As such, the zodiac signs no longer correspond to constellations of stars that appear in night sky. And last, but certainly not least, there is the issue of the missing 13th sign, which corresponds to the constellation Ophiuchus.
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Over years ago, this constellation was deliberately left out, though the Sun clearly passes in front of it after passing in front of Scorpius aka. Scorpio and before reaching Sagittarius. But the true boundaries that divide the constellations, as defined by the International Astronomical Union IAU , are not exact.
And in the meantime, here are the zodiac signs, listed in order along with what they mean, and some interesting facts associated with their respective constellations:. Aries is associated with Fire, and the ruling celestial body of Aries is Mars. It appears to be a red dwarf, a class of low temperature and low luminosity stars. For those with telescopes, several galaxies can be spotted within the Aries constellation as well. NGC is another, which is faint at magnitude 12 and part of a galaxy group. Aries is also home to several meteor showers, such as the May Arietids.
This daylight meteor shower begins between May 4th and June 6th with maximum activity happening on May 16th.
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The Epsilon Arietids are also a daylight occurrence, and are active between April 25th to May 27th with peak activity on May 9th. And then there are the Daytime Arietids, which occur from May 22nd to July 2nd with a maximum rate of one a minute on June 8th. To top it off, the Aries constellation contains several stars with extrasolar planets.
For example, HIP , a G5 type star, is orbited by three confirmed exoplanets, all of them giant planets all Super-Earths. HD , also a G-type main sequence star, has two orbiting planets which appear to be Super-Jupiters. And HD , a G0 type star, has one orbiting gas giant that roughly the same size as Jupiter.
The ruling celestial body of Taurus is Venus.
There is one major annual meteor shower associated with the constellation of Taurus: the annual Taurids, which peak on or about November 5th of each year and have a duration period of about 45 days. The maximum fall rate for this meteor shower is about 10 meteors per hour, with many bright fireballs often occurring when the parent comet — Encke — has passed near perihelion. And speaking of Pleiades aka. Messier 45 , The Seven Sisters this cluster of stars is located perpendicular to Aldebaran in the night sky, and is visible to the unaided eye.
Although it is made up of over confirmed stars, this object is identifiable by its seven particularly bright blue stars though as many as 14 up can be seen with the naked eye depending on local observing conditions. These are based on the Dioscuri of Greek mythology, two mortals that were granted shared godhood after death.
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Gemini is part of the Third House, traditionally named Fratres Brothers and currently known as the House of Communications. The associated element for Geminis is Air, and the ruling celestial body is Mercury. Pollux is the brighter of the two, an orange-hued giant star of magnitude 1. Pollux has an extrasolar planet revolving around it, as do two other stars in Gemini, a super-Jupiter which was confirmed in There are two annual meteor showers associated with the constellation of Gemini.
The first is the March Geminids, which peaks on or around March 22nd. The average fall rate is generally about 40 per hour but this varies and the meteors appear to be very slow, entering our atmosphere unhurriedly and leaving lasting trails. The second meteor shower are the Geminids themselves, which peak on or near the date of December 14th, with activity beginning up to two weeks prior and lasting for several days. The Geminids are one of the most beautiful and mysterious showers, with a rate of about per hour during a moonless night. The Gemini constellation is also associated with Messier 35 , a galactic open star cluster that is easily spotted with the naked eye.
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The star cluster is quite young, having formed some million years ago, and is quite bright due to it having blown away most of its leftover material i. Other open clusters in Gemini include NGC , which lies directly southwest of M35 in the night sky. In terms of the elements, Cancers are characterized by the element of Water, and the ruling celestial body of Cancer is The Moon.
This 3. This system is also home to a confirmed exoplanet, beta Cancri b, which is a Super-Jupiter with an orbital period of over days. In terms of deep-sky objects, Cancer is best known as being the home of Messier Object 44 aka.
Praesepe, or the Beehive Cluster , an open cluster located in the center of the constellation. Located light-years from Earth, it is one of the nearest open clusters to our Solar System. M44 contains about 50 stars, the brightest of which are of the sixth magnitude. The smaller, denser open cluster of Messier Object 67 can also be found in Cancer, which is light-years from Earth and contains approximately stars. The active galaxy OJ is also found in the Cancer constellation. Located 3. There is only one meteor shower associated with the constellation of Cancer, which is the Delta Cancrids.
The peak date for this shower is on or about January 16t, and has been known to average only about 4 comets per hour and the meteors are very swift. The sign of Leo is also associated with the element of Fire and the ruling celestial body of Leo is The Sun. There are five annual meteor showers associated with the constellation Leo. The first is the Delta Leonid meteor stream, which begins between February 5th through March 19th every year.
get link The activity peaks in late February, and the maximum amount of meteors averages around 5 per hour. The next is the Sigma Leonid meteor shower, which begins on April 17th. This is a very weak shower, with activity rates no higher than 1 to 2 per hour. The next is the November Leonids, the largest and most dependable meteor shower associated with the Leo constellation. The peak date is November 17th, but activity occurs around 2 days on either side of the date. The radiant is near Regulus and this is the most spectacular of modern showers.
The shower is made more spectacular by the appearance of the Temple-Tuttle comet, which adds fresh material to the stream when it is at perihelion. The last is the Leo Minorids, which peak on or about December 14th, which is believed to produce around 10 faint meteors per hour. Leo is also home to some of the largest structures in the observable universe. This includes many bright galaxies, which includes the Leo Triplet aka. The Triplet is at a distance of 37 million light-years from Earth and has a somewhat distorted shape due to gravitational interactions with the other members of the Triplet, which are pulling stars away from M Both M65 and M66 are visible in large binoculars or small telescopes, but seeing them in all of their elongated glory requires a telescope.
In addition, it is also home to the famous objects Messier 95 , Messier 96 , and Messier These are spiral galaxies, in the case of M95 and M96 with M95 being a barred spiral , while Messier is an elliptical galaxy which is known to have a supermassive black hole at its center.
Then there is the Leo Ring aka. Cosmic Horseshoe a cloud of hydrogen and helium gas, that orbits two galaxies found within this constellation. Based on Astraea from Greek mythology, the maiden was the last immortal to abandon Earth at the end of the Silver Age, when the gods fled to Olympus. They are also associated with the element of Earth and the ruling celestial body of Virgo is Mercury.
The brightest star in the Virgo constellation is Spica , a binary and rotating ellipsoidal variable — which means the two stars are so close together that they are egg-shaped instead of spherical — located between and light years from Earth. The primary is a blue giant and a variable star of the Beta Cephei type. The star 70 Virginis was one of the first planetary systems to have a confirmed exoplanet discovered orbiting it, which is 7. The star Chi Virginis has one of the most massive planets ever detected, at a mass of The symbol for Uranus is represented by combined devices indicating the Sun plus the spear of Mars, as Uranus was the personification of heaven in Greek mythology, dominated by the light of the Sun and the power of Mars.
The symbol for Neptune is the trident long three-pronged fork or weapon of Neptune, god of the sea. The symbol for dwarf planet Pluto is a monogram made up of P and L in Pluto and also the initials of Percival Lowell, who predicted its discovery. Three new small lakes, to square miles a few hundreds of square kilometers in surface area, have been identified on Saturn's moon Titan in data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
In the imag A Sprinkling of Little Lakes. Saturn dust. InSight's landing site is Elysium Planitia, a flat, smooth plain selected not for its surface features, but for safety considerations. InSight's purpose is to study the interior of Mars, not the su This illustration taken from the Cassini Grand Finale movie shows Cassini's fly-through of the Enceladus plume in October Cassini at Enceladus Illustration. The minimum concentration of ozone above Antarctica from to Repairing the Ozone Hole.
This mosaic, made from radar images obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, shows mountainous terrain on Saturn's moon Titan in the moon's northern hemisphere, north of the Aaru region. The annotate Mountains North of Aaru on Titan.
Analysis of periodicities in Saturn kilometric radiation reveals two periods as indicated in this display. The kilometric radio emissions coming from the Northern hemisphere have a period near Modulation Periods of Saturn Kilometertic Radiation. Lightning in Blue -- Annotated. This graphic shows the trajectories for the Cassini spacecraft during its flybys of the icy moon Enceladus through the 21st planned targeted encounter.
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