Local stargazers are huddling together tonight with the Klamath County Museum to view the spectacular celestial theater starring the ‘most scrutinized and photographed objects in the sky,’ The Orion Nebula, with a guest appearance by elusive Mercury.
From the Klamath County Museum FB:
If the only nebula you've ever seen was in a Star Trek show, then you should come out Saturday for the Klamath County Museum's Star Party and see the real thing. We'll gather at 6 p.m. at Liskey Farms on Lower Klamath Lake Road. Sure, it will be a little chilly, but stars in the winter sky are unbelievably bright and clear. The Orion Nebula will be the star of the show. Let's hope for clear skies!
Clear skies will signal lower air temps, so bundle up and bring a thermos of something hot to sip.
Update from Klamath County Museum: We definitely don't like the overcast skies on a day when we're looking forward to a star party at night. Even so, we'll be at Liskey Farms with telescopes at 6 p.m. tonight, hoping for clear skies. The site is on Lower Klamath Lake Road. Here's the location in GoogleMaps: http://goo.gl/maps/kHlCc
The Orion Nebula - Three Heartstones of Mayan myth
The Orion Nebula is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky, and is among the most intensely studied celestial features. The nebula has revealed much about the process of how stars and planetary systems are formed from collapsing clouds of gas and dust.
There has been speculation that the Mayans of Central America may have described the nebula within their "Three Hearthstones" creation myth; if so, the three would correspond to two stars at the base of Orion, Rigel and Saiph, and another, Alnitak at the tip of the "belt" of the imagined hunter, the vertices of a nearly perfect triangle with Orion's Sword (including the Orion Nebula) in the middle seen as the smudge of smoke from copal incense in a modern myth, or, in (the translation it suggests of) an ancient one, the literal or figurative embers of a fiery creation.
Space.com tells us that Mercury isn’t as elusive as its made out to be, one simply has to know where to look:
The planet Mercury is often cited as the most difficult of the five bright planets to see.
Called an "inferior planet" because its orbit is nearer to the Sun than the Earth's, Mercury -- scarcely more than half as far from the Sun as Venus is -- always appears from our vantage point to be in the same general direction as the Sun and it's usually lost in the sunlight.
Yet it's not really hard to see. You simply must know when and where to look, and find a clear horizon.
Currently, Mercury is visible about 45 minutes after sunset, very near to the horizon, just to the south (left) of due west. Yet, if your sky is clear and there are no tall obstructions to your view (like trees or buildings) you should have no trouble in seeing it as a very bright "star" shining with just a trace of a yellowish-orange tinge.
Happy Groundhog Day
According to various reports this morning, Punxsutawney Phil, the infamous spring-predicting groundhog, did not see his shadow which means spring is on its way.
Listen to Phil or not, around here the best way to ensure a long winter is for someone to take their studs off mid-winter!
Enjoy the show tonight!
For information on holistic astrology, please contact me at: www.holisticwellnesscenter.biz.
Thank you for reading. Your comments are appreciated. Feel free to subscribe and share me. Namaste and blessings for all.
Here's the link to my online bookstore: http://www.amazon.com/shops/holisticallyyours. 50% of the sales go to charity.