Star­walks: Bril­liant Gath­er­ings

Catron Courier - - News -

June be­gins with a full moon on the sec­ond. The bright, red star Antares, named the Ri­val of Mars and the Heart of the Scor­pion, rises just af­ter sun­set and just be­fore the moon. Saturn will be in the eastern sky al­ready, just above the high­est of the three stars form­ing the fore­head of the Scor­pion, or, more pro­saically, the cross­piece of the big ‘J’ also formed by the stars of this con­stel­la­tion. This beau­ti­ful group of stars will be vis­i­ble in the skies at night­fall, dom­i­nat­ing the sum­mer’s skies as the con­stel­la­tion Orion dom­i­nates the win­ter’s.

The evening sky’s west­ern hori­zon will be a dra­matic sight on June 19 when the three-day-old cres­cent Moon hangs be­low bril­liant Venus, and above them shines the sec­ond bright­est planet, Jupiter. At the eleven o’clock po­si­tion you can ob­serve the star Reg­u­lus, the Heart of the Lion in the con­stel­la­tion of Leo the Lion.

Both Antares and Reg­u­lus are Royal Stars. They once marked the Equinox and the Sol­stice, along with their fel­low stars Alde­baran, the Eye of the Bull and Fo­ma­l­haut, the Mouth of the (South­ern) Fish. Coin­ci­dently, the Sun and Mars—which is now in­vis­i­ble be­cause it is be­hind the Sun—are in the vicin­ity of Alde­baran on the day of the full moon. Jane Sell­ers, Egyp­tol­o­gist, in her book

the­o­rizes that Antares and Alde­baran were the Egyptian gods Seth and Horus, or Dark­ness and Light. Now you too can see this sym­bolic stel­lar battle.

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