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Pluto Moons Get Mythical New Names

BBC News

The recently discovered fourth and fifth moons of Pluto now have official names: Kerberos and Styx.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), charged with making official name designations, stipulates in its rules that names derive from mythology.

The names – referring to a three-headed dog and a river separating the living from the dead, . . . → Read More: Pluto Moons Get Mythical New Names

Centaurs, Centaurus, and the Centauromachy

By Elani Temperance

[Snip] There are two stories of the birth of the centaur race: in the first, Ixion (Ἰξίων), king of the Lapiths (Λαπίθαι), and Nephele (Νεφέλη), a cloud nymph Zeus created in the image of Hera to trick Ixion to test his integrity after displaying his lust for Hera during a feast as . . . → Read More: Centaurs, Centaurus, and the Centauromachy

Astronomical alignments were vital in Mesoamerica

Past Horizons

A three year examination of astronomical alignments found in the buildings of Mesoamerican cities has demonstrated the basis of some pre-Columbian rituals.

Archaeologist Francisco Sánchez Nava, of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), together with archaeoastronomer Ivan Sprajc, from the Centre of Scientific Research of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and . . . → Read More: Astronomical alignments were vital in Mesoamerica

Moon, Jupiter Will Put On a Rare Show Monday Night

By Tom Spears

Monday night brings the best chance in years to see two of the brightest objects in the sky posed side by side.

The moon and the planet Jupiter will be just less than one degree apart, which won’t happen again until 2026. That distance will be about the width of your little . . . → Read More: Moon, Jupiter Will Put On a Rare Show Monday Night

The Myths & Magick of Shooting Stars

The Perseid Meteor Shower

By Athmey M. Richter

Mankind has always had a special relationship with the stars. In the modern world we explore them scientifically: searching for the answers to the Big Questions regarding the origins of life and the extent of the wider universe around us. We look up at the stars through . . . → Read More: The Myths & Magick of Shooting Stars

Super Moon

Anonymous

A so-called supermoon will brighten the night sky Saturday, though it might not be quite as super as some people believe.

Supermoons occur when the moon’s closest approach to the Earth — known as perigee — coincides with a full moon. The moon has an elliptical orbit with one side about 50,000 kilometres closer . . . → Read More: Super Moon

Venus to Appear in Once-In-A-Lifetime Event

Anonymous

On 5 and 6 June this year, millions of people around the world will be able to see Venus pass across the face of the Sun in what will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

It will take Venus about six hours to complete its transit, appearing as a small black dot on the Sun’s surface, . . . → Read More: Venus to Appear in Once-In-A-Lifetime Event

How the Full Moons Got Their Names

By Joe Rao

The start of 2012 brings with it a new year of skywatching, and lunar enthusiasts are gearing up for a stunning lineup of full moons. But, where does the tradition of full moon names come from?

Full moon names date back to Native Americans of a few hundred years ago, of what . . . → Read More: How the Full Moons Got Their Names

Mythology in the stars

By Robin Dudgeon

Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) has a very interesting tool to teach Aboriginal students about their mythology — an inflatable planetarium.

Wilfred Buck, who hails from Opaskwayak Cree Nation but now works for (MFNERC), tours his inflatable planetarium around the province to different schools as part of the MFNERC . . . → Read More: Mythology in the stars

Avebury Cosmos, by Nicholas R. Mann

Reviewed by Dorothy L. Abrams

Avebury Cosmos by Nicholas R. Mann opens the doorway we always knew was there at the stone circles. Behind that doorway is the answer to the question “Why?” Mann provides star charts, reconstructed graphics of the hills and rivers along with our ancestor’s construction projects to help us understand their . . . → Read More: Avebury Cosmos, by Nicholas R. Mann