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.
Electricity is the activity of electrons. They’re found orbiting the nucleus of an atom and they’re one of the smallest particles in the known universe.
InstrideOnline Blog Post Dec2019
The preamble of the North Atlantic Treaty reiterates the ideals of the United Nations Charter, that members seek to live in peace with each other and to safeguard the principles of “democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law.”
InstrideOnline Blog Post March2018
"… 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 …"
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
At the core of the Red Spider Nebula is a small neutron star generating stellar winds
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
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
Within Sagittarius is the galactic center of the Milky Way galaxy, the super-massive black hole known as “Sagittarius A.”
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.
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 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.