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By Jupiter!

A blog about the stars, astronomy gifts, and other starry musings by the folks behind Indigo Night.

Recent Work - Tucson

by Van Wymelenberg
January 16, 2017
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Just by way of introduction, to let you know, we just worked up this new panoramic illustration for Tucson.  

It's in the folder called NAMED PLACE S-Z on our Create Your Own page.  In other words, the usual spot!

Enjoy with beverage.

Van

 

 

Take 21% Friday thru Monday.

by Van Wymelenberg
November 21, 2016
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Our annual pre-Solstice sale runs from 'Black Friday' through 'Cyber Monday.'  That's from the 25th through the 28th.  All orders placed with the following code: Venus_Capricorn will be discounted 21%.  

Note that these orders are for Christmas delivery, and not our usual 3 to 4 days turn-around.  You'll have them for Christmas, probably well before Christmas, so not to panic.  Order early, and tell your friends.

Looking southwest in early evening over the next few month you'll see Venus and Mars closing with each other amid the faint stars of Capricorn and Aquarius.  Venus is the brightest object by far in this part of the sky… and Mars is noticeably rose-hued, above and left.  Venus goes retrograde early in February, peeling off at the Pisces Circlet, but a lovely chase until then.  

19 Years and 19 Minutes: Frost Moon at Lake Tahoe

by Van Wymelenberg
October 28, 2016
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This is the full frost moon rising over Lake Tahoe on 14 November of 1997.  This year, 2016, the moon will be full again come the 14th, and travel the night sky once again with its companion stars in Taurus.  Vision and revision.
 
This 19 year interval is called the 'Metonic Cycle' after the Greek astronomer Meton who observed that 19 years is common multiple of the solar year and the lunar month — 19 years is almost exactly equal to 235 synodic months and, rounded to full days, counts 6,940 days. The difference between the two periods (of 19 years and 235 synodic months) is only a few hours, depending on the definition of the year… and by the calculations we use here at Indigo, this particular interval is off by just 19 minutes.  That is to say the difference between the exact moment the moon was full in November of 1997 and November of 2016 is 19 years less 19 minutes.
 
I've always liked that number: 19.
 
Both moons travel the November sky in Taurus, at the same point on the ecliptic, balanced between the Hyades and Pleiades, close to a minor player, Lambda Tauri, a faint star, actually an eclipsing binary.
 
I especially like the fact that this has nothing to do with making America great again.
 

Uncommonly Beautiful

by Grant Johnson
September 26, 2016
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Week of September 26 – October 2

Greetings, watchers of the Indigo Night. The best naked-eye viewing begins in the early morning hours at the start of this week, switching to nightfall by the coming weekend as the moon passes through its new phase in between. On Monday , Tuesday, and Wednesday, the slender waning crescent moon will be visible before dawn first in Cancer, and then in Leo. Mercury lights close each of these mornings, always in Leo. But the view I look forward to arrives late in the week, as the newly-waxing crescent reappears on Sunday evening, closely paired with 'Evening Star' Venus at the western horizon just after sunset.

 This conjunction of a razor thin crescent moon and radiant Venus has always been a favorite of mine, and is emphasized in the extensive mythology related to Venus and similar goddesses and gods across a variety of cultures.

 

Venus is the brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon, and although more similar in size and luminance to the host of stars and other planets, she is distinct enough from them to stand out as the 'Queen of Heaven' in many cosmologies. Her pathway through the sky, as seen from Earth, causes her to disappear from view and reappear at regular intervals, alternating between her aspects as 'Morning Star,' and 'Evening Star.' These movements give rise to mythological narratives that illuminate seasonal cycles of death and rebirth.

 While Venus appears in the west at nightfall as the 'Evening Star,' she only meets the waxing crescent moon at the horizon, as will happen this coming Sunday. In a number of cultural traditions, the moon in this connection becomes Venus's bull-consort, sometimes a son-lover. They dally for a few days, during which time the moon's illumination grows and its mythical symbolism eventually changes, but the period when the heavenly goddess of fertility and rebirth meets the virile presence of the bull-horned moon is regarded as auspicious for its generative and hopeful connotations.

Beyond this fleeting conjunction with the moon, the Great Cycle of Venus is a fascinating pattern of astronomical movement involving the second planet, Sun, and Earth that describes a pentagonal figure recurring with remarkable precision. This graphic model presents an earth-centered view – where the earth is assumed to be the center of the solar system – and shows/explains the retrograde motion of Venus.  One way to think of this is as a gigantic spirograph tracing out its contours inside the orbit of the earth. This link provides a clear illustration of the three bodies' movements around one another.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWwOrUjFOFY

If you want to consider this in depth, and look at the actual Ptolemaic System (earth-centered or geo-centric model) that was in use for much of antiquity, check out this site:

http://astro.unl.edu/naap/ssm/animations/ptolemaic.html

Look west after sunset on Sunday to see the stunning reunion of the moon and Venus that has fired the human imagination for millennia.

21% Discount! September_Equinox_Harvest_Moon

by Van Wymelenberg
September 19, 2016
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It's the equinox this week.  I love to verify and calibrate my internal compass during the weeks of the equinox, marking due east and west with the sun at the horizon (you know about that, right?) as I walk our puppy at sunrise.  And drink one beer while I sit in my sailboat at sundown… still in my backyard, too many years in restoration, too few years on the bay.

AND it's our annual equinox sale, more to the point.  Take 21% of your orders this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  These orders will ship within a couple of weeks, sometimes sooner, sometimes a little later, based on volume… so don't be in a hurry for them, know that they'll arrive soon, but not our normal 3 business day turn-around.

Here is the code to use at checkout:

September_Equinox_Harvest_Moon

Orders will ship first in, first out, so order as early as possible if you have an event coming up in the next few weeks.

Van 

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Just Because

The night sky print which arrives for no particular reason, other than to celebrate the gift of love that is your beloved, is cherished like no other.

Birthdays

Each of us has a story that begins in a single moment. Poets and philosophers from Shakespeare to Tennyson, from Moore to Jung, share a common fascination with the night sky at the moment of birth, and the idea that the moon and stars stand in timeless, silent witness to this moment.

Wedding Anniversaries

The night sky print, showing the moon and stars just as they appeared on the night you met, the moment of your first kiss, or your wedding night, is an exceptional anniversary gift. Appropriate for any year, especially so for the 1st anniversary, the year of the ‘paper’ gift.

New Baby

The night sky print, showing the moon and stars just as they appeared on the child’s first starry night, with your words – funny, wise, sweet, hopeful, perhaps a favorite quote from a story or song – makes a beautiful keepsake.

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