Calendar of the Sun for July 11

Calendar of the Sun

Solstitium

Colors: Green and gold
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of green and gold set flowers and herbs in pots, a bowl of rainwater, a large pitcher of manure tea, and several empty baskets.
Offerings: Water and fertilizer, to be added to the garden.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian.

Solstitium Invocation

Earth, you begin to give forth your bounty!
Like the maiden blossoming into the mother,
Like the youth growing into the father,
You yield your children up to us
For our sustenance and health,
As we are also your children.
We will not waste your gifts!
We will nurture what you bring forth
With the labor of our hands,
That those gifts shall be sustained
Year after year, and that you shall
Never be exhausted.
We will not be ungrateful, O Earth whose life is ours,
But we will give back as much as we take,
For this is the way of balance.

Chant:
Life harnessed
Call the sun to us
Sacred harvest
You are one with us

(Two who have been chosen to do the work of the ritual take up the rainwater and the manure tea, and carry them out to the garden, where they are ceremonially poured around the roots of the herbs and vegetables. All others follow with the empty baskets, and harvest some thing from the garden, whether a token or a main part of the next meal. After this, each should do some part of the work of further watering, or fertilizing, or mulching, to give back to the earth as much as is taken away.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Solar fireworks might be heading our way for the 4th

Solar fireworks might be heading our way for the 4th

 

A solar flare disrupts radio communication in Europe and is expected to light up the sky in the coming days. Msnbc.com’s Richard Lui reports.

By Alan Boyle

The sun sent out a flare powerful enough to disrupt radio communications over Europe today, along with an eruption of electrically charged particles that just might sweep past Earth’s magnetic field in time to spark a Fourth of July show of auroral fireworks.

The M5.6-class solar flare, observed by NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory at 6:52 a.m. ET (10:52 GMT), was almost powerful enough to cross over from the medium M-class category to an extreme X-class event, SpaceWeather.com’s Tony Phillips noted. “A pulse of X-rays and UV radiation from the flare illuminated Earth’s upper atmosphere, producing waves of ionization over Europe,” he wrote.

Such waves can spark bursts of radio static, as recorded by Rob Stammes in Norway and noted by the National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center. “Radio blackout storms have been observed in the past 24 hours,” the center reported on its Facebook page.

SpaceWeather.com says the solar eruption threw out a coronal mass ejection, or CME — not directly toward Earth, but in a southerly celestial direction. In the video above, you can see the solar material blurping downward and outward from a monster sunspot region known as AR 1515.

Phillips writes that the “south-traveling cloud could deliver a glancing blow to our planet’s magnetosphere on July 4th or 5th.” However, the Space Weather Prediction Center says the CME “is not expected to disturb the field during the forecast period.”

The sun is in the midst of an upswing in its 11-year activity cycle, heading toward an expected maximum in 2013. Right now there are five sunspot regions on the sun’s Earth-facing side, and two of them — 1513 and 1515 — are considered capable of sending out M-class flares. Such flares are generally associated with moderate disruption of radio communication and navigation systems. As for today’s CME, the most likely effect will be heightened displays of the northern and southern lights.

Follow @CosmicLog

CME or not, it looks as if it’s a good week for auroras, judging from the pictures being sent in to SpaceWeather.com’s real-time image gallery. The prime time for auroras generally begins at just about the time of night that the fireworks shows are finishing up. And there’s more to see besides the fireworks: This happens to be a great week for seeing the full moon and Mars in sunset skies, or seeing Jupiter and Venus just before dawn. Sky and Telescope has the week’s rundown.

So if you’re out and about on the night of the Fourth, sit back and enjoy the fireworks — whether they’re terrestrial or celestial in origin. And if you happen to snap a great picture of the northern or southern lights, please share it with us via our FirstPerson photo upload page. If we get some good ones, we’ll pass ’em along after the Fourth.

 

To read entire article and view film, visit here.