Look Up! ... Wesak and Saturn at Its Best

Hello Sky Watchers,
April 18, 11:57am PDT marked the beginning of the 2015 Wesak lunar cycle that ends May 17, 9:13pm PDT. Forces of enlightenment from our highest spiritual planetary center, Shamballa, are released during this lunar cycle's Full Moon Festival, May 3/4. The Wesak Festival is the second of the three major planetary Full Moon Festivals that occur in the spring. The first, April 4, aligned with the Christ (Easter), the second, May 3/4, aligns with the Buddha (Wesak) and the third, June 2, with the spiritual and Divine nature of humanity (Goodwill). These Festivals form a spiritual high point of the year.

The Wesak Full Moon exact at 8:42pm PDT Sunday, May 3 (03:42 UT Monday, May 4) can be seen traveling with Saturn across the sky. Map

Lunar Theme: Aspirations "Our April 18, 2015 New Moon ... conjoins the magnificent Andromeda Galaxy, our nearest galactic neighbor and exemplar of optimal human development ... The New Moon lies on the shores of early sidereal Aries where the eastern Piscean fish leaps upward from the waters of Pisces. This New Moon's placement impels us to actualize a far greater potential and greater personal achievement ... we must first release or bring to resolution any limiting mental-emotional patterns of the past ... by maturing internally and aspiring externally. This lunar cycle may also inspire deep emotional clearing and physical cleansing, simultaneously encouraging relinquishment and attainment—the art of becoming all we can be" Click the lunar theme link for more insights by Nick Fiorenza.

The folks at SouledOut.org invite you to celebrate the current lunar month by participating in the Wesak Full Moon Festival Global Meditation, celebrating the Festival of Shamballa ~ the Festival of the Buddha.

April 19-21, Sunday-Tuesday at Dusk
Watch a sunset; look for 3 planets, Crescent Luna, a star and a star cluster!
You'll need a clear WNW horizon and right timing to see all celestial bodies.
Map: Mercury/Mars/Venus/Crescent Moon/Aldebaran/Pleiades
Venus, the Pleiades and Aldebaran get more gorgeous as the sky darkens.
Be sure to bring binoculars for a helpful viewing aid and a special treat. Look for earthshine!

Lyrid meteors best before dawn April 22 and 23

Saturn at Its Best ~ May 2015
Saturn's Ring Tilt and Satellites
The Wesak Full Moon and Saturn


Image: Solar System Simulator

The above image was created with the Solar System Simulator. It shows a 2015 telescopic view of Saturn seen from Earth Friday, May 22, 11:00pm PDT (06:00 UT May 23). This is the night of Saturn's opposition and peak visibility, when it can be seen in the east at sunset, high in the south around 1:00am local daylight time and in the west at sunrise. Opposition brings the Lord of the Rings closest to Earth, so it shines brightest for the year and appears largest through a telescope.

Saturn at it Best ~ May 2015

Though Saturn is officially at its brightest, biggest and closest for 2015 on Friday, May 22, at 6:35pm PDT (01:35 UT May 23), the difference in the planet's size and brilliance is indiscernible to observers all of May.

Any night in May offers an observer a wonderful chance to easily see Saturn. Any small scope gives a breathtaking view of Saturn and its rings. Look low in the SE: during the first week of May around 10:30pm, 2nd week 10:00pm, 3rd week around 9:30pm, 4th week 9:00pm. By 1:00am Saturn is high in the South. In the predawn hours look for Saturn in the in the SW. Rise/Set Times ~ Major Bodies

To the unaided eye Saturn appears as a bright yellowish star among the dimmer stars of the constellation Scorpius. Reddish Antares, heart star of Scorpius the Scorpion, lies SE of Saturn. Note: Binoculars make vivid the colorful hue of the planet and star. BTW: Saturn is slowing moving westward toward the constellation Libra.

Helpful Saturn/Antares April MapFull Moon May 3/4 Map ~ May 22 Saturn/Antares 11pm Map

Saturn closest for 2015 on May 22-23
An informative EarthSky.org article that includes maps/graphics

Saturn's Ring Tilt and Its Satellites

Saturn's ring tilt varies with extreme tilts approximately every 15 years. Between the times of extreme wide-open rings, we see the rings edge-on, as if they have vanished!

Saturn's Changing Ring Tilt from 2003 - 2017

The May 22/23 image above shows Saturn in the process of revealing more and more of the northern (upper) part of its rings, with a full tilt "forward" in 2017. The rings and globe of the planet reflect sunlight, therefore Saturn will get brighter each following year, as more of its surface is visible to us. In 2017 Saturn will be at its brightest for this ring tilt cycle.

Saturn has 62 satellites with confirmed orbits. These moons are very diverse. Wikipedia's Moons of Saturn tells the story. Saturn's 5 brightest moons are telescopic: Titan, its brightest moon, can be seen with a 4-inch scope. Dione, Rhea, Tethys and Enceladus can be seen with a 6-inch scope.

Position of Saturn's Five Brightest Moons
A Flash program based on your computer's clock and Time Zone

Solar System Simulator ~ 1990-2025
View Saturn, its moons, and ring tilt from various viewpoints.
Create a view of other solar system objects too!
(Used to make the above May 22/23 image of Saturn)

The Wesak Full Moon and Saturn

The Wesak Full Moon is exact Sunday, May 3, 2015 - 8:42pm PDT (03:42 UT May 4). Saturn, positioned near the Wesak Moon, can be seen traveling with the Full Moon during the evening and early morning hours. Saturn in a close approach to Earth at this time means the planet is potently impressing humanity before, during and after the Wesak Full Moon Festival.

Saturn's current retrograde motion continuing until Aug. 1/2 takes us back to our spiritual roots, intentions and integrity. How do our goals match up to our soul's objectives? Saturn, a tough taskmaster and Lord of Karma, stands at the Gates of Initiation ready to put all who approach to the spiritual test.

The Wesak lunar cycle opens a channel of direct communication between humanity and Deity, while Saturn keeps the fires of initiation burning. Open to enlightenment, evolution and Buddha's blessings. This lunar cycle is a time for aspiring and for actualizing our far greater potential and greater personal achievement.

To see a Full Moon map, learn much more about Saturn and the Wesak Festival and join in a meditation click the following links:

Look Up! ~ The Wesak Full Moon Festival
Tread the enlightened razor edged path
in the light of spring's 2nd Full Moon and Saturn.

2015 Wesak Full Moon Global Meditation
SouledOut.org invites you to join us in meditation
Sunday, May 3, at 8:42pm PDT (03:42 UT Monday, May 4),
or choose a time within 12 hours before
or after the full moon to participate.

The Five Visible Planets
The Moon's Phases guide us to the planets and help us grow in consciousness.

Mars and Mercury
Mars is sinking toward the WNW horizon and dimming.
Mercury reappears above the WNW horizon. It is rising and dimming.
4/19-21 Mars/Mercury/Venus/Crescent Moon Dusk Map
Mars disappears from view in May.
Mercury is at peak visibility May 6. Mercury May 6 Map
Look for Venus above Mercury and Aldebaran left of it May 6.
Mercury farthest east of setting sun on May 6
After May 6 Mercury sinks back toward the WNW twilight horizon.

Venus
Venus continues to rise and grow brighter above the western horizon.
Look for Venus in a light sky. How early can you see the planet?
April 19-21 Dusk Map Venus/Crescent Moon/Aldebaran/Pleiades
Venus blazes in a dark sky. April 20-22 Nightfall Map
Look for Luna's earthshine!
Let Venus guide you to the zodiacal light in April 2015
Meteors: Lyrid meteors best before dawn April 22 and 23

Jupiter
Brilliant Jupiter lies high in the south April evenings.
First quarter moon pairs with Jupiter evening of April 25
The above link includes an April 25-27 Jupiter/Regulus/Moon Map.
Wacing Gibbous luna pairs with Jupiter 4/26 and Regulus 4/27.
Let Jupiter guide you to the Beehive Cluster in April 2015
Will you see Jupiter's Galiliean Moons?

Saturn
April: Saturn is SE at midnight, SW in the morning. Saturn lies near Antares
Saturn is at its best in May as discussed above.

Rise and Set Times
Rise/Set/Transit Times ~ Major Bodies
Use this link to find exact times for the
planets, Sun and Moon in your area.
Sunrise Sunset Calculator

Charting the Heavens
EarthSky Tonight ... nightly highlights/maps
This Week's Sky at a Glance ... weekly highlights/maps

 

This Wesak lunar cycle, which peaks with the May 3/4 Full Moon and ends May 17 provides an opportunity to participate in an ancient, living, sacred ritual. It is a time when the Forces of Enlightenment pour into the world, the fires of initiation rage and blessings come to all of humanity. Nick Fiorenza reminds us that this lunar cycle is impelling us to actualize our far greater potential, to mature internally and aspire externally, to become all we can be.

It is important that groups of all faiths unite globally, invoking the divine in everyone. Together we are the Chalice, the Holy Grail on Earth, prepared to receive the outpouring from on High.

As the Buddha and the Christ come together for the greatest good for all Life ... let us come together to continue their great unifying and undying work. The Wisdom of these great Sages is passed on to us, through the Ages.

- Taurus 2015 Wesak Festival Meditation

The folks at SouledOut.org invite you to participate in the 2015 Wesak Festival Global Meditation, celebrating the Taurus Festival of Shamballa ~ the Festival of the Buddha. Join with others in meditation and strengthen the Light Grid of planet Earth.

 

Look Up! ... Look Within,
Susan Sun at The Night Sky