June 20, 2007

Crescent Moon to Occult Regulus Tuesday

June 12 The Moon is at perigee. this is the point at which an object in orbit around the Earth makes its closest approach to the Earth

June 16 The crescent Moon hangs in the west-northwest at dusk. Pollux is above it, and Castor is to the right of Pollux. But Venus is much more eye-catching high to the Moon's upper left. Saturn and, farther on, Regulus, are to Venus' upper left.

June 17 The Moon, Venus, Saturn, and Regulus are lined up in the west this evening, in that order from lower right to upper left.

June 18 The lineup in the west has shrunk. The order now, from lower right to upper left, is Venus, Moon and Saturn (closely bunched), with Regulus still off to their upper left.

June 19 Saturn shines between the Moon and bright Venus. Regulus is very close to the Moon. In fact, the Moon occults (covers) Regulus for a time as seen from most of North America.

Pollux (star)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pollux (β Gem / β Geminorum / Beta Geminorum) is one of the brightest stars in the constellation Gemini and one of the brightest in the nighttime sky. Although it has the Bayer designation "beta", it is actually brighter than Alpha Geminorum (Castor). The name Pollux is traditionally thought by some people to carry the meaning "Much Wine", since astrologers associate Pollux with prosperity and celebration with wine. Actually the name Pollux refers specifically to Pollux, one of the twin sons of Zeus and Leda. The star also has the Arabic name Al-Ras al-Tau'am al-Mu'akhar,(الرأس التؤام المؤخر) literally "The Head of the Second Twin". The Chinese recognized Pollux as Yang, which is, according to the Chinese, one of the two fundamental principles upon which all things depend.

Castor and Pollux are the two "heavenly twin" stars giving the constellation Gemini (Latin, "twins") its name. Ironically the two are nothing alike. Castor is a hot white quadruple star, while Pollux is a cooler yellow-orange giant .

Castor and Pollux together correspond to the Nakshatra Punarvasu in Hindu astronomy.

Pollux is also the first star visible from earth which is known to have an extrasolar planet in orbit.

"prince" or "heart of the lion"

S&T: Gregg Dinderman

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