Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Our Dawn mission to the asteroid belt is no ordinary deep space expedition. 

Instead of traditional chemical rockets, the spacecraft uses sophisticated ion engines for propulsion. This enabled Dawn to become the first mission to orbit not one, but two different worlds — first the giant asteroid Vesta and now the dwarf planet Ceres. Vesta and Ceres formed early in the solar system’s history, and by studying them, the mission is helping scientists go back in time to the dawn of the planets. To mark a decade since Dawn was launched on Sept. 27, 2007, here are 10 things to know about this trailblazing mission.

1. Ion Engines: Not Just for Sci-Fi Anymore

Most rocket engines use chemical reactions for propulsion, which tend to be powerful but short-lived. Dawn’s futuristic, hyper-efficient ion propulsion system works by using electricity to accelerate ions (charged particles) from xenon fuel to a speed seven to 10 times that of chemical engines. Ion engines accelerate the spacecraft slowly, but they’re very thrifty with fuel, using just milligrams of xenon per second (about 10 ounces over 24 hours) at maximum thrust. Without its ion engines, Dawn could not have carried enough fuel to go into orbit around two different solar system bodies. Try your hand at an interactive ion engine simulation.

2. Time Capsules 

Scientists have long wanted to study Vesta and Ceres up close. Vesta is a large, complex and intriguing asteroid. Ceres is the largest object in the entire asteroid belt, and was once considered a planet in its own right after it was discovered in 1801. Vesta and Ceres have significant differences, but both are thought to have formed very early in the history of the solar system, harboring clues about how planets are constructed. Learn more about Ceres and Vesta—including why we have pieces of Vesta here on Earth.

3. Portrait of a Dwarf Planet

This view of Ceres built from Dawn photos is centered on Occator Crater, home of the famous “bright spots.” The image resolution is about 460 feet (140 meters) per pixel.

Take a closer look.

4. What’s in a Name? 

Craters on Ceres are named for agricultural deities from all over the world, and other features carry the names of agricultural festivals. Ceres itself was named after the Roman goddess of corn and harvests (that’s also where the word “cereal” comes from). The International Astronomical Union recently approved 25 new Ceres feature names tied to the theme of agricultural deities. Jumi, for example, is the Latvian god of fertility of the field. Study the full-size map.

5. Landslides or Ice Slides? 

Thanks to Dawn, evidence is mounting that Ceres hides a significant amount of water ice. A recent study adds to this picture, showing how ice may have shaped the variety of landslides seen on Ceres today.

6. The Lonely Mountain 

Ahuna Mons, a 3-mile-high (5-kilometer-high) mountain, puzzled Ceres explorers when they first found it. It rises all alone above the surrounding plains. Now scientists think it is likely a cryovolcano — one that erupts a liquid made of volatiles such as water, instead of rock. “This is the only known example of a cryovolcano that potentially formed from a salty mud mix, and that formed in the geologically recent past,” one researcher said. Learn more.

7. Shining a Light on the Bright Spots 

The brightest area on Ceres, located in the mysterious Occator Crater, has the highest concentration of carbonate minerals ever seen outside Earth, according to studies from Dawn scientists. Occator is 57 miles (92 kilometers) wide, with a central pit about 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide. The dominant mineral of this bright area is sodium carbonate, a kind of salt found on Earth in hydrothermal environments. This material appears to have come from inside Ceres, and this upwelling suggests that temperatures inside Ceres are warmer than previously believed. Even more intriguingly, the results suggest that liquid water may have existed beneath the surface of Ceres in recent geological time. The salts could be remnants of an ocean, or localized bodies of water, that reached the surface and then froze millions of years ago. See more details.

8. Captain’s Log 

Dawn’s chief engineer and mission director, Marc Rayman, provides regular dispatches about Dawn’s work in the asteroid belt. Catch the latest updates here.

9. Eyes on Dawn 

Another cool way to retrace Dawn’s decade-long flight is to download NASA’s free Eyes on the Solar System app, which uses real data to let you go to any point in the solar system, or ride along with any spacecraft, at any point in time—all in 3-D.

10. No Stamp Required

Send a postcard from one of these three sets of images that tell the story of dwarf planet Ceres, protoplanet Vesta, and the Dawn mission overall.

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Vesta in the 12 astrological houses

Wherever Vesta falls in the birth chart will show the area in which we tend to be committed to a purpose. 

Vesta is associated with dedication, focus, and commitment. She represents those things that we are ready (or compelled) to make a sacrifice for. 

Vesta in the first house
Dedicated to: Self-discovery and self-awareness, issues of identity, ‘finding yourself’, personal goals
Thus sacrificing: Other people in general, long-term relationships of an intimate nature

Vesta in the second house
Dedicated to: Manifesting material abundance, finding security for yourself and your loved ones
Thus sacrificing: Simple pleasures and comforts

Vesta in the third house
Dedicated to: Communicating, seeking new experiences and knowledge and disseminating what you have garnered
Thus sacrificing: Clarity in your thoughts, peace of mind (since you put yourself under so much pressure)

Vesta in the fourth house
Dedicated to: Home and family, a sense of duty, obligation and/or responsibility within your home situation
Thus sacrificing: Personal freedom, personal choices

Vesta in the fifth house
Dedicated to: Creative expression, public attention, recognition, pouring your life force into your work, sublimating your sexual energy.
Thus sacrificing: Either romance or creativity, like being forced to choose between them

Vesta in the sixth house
Dedicated to: Healing yourself or others, constantly learning techniques and skills in order to reach a goal/complete a task
Thus sacrificing: Your health, your sleeping/eating schedules, normal life patterns

Vesta in the seventh house
Dedicated to: Relationships with others, well-fare of others, ensuring there’s justice and fairness around you
Thus sacrificing: Your independence, your own will, your inner voice (you compromise too much)

Vesta in the eighth house
Dedicated to: Experiencing emotional and sexual intimacy, delving into the realm of hidden or occult knowledge, finding a mystical union
Thus sacrificing: Healthy relationships- you often don’t understand how others can’t match your intensity

Vesta in the ninth house
Dedicated to: The quest for truth and wisdom, the dissemination of your ideal vision
Thus sacrificing: Reality- examine and broaden your belief system to avoid fanaticism, the belief that you possess some ultimate or final answer

Vesta in the tenth house
Dedicated to: Achieving your goals and attaining success, recognition
Thus sacrificing: All your time- you have difficulty defining your goals or finding a fulfilling vocation which pushes you even harder

Vesta in the eleventh house
Dedicated to: Humanitarian or futuristic ideal of respect for freedom and individuality, and honoring of all life
Thus sacrificing: Personal friendships (for the sake of the cause)

Vesta in the twelfth house
Dedicated to: Service with compassion and surrender
Thus sacrificing: Yourself- the more open you are, the more likely it is that you have fears stemming from karmic memories, fears of intimacy that manifest as a need for isolation and retreat

short interpretations of asteroids

click {here} to find your asteroid signs and the meanings of the asteroids. *please note that these can be a little inaccurate since they are not big parts of your natal chart. Also, it doesn’t mean you can’t feel like another chiron sign.


Aries //  Tries to overcome feeling worthless.

Taurus // Sometimes they felt like they didn’t receive enough of something. 

Gemini // May feel like no one listens to them.

Cancer // Feels like an outsider. 

Leo // Feels like their talents have been overlooked. 

Virgo // Needs to learn to deal with imperfection.

Libra // May feel like all their relationships have gone wrong. 

Scorpio // May be scared of own power or feel powerless.

Sagittarius // Life may feel like a continuous spiritual crisis.

Capricorn // May be a work-a-holic to prove their own worth.

Aquarius // Feels uncomfortable in a large group.

Pisces // Always at crisis. May be prone to depression or drug abuse.


Aries // Nurtures independence. 

Taurus // Feels nurtured when fed and pampered

Gemini // Feels nurtured when someone talks or writes to them.

Cancer // Enjoys being mothered and mothering others.

Leo // Takes pride in nurturing others.

Virgo // Critical when nurturing others.

Libra // Nurtured by beauty.

Scorpio // Nurtured through touch.

Sagittarius // Hides their nurturing qualities.

Capricorn // Nurtured when organized and in control.

Aquarius // Loves the strange and off-beat

Pisces // Reflects emotions of those around them.


Aries // Finds the fastest solution.

Taurus // Receives information physically.

Gemini // Sees world through words.

Cancer // Sees world through emotions. 

Leo // Sees world as a canvas they can paint on.

Virgo // Perceives analytically.

Libra // Seeks balance.

Scorpio // Sees world through issues beneath the surface.

Sagittarius // Can see the big picture. 

Capricorn // Sees underlying form.

Aquarius // Sees all future possibilities.

Pisces // Interprets mystical reality.


Aries // Attracted to aggressive or dominant partners.

Taurus // Attracted to someone financially stable.

Gemini // Attracted to someone expressive.

Cancer // Attracted to someone emotionally intimate.

Leo // Attracted to someone romantic and exciting.

Virgo // Attracted to someone who sets high standards for themselves.

Libra // Attracted to fair and balanced partners.

Scorpio // Attracted to someone with sexual intimacy.

Sagittarius // Attracted to someone that’s intellectual.

Capricorn // Attracted to someone committed and determined.

Aquarius // Attracted to someone unconventional and will give them freedom.

Pisces // Attracted to someone they can have a spiritual bond with.


Aries // Self-motivated.

Taurus // Fixed routines

Gemini // Strong communicator.

Cancer // Serves others.

Leo // Works creatively.

Virgo // Driven to meet their goals.

Libra // Needs to work with others.

Scorpio // Extremely passionate.

Sagittarius // Devoted to a higher power or universal truth.

Capricorn // Devoted to history and duty.

Aquarius // Serves humanity.

Pisces // Dedicated to serving those in need. 


Moon: how you nurture, how you show affection, how you offer comfort & care, how you tend to needs; how you cope with anger or frustration, how you express those emotions, how you express love; your perception of what your child needs based on your memory of your own childhood, how you apply your experience of life to your child, how you take what you learned from the parent that nurtured you and use it in raising your own child; how you make your child feel safe and loved; how you navigate pregnancy/motherhood (if you’re a woman) and your perception of / attitude toward those things; how parenthood affects you.

Mercury: how you speak to your child, how you teach your child to speak, how you listen to your child; how you teach your child in general, the attitude and approach you take to teaching; the way you share information with your child.

Venus: what you dress your child in, how you style their hair; how you decorate their bedroom; what you buy for them, especially the toys & clothing; how you handle their self-esteem; what social values you instill in them, what manners you teach them, how you socialize them, what you teach them about their presentation and their appearance; how you express love and affection.

Jupiter: your philosophies/beliefs about parenthood, your knowledge surrounding parenthood, your parenting values; how you impart your personal wisdom to your child, how you mentor them, the morality & philosophies you teach them, the truths & deeper meanings you teach them; what you learn through parenthood, how the experience of parenting a child enlightens you; how you encourage & impassion your child, how you engender a lust for life within them; how you enrich their life or how they enrich yours.

Saturn: how you scold/punish your child, how you handle their mistakes & flaws, what privileges you give them, what you teach them about their privileges; how you discipline your child, how you engender self-discipline within your child; how you influence their self-worth and work ethic, what you teach them about work, how you prepare them for jobs / the future / society; what practical skills you teach them, how you encourage (or force) them to be productive; the structure you build in their lives, the foundation & stability you create for them; how/if you introduce them to the harshness of the world, how you raise them to be a member of society, the life lessons you prepare them for; your fears about your child, your fears about parenting, the mistakes you make as a parent, the mistakes you’re afraid of your child making, how strict you are as a parent.

Ceres: what you feed your child, how you satisfy their physical needs, how you nurture & care for them physically; how you nurture your child in general, what compassion and sensitivity you offer, your selflessness or lack thereof, what you are willing to give, your unconditional love; your relationship to the organic and biological side of being a parent; how you make your child feel secure.

Vesta: how family fits into your destiny and/or highest potential, how you channel your individual essence into the well-being of your family; your devotion to your family & children; how you “keep” / take care of your home, the things that belong to you, and the people (and animals) you’re responsible for.

2nd House: the environment you raise your child in, how you accommodate them materially, how you take care of them physically, how you treat/spoil them; the fundamental & personal values you teach your child, the principles by which you teach/raise your child, what you teach is be important in life, how you influence their personality and life path, what you teach is essential for happiness; how you set them up for the future practically/materially.

5th House: your attitude toward procreation; your relationship with your child overall, how you connect to them as a parent / their creator; the media you surround your child with (music you play, shows you let them watch, etc); how you play with your child, the sweet & joyful side of parenting, the fulfillment you draw from raising your child; how you bring art into your child’s life; what you teach your child about love/sex & relationships; how you allow your child to enjoy life (especially in their teenage years), the freedom you give them in their teenage years; the essence of your love for your child.

6th House: your relationship with your child overall, how much you’re able to give, how you behave as a caretaker in general; your devotion to your child’s well-being, your concern with their health; your everyday home routine; how you tend to the physical needs of your child, what you feed them, how you keep them active & healthy; how you approach sickness in your child, how you prevent illness/injury, how you heal your child, how you cope with an ill/injured or disabled child, how you cope with a child that consumes all your time & energy; your unconditional love and how you show it through care/service/healing.

Imum Coeli: the home you make, both materially and emotionally; the safety, structure, and stability you provide; how you handle your child’s psychology & the influence you have on it; how you nurture your child emotionally, your relationship with them as someone who protects & cares for them, how you defend your child from the outside world & the public, how you treat your child in private; how you treat your child at night & how you handle their sleep schedule; how you handle their secrets and their deepest psychological needs, how you handle their emotions and their pain, how you care for their development.

Medium Coeli: your vision for your child, what you hope they will become, how you influence their destiny/purpose/potential; how you build their self-esteem & self-worth, how you encourage their dreams, how you help them achieve their dreams, how you support them in their career, how you instill the discipline to work toward their own dreams; your authority in their life, the impact you have on who they become, how they find the meaning in what you taught them & apply it to the rest of their lives, how their identity/ego absorbs your parenting style.

(The IC-MC axis also rules how your childhood and experience of parenting from a child’s perspective influences your parenthood; your parents, the way you lived and what you learned as a child is re-purposed as you raise your own child. You become what you learned from your parents, positively or negatively, in your own unique way. The mistakes you make and the things you do well as a parent come from your understanding of your own parents’ mistakes/skills.)


Originally posted by frost-gold

Small devotional acts.

  • Keep a tealight on you, light it wherever you may be
  • Clean one small area of your house
  • Savor a hot drink
  • Do small, unnoticed acts of kindness
  • Always greet animals, both big and small
  • Do anything by candlelight 
  • Get cozy and read a good book 
  • Wear colors you associate with her
  • Practice your patience, both external and internal
  • Be a listening ear or shoulder to cry on for those who need it
  • Make compromises when it is healthiest for both parties
  • Bake!
  • Become the one who always has a lighter or matches
  • Listen to music that reminds you of her
  • Spend time tending to your body
  • Leave a big tip the next time you have a chance
  • Practice kindness in all areas of your life - including driving
  • Host/organize a gathering of friends or family
  • Take a hot bath or shower with no time limit
  • Decorate a space
  • Leave the first bite of your food for her
  • Build a fire!
  • Veiling (can come in many, discreet forms)
  • Compliment people - both strangers and loved ones
  • Donate something, be it clothes, money, or your time 
  • Create something - I really like knitting!
  • Look at photos and embrace the happy nostalgia 
  • Wear makeup or jewelry that reminds you of her
  • Wake up early to see the sunrise - or watch the sunset
  • Watch/read about acts of kindess - be inspired!
  • Many, many, many other things not said here
  • Additionally, this post is great!
What’s Up for February?

What’s Up for February? Look to the night sky for a brighter Venus, Comet 45P, asteroid Vesta and more. 

Tonight, you can see Venus along with a crescent moon, Mars and Uranus just after sunset. No binoculars needed! 

While there are no meteor showers this month, behold the zodiacal light!

This phenomenon is caused when sunlight reflects off dust particles in the plane of our solar system. Use Venus and Mars as a cone-shaped guide on the western horizon in late February and March.

Comet 45P will be visible using binoculars and telescope and will make its closest approach to Earth on February 11.

Finally, bright asteroid Vesta can be found in the constellation Pisces.

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Asteroid Energies

CHIRON*: The wounded healer. Shows your deepest wound and how to heal others. Strength and understanding through suffering. Salvation for the self through aiding others. Perseverance, wisdom, and teaching. Associated with Virgo and Sagittarius.

CERES*: The earth mother. Unconditional love. Shows where you feel most nurtured and how you demonstrate love and care to others. Mothering, tenderness, and support. Associated with Cancer.

PALLAS: The independent strategist. Shows source of intelligence, creativity and personal power. Courage, justice, and wisdom. Father/daughter relationship. Associated with Leo.

JUNO: The committed lover. Shows capacity for forming and maintaining meaningful relationships. Personal boundaries, intimacy, and sharing. How you demonstrate commitment and deep affection. Balance of authority and submission, power and vulnerability, giving and sharing, in relationships. Associated with Libra.

VESTA: The virginal self. Shows capacity for self-sufficiency and where you direct your devotion. Sense of trust, love and respect for the self. Personal potential, your pure essence. Chastity, intimacy, and sexuality. Integration and focus. Conscious self will in contact with the other, both people and environment. Associated with Virgo and Scorpio.

*Not technically asteroids. Chiron is classed as a minor planet and Ceres as a dwarf planet.


Vesta in Aries
Vesta in Aries is independent and they are capable of motivating and supporting themselves. They are not ones to ask for help because they believe they can take care of their own problems and accomplish their own tasks.

Vesta in Taurus
Vesta in Taurus has dedication and they stay fixated on their goals, but may not accomplish it as swiftly as most. They can work on their own and don’t necessarily need the help of others to accomplish things. They prefer to work comfortably, steadily and independently.

Vesta in Gemini
Vesta in Gemini can somewhat be scattered with their work, but they have the gift of gab. They may prefer to work with others engaging in all types of communication or may prefer to work independently but still being able to communicate online. Often times, we see that their sense of self can get lost through others.

Vesta in Cancer
Vesta in Cancer may prefer to help others by being a caregiver and offering emotional comfort, but they may not be the most social. They prefer to work independently in a comfortable environment. Vesta in Cancer can focus too much on the problems of others and may forget to take care of themselves.

Vesta in Leo
Vesta in Leo is oozing creativity and they prefer working in environments that allow them to freely express themselves. They are generous and can be social creatures and can even find themselves being loved and envied by plenty. Vesta in Leo can either give too much and receive little or give too little and selfishly take all.

Vesta in Virgo
Vesta in Virgo is devoted to a life of service and they can work well with others and also independently. There is a strong dedication for work and they may find themselves being way too consumed with their own work life. Vesta in Virgo can overdo themselves with the amount of work they put in, often forgetting to relax and care for themselves.

Vesta in Libra
Vesta in Libra prefers to work with others instead of working alone. They may find that their energy gets drained when they are working alone so because of this they may like being around people. Vesta in Libra values balance and equality in the workplace, but often times they may have a need to compete with others because they can compare themselves to other people.

Vesta in Scorpio
Vesta in Scorpio works best independently and they do so intensely and are insanely devoted to their work. These people are naturals at diving so deeply and finding out the truth quite easily. Vesta in Scorpio may slightly be competitive and they can be too focused on their own security that they can lack trust in others heavily.

Vesta in Sagittarius
Vesta in Sagittarius is dedicated to higher education or a universal truth/belief. They may work best independently and are passionate, as well as committed, to their own beliefs. Vesta in Sagittarius can make excellent teachers and coaches because they prefer to look at the big picture and keep a light and inspired heart towards many things.

Vesta in Capricorn
Vesta in Capricorn is deeply devoted to all of their goals and whatever they set their mind to. They can be workaholics and are grounded, hardworking and practical people, often times demanding the respect of others. Vesta in Capricorn can have a tendency to overwork themselves and can end up being their own worst enemy.

Vesta in Aquarius
Vesta in Aquarius does best when working with others since many of their goals are towards helping their community. They know how to detach from their emotions to get the work done, but nonetheless they are still friendly and accepting individuals. Vesta in Aquarius may deny their own personal goals.

Vesta in Pisces
Vesta in Pisces never really has their own personal goals, but instead aim to help the people who need it the most. They may care or empathize with others so deeply that they feel a sense of duty towards helping out the world. Vesta in Pisces can lack care for themselves because they are too busy focused on others.

Stop downing Hestia

I don’t understand how people try to talk down on Hestia. Yes she is the goddess of the Hearth and Home but do you understand how strong you have to be to control these things? Family is not always easy, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, it’s tough, you’re in a house (or home) with people for most or even all of your life and there’s fighting and crying and Hestia steps in and calms it and brings joy to the home. Also she protects the home, do you know how hard that must be? And how powerful you’d have to be to do this? I mean Hecate, Zeus, Apollo, and Hermes are also protectors of the home and they get great respect so why shouldn’t Hestia? Really in my eyes, Hestia (when the house is threatened) is that silent destroyer that no one wants to mess with. Hestia brings people together so how dare you talk down on that. Hestia is caring and has great strength and she is a Goddess so show her respect!

Vesta in the Houses

Vesta in First: This placement shows dedication to one’s self and a motivation to self-invest. This placement can lead to many achievements because of its tendency to give individuals a sharp focus. One may identify themselves with their goals, and may prefer to cut off any long-term relationships in order to achieve their visions.

Vesta in Second: This placement shows a dedication to providing fundamental resources for one’s loved ones and self. There may be an extra pressure to gather provisions and be a sole provider.

Vesta in Third: This placement shows dedication to the mind, personal understanding, and communication with others. There may be issues with communications and a pressure to become intelligent.

Vesta in Fourth: This placement shows dedication to home and family. Children with this placement may feel an extra responsibility around the home, and later in life, to their parents. They may suppress their own personal freedom in order to take care of their parents.

Vesta in Fifth: This placement shows dedication to creative expression, fun, freedom, and possibly children. There may be a suppression of artistic or sexual energy. An artistic profession is likely and may attract the spotlight.

Vesta in Sixth: This placement shows dedication to work, efficiency, and routine. There is also a drive to attain perfection, which can lead to obsession if not carefully handled. Health may be a large focus of this individual’s life.

Vesta in Seventh: This placement shows dedication to improving relationships, especially their most intimate relationship. Obsession, over-independence, or over-dependence can occur if this sign isn’t healthily expressed. In health, this sign finds self-sufficiency and independence.

Vesta in Eighth: This placement shows dedication to intensity, emotional depth, metaphysics, and sexuality. There may be issues with obsession and self-indulgence. There is a high enjoyment of risky adventures and extremism.

Vesta in Ninth: This placement shows dedication to sharing wisdom and pursuing self-discovery. There may be issues with idealism and pushing one’s philosophies onto others. Religious fanaticism can occur if sign is negatively expressed. Positively, can make wise, influential leaders.

Vesta in Tenth: This placement shows dedication to one’s profession and social status. There may be issues in discovering one’s life path. On the other hand, this placement implies hard workers who have much talent potential.

Vesta in Eleventh: This placement shows dedication to group interactions; especially those with an over-arching purpose. There may be issues with making friends, or becoming so absorbed into a community that loss of self occurs. Great potential for creating collectivist groups with an idealistic mission.

Vesta in Twelfth: This placement shows dedication to becoming self-less, spiritual, and devoted to destiny, karma, or a higher force (whichever rings true to you). There may be issues with unconscious fear, suppression, and persecution. There is also potential to become a bridge between the unconscious and conscious world, which can bring much self-discovery and mysticism.

The Placements of an Introvert

sun/moon/mercury/mars/jupiter/uranus or ceres/pallas/vesta in the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th houses.

sun/moon/mercury/mars/jupiter/uranus in taurus, cancer, virgo, scorpio, sagittarius, aquarius 

(particularly if the house or sign is in its planetary ruler)

negative aspects between sun, moon, ascending, or mercury. negative aspects are square, opposition, semisquare, sesquiquadrate, and quincux (last 3 are weaker influences).

6th or 9th house stellium