Executive Branch

July2022

The Earth’s distance from the sun, its composition, size, and temperate regions are factors that have allowed life forms to thrive in a way not yet observed anyplace else in the universe.

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The heart starts to beat practically at conception and continues it’s life-sustaining role for a hundred years or longer.

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Electricity

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Executive Branch

April2022

Since 1789, when George Washington became our first president, Americans have been electing or re-electing the president and vice president every four years

Executive Branch

InstrideOnline Blog Post Dec2019

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Executive Branch

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Executive Branch

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"… But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our power to add or detract …"

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milky way in the night sky

The Stars Are Watching US?

The First Sky Maps

Tablets made of hardened clay and a small reed with a sharpened tip were the writing instruments of the Sumerians living on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers more than five thousand years ago. What started as a means of counting currency evolved into a sophisticated form of communication that was passed on to the Babylonians and eventually became the language of the oldest known star maps.

Cuneiform symbols representing the positions of the stars, the rising and setting of the visible planets, and the timing of the solstice and equinox were pressed into soft clay and then set in the sun to dry. When the reproduction was complete, it was placed in a kiln where the heat would cause it to dry and harden.

instrideonline.com constellations slider history of star charts

The Sumerians and Babylonians, described as the “cradle of civilization,” were the first to divide the ecliptic into twelve regions, identifying the constellations as farmers and soldiers, as well as the lions and scorpions that inhabited the landscape in that part of the world

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The Artic and Antarctic Sky

When Ptolemy, a Greek scholar living in Egypt, created the Almagest in 150 CE, his star maps represented the latest and most factual information about the night sky seen from the region of the world 30 degrees north of the equator. Ptolemy identified 48 constellations and over 1,000 individual stars located within their boundaries.

His work was translated into Arabic about 900 years later, when the astronomer Al-Sufi wrote the Book of the Fixed Stars, and for the first time attempted to rank the stars by their luminosity.

Another 570 years passed before astronomers took to the seas, navigating the oceans farther north and south than ever before. In the 1500’s, Casper Vogel, Tycho Brahe, and Johann Bayer, among others, explored the circumpolar stars and established new constellations, as well as a system of naming celestial objects using a letter of the Greek alphabet with the Latin name of the constellation the star was located in.

The Bayer designations for the 1,500+ stars discovered prior to the seventeenth century are still in use today.

Modern Day Astronomy

In 1919, the International Astronomical Union was created to consolidate the efforts of smaller international groups working to further the science of astronomy. There are over 12,000 individual members and 74 scientific communities affiliated with the organization. In addition to education and research, the IAU gets to determine the names of any newly discovered stars and planets, as well as planetary features such as craters, plains, volcanoes, peaks, and canals.

The IAU has established 88 constellations and the precise boundaries within which every astronomical object can be located and researched. These include Ptolemy’s 48 and others discovered by explorers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

instrideonline.com constellations sagittarius
Zodiac Sign: Nov 23 – Dec 21

Sagittarius is one of the oldest Zodiac constellations.

It’s bright stars are visible without the need for modern-day viewing equipment, so they were observed by Ptolemy as far back as the second century.

In later years, Roman astronomers envisioned that the luminous pattern within the boundaries of Sagittarius formed the outline of a Centaur, a skilled huntsman with the head and torso of a man attached to the legs of a horse.

The brightest star, Gamma Sagittarii, is the tip of the hunter’s arrow that points directly west at the star Antares, the maroon “heart” of the scorpion.

Deep Sky Objects Within Sagittarius

Sagittarius red spider nebula

At the core of the Red Spider Nebula is a small neutron star generating stellar winds

Sagittarius Trifid Neb-min (1)

The Trifid Nebula appears divided into thirds by thread-like streams of dust. It’s one of the youngest known emission nebulae and one of the closest star fields to earth

Sagittarius Lagoon Nebula-min
Sagittarius Omega Neb-min

The Lagoon and the Omega nebula, each about 5,000 light years from earth, were discovered as far back as the seventeenth century

Most spiral galaxies in our Universe are orbiting black holes. Black holes are created when a dying star implodes into a point of darkness so massively heavy that not even a photon of light is able to escape

Sagittarius A*

Within Sagittarius is the galactic center of the Milky Way galaxy, the super-massive black hole known as “Sagittarius A.”

computer image of sagittarius' black hole

Sagittarius A* is 26,000 light years from our solar system!

Though it appears that the region surrounding Sagittarius A* is characterized by a spiral of matter being pulled down into its core, the danger of the Milky Way galaxy getting sucked into Sagittarius A*, like water swirling down a drain, isn’t realistic.

It takes the solar system 225 million years to complete just one orbit around the galactic core. It would take an incalculable number of years for the solar system to orbit close enough to be in danger.

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World Religions

At the start of his ministry in 30 CE, Jesus explained to the predominantly Jewish community that he wasn’t opposing the monotheistic God of the Jewish faith, but rather he was fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament; that a Messiah whose ancestry could be traced back thousands of years would be sent as a messenger of God to be the savior of humanity. From these beliefs, the religion of Christianity has its beginnings.

Jesus said he was the Son of God, and that his teachings and healing miracles could be experienced by any person who believed that love and forgiveness could transcend sin and other human limitations. Jesus compared God to a loving father or to a shepherd carefully protecting his flock of sheep.

The Beliefs of Christianty

The gospels of the New Testament relate that Jesus taught using down-to-earth language and parables that had practical implications in the day-to-day lives of his followers. His most well-known homily was the Sermon on the Mount. Thousands gathered on the shores of the Sea of Galilee as Jesus explained that the blessings of God are rewarded to the merciful, the peacemakers, and to the spiritually humble.

Most importantly, Jesus believed that humans communicate directly with God through prayer, and he recited the “Lord’s Prayer” to demonstrate man’s relationship with God and the hope of being united in an afterlife.

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The Life of Jesus

The story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is one of the most familiar in the world.

When Mary was about to give birth to Jesus, she and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Joseph’s hometown of Bethlehem to take part in a census. When they sought shelter at the inn they were turned away, and Jesus was born in a nearby manger.

Three wise men arrived to honor the newborn because they’d received a premonition that the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit and would one day be king.

Jesus was raised in Nazareth and trained by Joseph to be a carpenter. As a boy, Jesus often questioned the Rabbis about the laws and traditions of their Jewish faith. Eventually, he began to talk about his own beliefs, that the true relationship between God and man wasn’t about adherence to strict laws but was instead centered on love, humility, and forgiveness, ideas that sometimes contradicted the laws of the Torah.

These new ideas took hold and became the start of the ministry of Jesus. Crowds gathered on the shores of the Sea of Galilee to listen to him preach. As he walked through towns and villages in the modern-day region of northern Israel, he inspired twelve disciples to follow him and witness his healing miracles.

As Jesus’ influence grew, the Roman authorities ruling Galilee began to consider him a threat, and eventually, Jesus’ closest followers feared for their own safety.

In about the year 33 CE, Jesus and his apostles gathered for the Passover meal and he told them that he would soon be put to death and that one of them would betray him.

After the Last Supper, Jesus was walking and praying alone when Judas Iscariot identified him to Roman soldiers. Jesus was arrested, beaten, and brought before Pontius Pilate who reluctantly condemned him to die.

As Jesus was dying a painful death on the cross, he expressed forgiveness for his torturers and for the crowds who had turned against him. His body was placed in a tomb carved into a nearby hillside, with a large stone placed at its entrance. On the third day, Mary Magdalene asked that the stone be removed, and within it she found only the shroud Jesus had been buried in.

According to Christian tradition, Jesus himself appeared to the Apostles numerous times after his death, and forty days later his soul ascended to heaven.

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