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Space Weather News for April 21, 2009
MORNING METEORS: Earth is entering a stream of debris from Comet Thatcher, the source of the annual Lyrid meteor shower. Forecasters expect the shower to peak on Wednesday, April 22, with a display of 10 to 20 meteors per hour over the northern hemisphere. Occasionally, Earth passes through a dense region of the comet's tail and rates surge five- to ten-fold.
In 1982, for instance, observers were surprised by an outburst of 90 Lyrids per hour. Because Thatcher's tail has never been mapped in detail, the outbursts are unpredictable and could happen again at any time. The best time to look, no matter where you live, is during the dark hours before dawn on Wednesday morning April 22.
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LUNAR OCCULTATION OF VENUS: Even if the Lyrids fizzle, there is still something wonderful to see on Wednesday morning, April 22. The Crescent Moon and Venus are going to have a close encounter of jaw-dropping beauty. Look low and to the east just before sunrise. Observers in western parts of North America will see a lunar occultation: Venus will disappear behind the Moon's limb just after 5 am PDT and reappear again an hour or so later.
Details may be found in this Science@NASA story.
Can a return of particular meteors and comets bring past issues to the front burner again?
Astrogically the year 1982 saw a bleak Saturn-Pluto conjunction on Nov 8 at 26Lib36. Theirs is an approximately 33-year cycle and tends to bring difficult or even brutal events which demand much endurance.
We know that the culmination of the 1982 cycle is well-marked by the attacks of 9.11.01 with the Saturn-Pluto opposition falling across America's natal ASC/DESC axis (in the so-called Sibly chart - 12Sag/Gem) 'personalizing' the opposition for the USA and heralding the New Millennium for America and for the entire world.
In late November of 1982, Pluto entered Scorpio which brought intense focus on financial issues and other confidential matters.
That year there were military coups in Guatemala and Bangladesh, and Israel invaded Lebanon in retaliation for the wounding of the Israeli ambassador in London.
And the endless cycle of violence and revenge goes on.
Also in 1982 was the invasion of the Falklands Islands by Argentina and subsequently its recapture by British troops. PM Margaret Thatcher in the UK and Pres. Ronald Reagan in the US were at the tops of their heaps if not their games.
Plus, the NYSE saw a record day in trading in 1982 but - surprise! - what goes up must come down. Oh, and Prince William was born in England, and a burglar broke into Buckingham Palace and frightened the Queen.
So if you hear mention of any of these events or persons in coming days - a Comet Thatcher reference having just occurred above bwo SpaceWeather News - perhaps you'll think '1982' - and how cool Astrology blended with Astronomy can be for pointing out similarities and synchronicities...for As above, So Below!