded hero was guided to the abode of sun by Kedalion (one of Vulcan’s men) to regain his sight.
Following this, he hunted with Diana, a virgin huntress, and it was said she was about to marry him. Her brother, Apollo did not approve.
One day, observing Orion wading through the ocean with his head just above the water, Apollo pointed it out to Diana and challenged that she could not hit the black figure floating on the water. She accepted the challenge, and effortlessly made the shot, unknowingly killing Orion.
The waves rolled his body onto shore, and with many tears she placed him among the stars.
Orion is one of the mot well-known constellations in the sky. He is shown as a hunter attacking a bull with an upraised club.
“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”
The beautiful Andromeda Galaxy is often imaged by planet Earth-based astronomers. Also known as M31, the nearest large spiral galaxy is a familiar sight with spiral arms traced by blue starlight. In a mosaic of well-exposed broad and narrow-band image data, faint reddish clouds of glowing ionized hydrogen gas lie in the same wide field of view. Still, the ionized hydrogen clouds likely lie in the foreground of the scene, well within our Milky Way Galaxy. They could be associated with the pervasive, dusty interstellar cirrus clouds scattered hundreds of light-years above our own galactic plane. If they were located at the 2.5 million light-year distance of the Andromeda Galaxy they would be enormous, since the Andromeda Galaxy itself is 200,000 or so light-years across.
Cassiopeia, the home of two bright emission nebulas are nicknamed Heart and Soul. The Heart Nebula, visible on the right, has a shape reminiscent of a classical heart symbol. Both nebulas shine brightly in the red light of energized hydrogen. Several young open clusters of stars populate the image and are visible here in blue, including the nebula centers. Light takes about 300 light years to reach us from these nebulas.
“When I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I feel big”
On some nights it rains meteors!! An image from everyone’s favourite meteor shower, Perseids, (in August) captured multiple streaks over Four Girls Mountain in central China. The bright Pleaides open star cluster appears toward the upper right, while numerous emission nebulas are visible in red, many superposed on the diagonal band of the Milky Way.
Peaking last night and visible until the 17th, asteroid dust is expected to rain down on Earth during the annual Geminids meteor shower. This year, unfortunately, fainter Geminids will be harder to see because of the brightness of the Long Nights Full Moon, which occurs tonight (Wednesday night)!!
What’s more majestic than Saturn’s rings? LITERALLY NOTHING!!
Zoom in on this awesome high resolution scan of Saturn’s rings. It’s a mosaic of images presented in natural color. The images were recorded in May 2007 over about 2.5 hours as the Cassini spacecraft passed above the unlit side of the rings.
The alphabetical designation of Saturn’s rings is historically based on their order of discovery; rings A and B are the bright rings separated by the Cassini division. In order of increasing distance from Saturn, the seven main rings run D,C,B,A,F,G,E. (Faint, outer rings G and E are not seen in this image.)
FOUR days from now, on November 29, Cassini will make a close flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan and use the large moon’s gravity to nudge the spacecraft into a series of 20 daring, elliptical, ring-grazing orbits. Diving through the ring plane just 11,000 kilometers outside the F ring (far right) Cassini’s first ring-graze will be on December 4.
Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA
The release of the first images today from NOAA’s newest satellite, GOES-16, is the latest step in a new age of weather satellites. This composite color full-disk visible image is from 1:07 p.m. EDT on Jan. 15, 2017. The image shows North and South America and the surrounding oceans. GOES-16 observes Earth from an equatorial view approximately 22,300 miles high, creating full disk images like these, extending from the coast of West Africa, to Guam, and everything in between.
“We find, therefore, under this orderly arrangement, a wonderful symmetry in the universe, and a definite relation of harmony in the motion and magnitude of the orbs, of a kind that is not possible to obtain in any other way.”
-Johannes Kepler, 1619.
Image credit: Kevin Shearer (instagram: k.d.s.photography)