16. Juni 2019
Sky Terrace – An astrological-analytical look at the stars, planetary movements, seasonal phenomena, and the world at large, by Uli Mai
From June 14-22, Saturn, Neptune, and Jupiter are all at 18 degrees of their home signs, each in aspect with the other two. A once-in-many-lifetimes constellation, and one that will be (at least partially) visible this month!
On June 16th, Mercury joins the 18 degree club from the soulful sign of Cancer. Around June 16th, which is just a day before June`s Full Moon, you can experience deep insights, and a kind of larger-than-life, or life-is-but-a-dream feeling, but also possibly stressful wake-up calls concerning your job, authorities, health, family, or other responsibilities. Mercury is travelling close to Mars in Mid-June, meeting him on the 20th; but unfortunately, this meeting will hardly be visible from Europe, as they rise too low and are rather dim at the moment.
Interestingly enough, Mars just finished a 2-year-period of extreme brightness, unprecedented for centuries, that culminated in a spectacular Lunar Eclipse in July 2018, very close to Mars. Millions of people watched as Mars shone his reddish light close to the blood colored Moon. Now, the planet of War and Action planet fades from sight just as he confronts Saturn, and makes aspects to the other big planets, Jupiter and Neptune, too. For sky observers, that`s a pity, but on a symbolical level, this could be food for thought.
Our personal egos, fights for attention, for being “better” than others, and on an international scale, war-mongery and dog eat dog mentality, are getting less celestial backup. Instead, the brightest planets right now are Jupiter and Saturn. These two are the largest planets of the Solar System, and known as two teachers, one benign, one stern. As visibility shifts from Mars/Mercury to Jupiter/Saturn, it reminds us that a social, not solely individual, perspective is important this year.
Don`t miss the opportunity to observe Jupiter. You can do so with your naked eye, as it`s at maximum brightness right now. With normal binoculars, you can even spot some of Jupiter`s Moons – perhaps even the shadows they cast on its surface. This is pretty spectacular!
It`s easy to find Jupiter, as the Full Moon on June 17 will take place very close to it, in the constellation of Ophiuchus, the Snake Bearer. With help of the Moon, you will be able to spot the biggest planet even in the city. The Moon draws attention to Jupiter between June 16 and 19, and makes it easy to spot close-by Saturn to boot. Definitely look up and find the two teacher planets bright in the Sky, define your visions for the rest of the year, and use your discipline to make them come true.
Image: Not all galaxies are neatly shaped, as this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 6240 clearly demonstrates. Hubble previously released an image of this galaxy back in 2008, but the knotted region, shown here in a pinky-red hue at the center of the galaxies, was only revealed in these new observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys. NGC 6240 lies 400 million light-years away in the constellation of Ophiuchus (The Serpent Holder). This galaxy has an elongated shape with branching wisps, loops and tails. This mess of gas, dust and stars bears more than a passing resemblance to a butterfly and a lobster. This bizarrely-shaped galaxy did not begin its life looking like this; its distorted appearance is a result of a galactic merger that occurred when two galaxies drifted too close to one another. This merger sparked bursts of new star formation and triggered many hot young stars to explode as supernovae. A new supernova, not visible in this image was discovered in this galaxy in 2013, named SN 2013dc. At the center of NGC 6240 an even more interesting phenomenon is taking place. When the two galaxies came together, their central black holes did so, too. There are two supermassive black holes within this jumble, spiraling closer and closer to one another. They are currently only some 3,000 light-years apart, incredibly close given that the galaxy itself spans 300,000 light-years. This proximity secures their fate as they are now too close to escape each other and will soon form a single immense black hole. Image credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)