Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 June 13

A Venus Transit Over the Baltic Sea  

Image Credit & Copyright: Jens Hackmann  

Explanation: Waiting years and traveling kilometers — all to get a shot like this. And even with all of this planning, a good bit of luck was helpful. As the Sun rose over the  Baltic Sea last Wednesday as seen from  Fehmarn Island in northern  Germany, photographer  Jens Hackmann was ready for the very unusual black dot of Venus to appear superimposed. Less expected were the textures of clouds and haze that  would tint different levels of the Sun various shades of  red.  And possibly the luckiest gift of all was a flicker of a rare  green flash at the very top of the Sun. The above image is, of course, just one of  many spectacular pictures taken last week of the last  transit of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun for the next 105 years.

Special Kitty of the Day for February 13th

Lucky, the Cat of the Day
Name: Lucky
Age: Three years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Tabby
Home: Weisbach, Germany
Lucky is a very lovely cat, but three years ago Lucky has a bad time. When he was born, Lucky’s mum had left him and so I gave him potatoes and milk until we could get kitten food. Lucky is grey and black (he looks like a tiger). He loves to play with me, with other cats and to sleep in his basket. When I come home from school, Lucky waits for me and he picks me up from the bus. He is so special because he is simply unique and cuddly.

I love Lucky very much!

Dragon Magick

Dragon Magick

 
 
Western and Eastern European and Scandinavian dragons are the true fire dragons. They are primarily guardians of gold, described as the life blood of the earth, and live in caves. The Oriental dragons are mainly air and water dragons, associated with life-giving rain, with winds and storms and with gems and pearls, through there are the fiery kinds as well, as seen in processions.
 
Dragon magick uses the spiritual power associated with fire-breathing dragons to protect your own particular treasures. These treasures might be tangible ones like your home or your family. Less tangibly, treasure to you might represent speaking the truth or receiving honesty from others, the power to develop your career or heaing powers, or the ability to love or gain knowledge. Dragon magick is also good way of manifesting prosperity in your life, not for its own sake but in order to have the resources to do all the things you want to – and so that you don’t need to worry and can bring happiness to others.
 
For despite their bad press in Christian times as symbols of the earth mother, dragons are essentially wise and noble. Of course, physical dragons don’t exist. By means of visualization however, you can build up a connection the huge energy field of the dragon that exist spiritually, the same way the love and altruism are real.
 
Fire dragons are variously described as possessing all or some of the following: eagles’ feet, bat-like wings, the front legs of a lion, a reptile or dinosaur’s head with a huge mouth and teeth from which smoke and fire pours, huge scales, the horns of an antelope, a soft underbelly and a spade-like snake or lizard-like tail that may being close to the head.
 
Smaller fire drakes, found in the myths of France and Germany, don’t have wings, but are red and have fiery breath. They live in caves with their great hoards, the riches of the earth.
 
According to Bulgarian dragon lore, the male dragon is the fiery one and is a benign protector of humans and the crops, in contrast to his watery and less well-disposed sister. In this tradition, dragons have three heads and wings.
 
The ruler of the fire dragons is called Fafnir, whose name comes from the Norse and German culture. He was once a dwarf but was transformed into a dragon because of his love of the treasures he created and the metals he forged. He was killed by Sigrid Volsungr or Siegfried who burned himself, licked his fingers and so absorbed the dragon’s power to commune with the birds.
 
This isn’t a straightforward legend and has a lot to do with the overcoming of the earlier earth goddess power as typified by the dragons. Therefore, Fafnir shouldn’t be thought of as a greedy dwarf who became a dragon to be slain, as in the patriarchal, monk-recorded legends. Rather, Fafnir is lord of the dragons, who guards from the greedy and insensitive the power of the hidden treasures, whether these be of the goddess or your own potential. So if you do include Fafnir in your dragon chants recall his wonderful craftsmanship and how he conserves the minerals of the earth – not a bad lesson for modern times.

I couldn’t find a groundhog as “Pet Of The Day.” How ’bout a cute little bunny instead?

Rudi, the Pet of the Day
Name: Rudi
Age: Unknown
Gender: Male
Kind: German Giant Rabbit
Home: Benneckenstein, Germany
This is my rabbit Rudi. He has this name because he is so big, like a little dog. He is a “Deutscher Riese” – a German Giant Rabbit.

We got Rudi in 2009. He came to us as a stray. One evening my dad said: “There is something white on the road.” And the next morning, my mum went into our garden and Rudi sat there! We knew that he came from our neighbours, but there he would have been slaughtered. Our neighbour told us: “You can keep him.” And so Rudi was and is still our rabbit.

When it is warm, my sister and I let Rudi out in the garden and play with him. Then Rudi is very happy. He knocks with his feets and jumps into the sky. That is very funny and fun to watch.

Rudi likes to eat very much and sometimes he grunts when we put some new food in his hutch. His favorite food is carrots. Sometimes he is impatient and so he nips but we know he is not bad tempered. I love Rudi very much!!!

Celebrations Around the World, Jan. 22

Erotic Festival Day
Festival of the Orgone
St. Vincent’s Day (patron of winegrowers, schoolgirls, vinegar makers)
Dance of the 7 Veils Day
Festival of Invoking & Banishing
Answer Your Cat’s Question Day
Ukranian Day
Saints Day
National Blond Brownie Day
St. Timothy’s Day (Greek)
Goddess Month of Hestia ends
Munich Ballet Festival begins
Hong Kong Arts Festival begins

Mayan Chronological Estimation: A Good Day For Those Who Walk In The Country.

Today’s Goddess: Minne

Today’s Goddess: Minne

Linden Festival (Germany)
 
Themes:Protection; Love; Luck; Devotion; Unity
Symbols: Linden Tree; Cup; Beer
 
About Minne: Minne is a German goddess of love and fertility. Her name–meaning “remembrance”–was applied to a special cup for lovers in this part of the world. The cup was filled with specially prepared beer and raised between two people wishing to deepen their love. This gives Minne a strong association with devotion, unity, and fidelity.
 
To Do Today: During the second weekend in July, people in Geisenheim, Germany, gather around an ancient Linden Tree (six hundred plus years old) and celebrate the year’s new wine. All aspects of the festival take place beneath the Linden’s branches, which in magic terms represent safety and good fortune. The Linden flowers portray Minne’s spirit, having been used in all manner of love magic! To protect a relationship, two lovers should carry dried Linden flowers with them always.
When making a promise to each other, a couple may drink a wooden goblet of beer today, linking their destinies. Raise the glass to the sky first, saying, “Minne’s love upon our lips, devotion in each sip.”
 
Drink while looking deeply into each other’s eyes. Or, exchange pieces of Linden wood as a magical bonding that invokes Minne’s blessing. If Linden isn’t native to your area, other trees and bushes that promote Minne’s loving qualities include avens, elm, lemon, orange, peach, pear, primrose, rose, and willow.
.

By Patricia Telesco

Minne

Today’s Goddess: Minne

Linden Festival (Germany)

Themes:Protection; Love; Luck; Devotion; Unity

Symbols: Linden Tree; Cup; Beer

About Minne: Minne is a German goddess of love and fertility. Her name–meaning “remembrance”–was applied to a special cup for lovers in this part of the world. The cup was filled with specially prepared beer and raised between two people wishing to deepen their love. This gives Minne a strong association with devotion, unity, and fidelity.

To Do Today: During the second weekend in July, people in Geisenheim, Germany, gather around an ancient Linden Tree (six hundred plus years old) and celebrate the year’s new wine. All aspects of the festival take place beneath the Linden’s branches, which in magic terms represent safety and good fortune. The Linden flowers portray Minne’s spirit, having been used in all manner of love magic! To protect a relationship, two lovers should carry dried Linden flowers with them always.

When making a promise to each other, a couple may drink a wooden goblet of beer today, linking their destinies. Raise the glass to the sky first, saying, “Minne’s love upon our lips, devotion in each sip.”

Drink while looking deeply into each other’s eyes. Or, exchange pieces of Linden wood as a magical bonding that invokes Minne’s blessing. If Linden isn’t native to your area, other trees and bushes that promote Minne’s loving qualities include avens, elm, lemon, orange, peach, pear, primrose, rose, and willow.

.

By Patricia Telesco

Did You Know . . . .

Did you know…

From Wikipedia’s newest content:

RMS Titanic Musicians' Memorial, Southampton

  • … that the Titanic Musicians’ Memorial (pictured) in Southampton features the hymn, “Nearer, My God, to Thee”, commonly believed to have been played as the ship went down?
  • … that Will June, grandfather of a National Football League Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion linebacker, is the oldest player to officially bowl consecutive 300-games?
  • … that phonon noise is a major source of noise in cryogenically cooled superconducting transition edge sensors?
  • … that Tambora, a Papuan language, was once spoken in the middle of Indonesia near Bali, far to the west of Papua, until the trading state that used it was wiped out by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815?
  • … that the indie video game Digital: A Love Story is set “five minutes into the future of 1988”?
  • … that Arab prince Al-Abbas ibn al-Ma’mun refused to take the throne even though he was the only son of the previous caliph and had the support of the army?
  • … that Nazi scientists claimed to have trained a dog to call “Adolf Hitler” as “Mein Führer”?

In The News Today

In the news

Sepp Blatter

  • Sepp Blatter (pictured) is re-elected President of FIFA amid corruption allegations within association football’s world governing body.
  • One of the largest outbreaks of E. coli ever recorded strikes Germany and several other European countries.
  • Germany permanently closes eight nuclear plants and announces plans to abandon nuclear power by 2022.
  • President of Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh dies from complications of surgery in Moscow.
  • In auto racing, Sebastian Vettel wins the Monaco Grand Prix and Dan Wheldon wins the Indianapolis 500.
  • A referendum to introduce divorce passes in Malta.