Astronomy Buffs: Mercury in Retrograde

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Campfired, May 1, 2016.

  1. Campfired

    Campfired Member

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    April 28th, the planet Mercury will be in retrograde until May 22nd.

    Was reading something about being 'merciful' yesterday and chanced upon this connection in both dictionary and wall calendar.
     
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  2. DRS

    DRS Member

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    Is this is astronomy or astrology? :lol
     
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  3. Campfired

    Campfired Member

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    Astronomy. The physical viewing on the apparent "reverse progress" of the planet Mercury in the heavens as direction of the Earth's and Mercury's orbit transpose. After May 22nd, Mercury will be in 'prograde' status once again.

    Astrology may have some bearing on this, but I am personally not involved with astrology in any form. The astronomy aspect has me intrigued though, as my brother owns a telescope with which he can view this phenomenon...
     
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  4. Boobala

    Boobala Member

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    Last edited: May 1, 2016
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  5. kkregsg

    kkregsg Member

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    What part of Russia is Retrograde in? Anywhere near Vladivostok?
     
  6. A-Bone

    A-Bone Montonero, MOY, Multitudes Gold Supporting Member

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  7. great-case.com

    great-case.com a.k.a. "Mitch"

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    Astronomy in the buff? At 8600ft in the Rockies, it's never warm enough.

    Mercury is a frequent visitor, but rarely rises high enough into the sky to be seen with any clarity. It's orbit is so small that it bolts from side to side quickly, but it never gets far enough away from the sun to be seen outside of dusk or dawn. It fades into daylight or sets quickly after the sun. limiting any one day's view to only a few minutes. Any apparent motion against the background sky is invisible during a single viewing session, they are too short. Over days of viewing, however, one can easily detect that the planet has moved against the background stars - as is true for all planets.

    Mercy me, why did you step so close to that silly misunderstanding? Astronomers (invariably, I will wager) have significant disdain for Astrology. I often liken Astrology to the crazy old relative we keep in the attic.
     
  8. fareye

    fareye Member

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    Whenever I read people belittling astrology I have to mention this:

    Have you ever seen or been to the ocean? If you have then you've seen the tide go in and out. The gravitational attraction of the moon causes this. Think about that. The moon is causing the oceans to move higher and lower. Do you know what's also made of water? Your body. So if you want to argue that the planets don't cause physical manifestations here on earth, have at it. ;)
     
  9. A-Bone

    A-Bone Montonero, MOY, Multitudes Gold Supporting Member

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    I imagine this is a specious line of reasoning in as much as personality and emotional make-up and life trajectory bear no relationship to gravity as an observable, reproducible scientific phenomenon. But I'm not a scientist, and I am a Sagittarian -- and a woman I used to work with informed me that Sagittarians are naturally skeptical.
     
  10. DGDGBD

    DGDGBD Member

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    My wife says the same thing. However if it was gravity that was the cause a lunar influence on humans, you would see some sort of change occur every six hours or so just like the tides. I think that, if there is a correlation of more crazy human behavior during full moons, it would be more due to evolving as a species to have more of an instinct for activity (hunting, warring, etc) at nighttime during full moons than other phases of the moon.
     
  11. Frankee

    Frankee Wartime Consigliere

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    Of course you posted this.
     
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  12. fareye

    fareye Member

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    Really, my comment wasn't to describe how astrology works or to say that anyone needs to believe in astrology. It was just me sharing my thought process.

    Your wife is a smart woman.
     
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  13. Campfired

    Campfired Member

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    Well, if one were to consider the full moon having an effect on people, consider this also...

    The Van Allen magnetosphere that surrounds the earth and protects it from harmful radiation from the sun and other interstellar sources. Most of the harmful radiation is either reflected or absorbed by the magnetosphere, and the upper atmosphere converts less energetic radiation to common infrared heat that keeps the earth warm even during the evening. The moon has been a companion to the earth, causing the tides and steadying the wobbly rotation of the earth on its axis. The moon and stars have been subjects of endless prose and lyric song for centuries...and then what is a heaven for...:)
     
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  14. MrAstro

    MrAstro Member

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    If Mercury is rising then it must be getting warmer:huh:)
     
  15. MrAstro

    MrAstro Member

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    Oh wow are you an aquaaaaarius :eeks

    See I just knew you were a Capricorn :)
     
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  16. DGDGBD

    DGDGBD Member

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    Yep. When you consider that for hundreds a thousands of years, humans lived and evolved in nature with no artificial lighting (other than campfires and torches), the phase of the moon and the position and apparent movement of stars in the night sky would have held great importance.
     
  17. Campfired

    Campfired Member

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    The Hebrew, Julian, and Gregorian calendars all held some connection to the lunar phases of he moon.
     
  18. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Supporting Member

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    In my country Mercury retrogrades you!
     
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  19. RoryGfan

    RoryGfan Silver Supporting Member

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    Back in college, I was a lab instructor for Physics 501. (It's no big deal. I was just the guy who would work at night and instruct students as to how to find night objects in the telescope. They were required to find them, name them, draw them in their notebook. I just verified their work.) I was also the "caretaker" for the astrology lab equipment.

    I used to *love* having the students illustrate Mercury in retrograde (if it fell within our semester.) To me, it was like watching a Michael Jackson moonwalk move and the students really enjoyed the show, as Mercury gets to appear to us as it is moving backwards. Students would actually line up to get a second glimpse. For many, it was their first taste of all the neat things that one can really enjoy watching out there. It brought many Physics students "down to earth."

    I am not "into" astrology, however, for some reason, I still make a note in my day planner for it. I was told that, IIRC, "electromagnetic and communication errors tend to occur" during this period. Well, at least in my case, "errors tend to occur" during this period.

    For example, in the last four days, the following things have happened: I have had miscommunications on my computer (which have never happened before); a notice for a yearly important meeting was listed as happening on September 31st (I called and they said that it was a "computer error"); for the first time in my life, my cellphone malfunctioned; and last night, for the first time in my life, my microwave oven "died" (leaving me having to buy a new one at Lowes today). Four major electronics/communications errors in four days....what are the odds of that happening?

    However, I still am not a big "believer" in astrology. But, I have to admit, it is all quite a coincidence, one that hasn't happened to me in over 50 years.

    And, this time, I was reminded in advance by a friend who is a former student of the late Sydney Omarr...(Thank You, Trish!). To me, however, the timing of what happens and when in this world is still quite a mystery to me.

    To me, I'll settle with access to some "dark sky." I have a friend that moved to Alpine, Texas for the "dark sky." The city even turns off their street lights on good nights. I do not know one person who has regretted buying their own telescope, finding some "dark sky" and enjoying the view. Peaceful and awesome.
     
  20. Otto Tune

    Otto Tune Member

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    Since Mercury is always close to the Sun (Duh), it's hard to view. And it's tiny to make it worse. I'll pass.
    If you have a solar telescope it would be fun, or better, one with a Hydrogen Alpha filter so the surface of the Sun looks all gnarly, seeing Mercury back across the surface would be great.
    My astronomy buddy has a solar scope (not very big since you don't need aperture for the sun, maybe 40mm). and he has it piggybacked on another scope that can track the Sun on a Losmandy mount.
    I used to have a solar filter for my 8" Meade, but the Sun appeared as a orange disc with black sunspots. Not the
    fiery promanances you see with a $2500 filter. Yikes!
     

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