How to visually chart HORIZON ephemeris

How to visually chart HORIZON ephemeris

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I'm trying to build a 3D model of the Sun, Earth and Moon in in Javascript (using Three.JS, which relies on x,y,z coordinates for all objects) in order to simulate the Aug. 21 eclipse. I've successfully figured this out using the Kepler method that NASA describes, but would like to use the HORIZON ephemeris data for greater accuracy, given how sensitive the timing of an eclipse can be.

I've read up on celestial coordinates, but still can't quite figure out how to take the output of the HORIZON tool and convert RA, Dec, etc into 3D coordinates, the way the Kepler document outlines. Can anyone point me to an authoritative primer one how to get from celestial coordinates to geometric coordinates?

Coordinates based on AU are just fine -- I've already figured out how to scale that in the simulator.

Thank you!

I just went through this by myself. The principal thing you have to do is choose the vector format for your ephemeris, and then download the ephemeris as a plain text (ascii) table. This is way easier than using the Spice tools.

Bob Moler's Ephemeris Blog

This is Ephemeris for Monday, June 21st. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 9:32, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:57. The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 4:02 tomorrow morning.

I have a couple of pieces of planetary news. Venus will pass south of the star Pollux in Gemini tonight. That means in their current orientation, low on the west-northwestern horizon, that Pollux will appear above and right of the much brighter Venus. This may be visible by 10:30 pm. Venus will set tonight at 11:07. You’ll need a really low western horizon to see it. In the morning sky, Saturn is backtracking to the west slowly, and now Jupiter has stopped its eastward motion and is stationary today and will start its retrograde or westward motion. Both retrograde motions are caused by the Earth, which is in the process of passing these planets. We will pass Saturn August 2nd, and pass Jupiter August 19th. We call these events, oppositions.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4hr). They may be different for your location.


Venus, Pollux and Mars in the evening twilight tonight at 10:30 pm. Venus and Pollux in evening twilight. Venus will be about 5 degrees above the sea or lake horizon at that time. Venus and Mars will cross their apparent paths and be in conjunction on July 13th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter’s retrograde path, June 21, to October 20, 2021. The constellation lines in the lower right are for the eastern end of Capricornus. We pass Jupiter, officially called opposition from the Sun, on August 20th. The solid yellow line above Jupiter’s apparent path is the Ecliptic, the Sun’s apparent path in the sky. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets in Natal Charts: The Importance of Hemispheres, Quadrants and Aspect Pictures

When looking at a natal chart for the first time my attention is always drawn to the distribution of planets. In my opinion this factor is nearly as important as the signs of Sun, Moon, Ascendant and their rulers.

The main aim of this article is to show that much information can be gained about the basic inclination of a person by examination of hemispheres, quadrants and aspect pictures.

1. Hemispheres

The area under the AC/DC axis (Figure 1), the northern and lower hemisphere, is below the horizon and is therefore in the dark. In accordance with this analogy, it is associated with the unconsciousness in a person. The planets here are usually expressed unconsciously. Persons having most of the planets lying below this axis are regarded as more introverted. They may derive their energy not from outside, but rather from their inner world and own values. On the other hand, planets lying above the AC/DC axis, namely in the southern and higher hemisphere, are visible since they are in the light. By analogy they are in the conscious realm of a person, therefore the person has a good command of them. Those having most of the planets above the horizon axis are regarded as more extroverted. Their activities may be more observable by the public etc.

Similarly, the MC/IC axis divides a chart into an eastern and western hemispheres. The eastern hemisphere is considered to be the &ldquoI&rdquo side. Persons having most of the planets there value their own standards, they rely on their own power, they want to act independently and expect others to follow them. On the other hand, the western hemisphere belongs to &ldquoYou&rdquo. If most of the planets are located in this region, contact with others becomes crucial in the life of a person. However, he may rely too much on others and expect much from them. He may be forced to follow others or be influenced by them.

2. Quadrants

Since AC/DC and MC/IC are points derived from astronomy, they may be considered as one of the most objective indicators in a chart. Since quadrants are formed as a result of their intersection they can also be considered as objective. Whatever house system is used, the quadrants and their meaning remains the same. Therefore, it is advisable to look first at the distribution of planets in quadrants rather than houses.

Quadrant 1: If most of the planets lie in the 1st quadrant this may indicate a person who has a strong will to build himself. Bruno Huber called it the &ldquoDrive&rdquoquadrant. The main drive of the person is to sustain himself. In the extreme case the person may be unaware of their surroundings, or be too self-inclined resulting in egoism. Since one of the fears here is to surrender and to lose himself, the person wants to protect and defend himself.

Quadrant 2: If most of the planets lie in the 2nd quadrant, the person explores the environment by relying on instincts. B. Huber named this as the &ldquoInstinct&rdquo quadrant. The person is usually conditioned in early years by the norms of his family and the environment. This conditioning then shapes his attitude toward others. The person behaves involuntarily out of instinct and reacts to an action. The main attitude of the person is offensive and emotional.

Quadrant 3: The 3rd quadrant was called the &ldquoThinking&rdquo quadrant by B. Huber. If most of the planets are found in this quadrant lying in the conscious hemisphere, the person wants to explore the environment by conscious interaction with others. In general, he aligns with the surrounding by using his mind. He relies rather on his intellect, and not on his instincts. He is not shaped by the environment as in the 2nd quadrant. He is rather interested in what he can do by himself and how he can contribute to others.

Quadrant 4: This quadrant is about &ldquoBeing&rdquo, the existence. If this quadrant is emphasized, the person wants to realize himself and reach individuation, but this time consciously since this quadrant lies above the horizon. The person is not anymore led by drive (1st quadrant) or instinct (2nd quadrant). Although this quadrant lies in the &ldquoI&rdquo part of the chart, unlike the 1st quadrant, the person is not self-centered, but is much more willing to share his resources. Thus, individuality and universal consciousness merge in the same person.

3. Relationship between Chart Shapes and Hemispheres/Quadrants

Formation of certain aspects is enabled in some chart shapes only. Thus, chart shapes and aspects depend on each other. For example, in a chart having the bundle shape, only aspect patterns without opposition would be of interest. This may indicate a strong focus on an area, but also a reduced objectivity if other factors support this. Thus, both the presence and absence of an aspect would carry a meaning.

However, formation of shapes (locomotive, bowl, bundle, splay etc.) does not depend on quadrants. For example, a bundle may be located in any quadrant, it may even spread across two. Chart shapes are also independent of hemispheres. For example, some part of a bowl may be located below horizon, the other part above it. Depending on the occupied quadrant and hemisphere its meaning would change.

4. Aspects and Aspect Pictures

4.1 Aspects and the meaning of colors

Aspects between planets are very important in the evaluation of a person. In the aspect analysis developed by using the Koch houses, the Huber school considers only 10 planets and the North without using aspects to the angles. To get to the very essence of a person, very strict orbs are used (1), resulting in much fewer aspects compared to a standard analysis. The red, blue and green aspects are interpreted as shown in Table 1. The ideal ratio of green, red and blue aspects is regarded to be as 2:4:6.

Table 1. Aspect colors and aspect pictures corresponding to them (adapted from 1 and 2).

Aspects shown by this color

Aspect picture corresponding to this color
(Section 4.2)

Square (900)
Opposition (1800)

Energy/Great will for leading

Active, tense, achievement oriented

Much red: The person may be overstrained and under excessive demands
Little red: Few or no red aspects may indicate a person who may not have enough ambition.

Seeking security and stability

Resting, relaxed,
harmony- seeking, passive


Much blue: Harmony is reached without much struggle. The person may easily grasp at opportunities
Little blue: Few or no blue aspects show that the person does not find enough relaxation.

Semisextile (300)
Quincunx (1500)

Sensitivity/Seeking communication, contact and love

Informative, searching,
awake, understanding

Much green: These consciousness aspects make the person open to information and spirituality
Little green:
The person may have black-and white type thinking and not see anything in between.

4.2 Aspect pictures

According to the Huber method, first a holistic look at a natal chart is necessary before studying the single red, blue and green aspects. As shown in Figure 2, a chart consists of five layers. The overall graphical impression that is visible at first sight (Aspektbild) can be translated as the &ldquoAspect picture&rdquo. Aspect pictures lying close to the core of a person are thought to delineate the main character, consciousness and basic motivation.

Correspondence between colors and aspect pictures:
As shown in Table 1, each aspect picture corresponds to a color. If a chart consists rather of independent lines, we have a linear aspect picture corresponding to the cardinal energy shown by red (Table 1). Triangular aspect pictures are recognized by triangles, they are similar to the mutable energy shown by green. If the chart shows a picture consisting of four or more corners, we are dealing with a quadrangular aspect picture. It resembles the fixed energy shown by blue.

Aspect pictures and aspect patterns are different. The latter term is usually used for single aspect structures like the trine. As a result of year long experiences many linear, triangular and quadrangular aspect patterns have been defined by B.Huber and his followers (1,2). For example, there are a high number of learning triangles and many quadrangular patterns like irritation and righteousness rectangles consisting of different colors.

4.3. Orientation of aspects and aspect patterns towards axes

Inclination of aspects/aspect patterns to the four angles is also important. If aspects are rather aligned in vertical direction (IC/MC axis), the person seeks individuation and self-demonstration (1,2). This is because the region around the IC (place of Cancer) corresponds to the collective. The term is used in the sense that the person is initially influenced by family and roots and is not an individual yet. The region around MC (place of Capricorn) belongs to individuation which can only be achieved consciously above horizon. The AC/DC axis represents the encounter with another person. Therefore, if most of the aspects are aligned along this axis or horizontally, the person seeks relationship and adaptation rather than individuation.

4.4. Coherency

Coherency means that there are connections between the individual aspect patterns in a chart. For example, planets in a t-square may lie below the horizon, but they may not be connected to the upper part, resulting in an incoherent chart. Absence of coherency may have different meanings. For example, the person may show contradictory attitudes under different circumstances.

5. Examples

Using the following examples I would like to demonstrate the application of some of those criteria. To study a person, we may begin with aspect pictures before dealing with single aspects or aspect patterns. After an analysis of aspects, we can add the meaning of planets, signs, and houses to arrive at a synthesis. Any contradictions between aspects and the rest have to be taken into consideration.

This chart belonging to a young male has a grand trine in water and consists of blue color. This indicates a person who primarily seeks harmony and peace. The whole look of the chart is triangular, showing the mutable and adaptable character. Although no green color is present, strongly triangular forms serve the function of green (Table 1). Although not shown here, the single red aspect would be a square from Mercury to Pluto. According to Huber orbs this is a one-way aspect. Such a square may show a person with a penetrative mind who learns through intense experiences. But due to the lack of strong red aspects, he may not have particularly ambitious goals and be content with the existing situation. Further, the dominance of the western hemisphere, Virgo-AC, Pisces-DC, Pisces-North node and Pisces-Sun in the 6th house all suggest that he is inclined to serve and sacrifice for others.

In this chart belonging to a young male most of the personal planets lie in the southern hemisphere, pointing to a rather extroverted nature. At the same time, most of them are located in the east, suggesting that he will direct his life with consciousness and self-confidence. For this person, his own standards and ideas are more important. The placement of the Sun and other planets in the 4th quadrant indicate his belief in universal values and concern about societal systems. The verticality of aspects points to individuation. On the other hand, the aim of individuation is not self-profit, but contribution to society. The green aspects forming the Yod may point to some inner uncertainties which can be overcome by directing the attention to the outside world (apex Venus in 10th house in conjunction with Sun). He is likely to be occupied with an intellectual field leading to concrete achievements (Gemini-Sun, Virgo-AC, ruler Mercury in 10th house). It is very likely that from his early years he had a great interest in learning and languages (Gemini, South node-Mercury conjunction, learning triangles). The dominance of blue and the presence of many triangles point to a sensible, adaptable and harmony-seeking person.

The chart belongs to the Nobel prize winner physicist Marconi who invented the wireless telegraph and radio signal transmission, and discovered the radio magnetic detector. The verticality of aspects and location of most planets in the eastern hemisphere suggests a clear consciousness and an interest in self-development. An extremely linear aspect picture is recognized, pointing to a cardinal nature (Table 1). The emphasis of the 4th quadrant suggests a strong will to serve the community in an individualistic and pioneering way. The presence of red and blue colors and absence of green may indicate ambivalence between energy and rest or some kind of black and white thinking.

In the chart belonging to the poet Rainer Maria Rilke the emphasis of the northern-lower hemisphere points to a rather introverted nature. Further, the emphasis of the 2nd quadrant (conditioning through family) and the conjunction of Moon and Saturn there may symbolize the problematic attitude of his mother who raised him as a girl. Then at the age of seven she sent him to military school which caused a trauma in him (Moon-Uranus opposition). A grand cross is seen in the chart. It is a very strong quadrangular pattern corresponding to blue color (Table 1). The person seems to have experienced both the intensiveness and rigidity of this structure which consists of three strong planets, Pluto, Uranus and Saturn. The presence of a separate triangular pattern composed of Neptune, Venus and Mars adds some softness. This may explain his great intuition and his very creative poetry. But, the presence of too many red aspects indicates extreme stress. He suffered frequently from depression in his late years.

In the chart belonging to the designer Kaffe Fassett the blue color is emphasized due to the formation of a kite pattern. All but the generational planets lie below the horizon. Together with &ldquomuch blue&rdquo and a conjunction of Jupiter with the IC, this suggests a rather sensitive character who drives his energy from his inner nature. The Sun and Venus in the second house may point to a person who is interested in forming himself (1st quadrant) and using his talents in an enthusiastic way (Sagittarius). Others may see him as a harmony-seeking person (blue aspects at the outside). In fact, the red line lying inside and the presence of Pluto at the apex and in the 10th house may indicate a strong will.


The above discussion shows that before studying other factors in a chart we need to have a holistic view and combine the meaning of hemispheres, quadrants and aspect pictures. Such an approach can reveal much information about a person.

Following this, a deeper insight will be provided into chart shapes, aspect pictures and aspect patterns by combining them with the information gained from midpoints and harmonics.

1. Bruno and Louise Huber, Michael Alexander Huber (2005) Aspect Pattern Astrology: A New Holistic Horoscope Interpretation Method (translated by Heather Ross), Hopewell, Knutsford, United Kingdom.
2. Karl Georg Breit (2014) Die Spirituell-Astrologische Psychologie: Grundlagen der Horoskopdeutung und das revolutionäre Aspektbild, Hans-Nietsch-Verlag, Freiburg.

Image sources:
All diagrams and charts provided by the author

Published in: The Career Astrologer, September 2019.

Ferhan Çeçen is a chemical/environmental engineer and an academician at university. She has completed all programs of the astrology school led by Mr. Hakan Kirkoglu in Istanbul. She has ISAR approved certificates. e-mail: [email protected]

© 2019 - Ferhan Çeçen - The Career Astrologer

OPA’s (Organization For Professional Astrology) quarterly magazine, the Career Astrologer, includes articles, interviews, reviews, and columns accessible to astrology enthusiasts or seasoned practitioners. From in-depth transit analyses to thought provoking essays, the magazine offers a platform for writers from all over the world and all schools of practice.

It’s optional

One important note: this is quite advanced, meant for specific terrain and entirely optional. By default, TPE ’s times for rise/set match those of the vast majority of other online sources, where rise/set is stated from ground level to the ideal horizon. Very few of these correct for height above the horizon.

You likely won’t run into many problems as a result of not using this feature. In fact, the usual landscape photographer’s sound advice applies: arrive at your location early and be prepared to stay late. Do that, and the differences in rise/set times due to height above the horizon won’t concern you.

Night Sky Map for April 2021: Minor Constellations

Welcome to the Night Sky Map for April! This month, we focus on lesser-known constellations that aren’t quite big or bright enough to make it into the “Big Leagues,” but are certainly still worth gazing at!

Just click here or on the image below to open the printable map—then bring outside!

Appreciating the “Minor League” Constellations

With the start of baseball season upon us, this seems an appropriate time to look at constellations that haven’t made the Big Leagues. These are the night sky’s lesser lights, constellations that are either too small or too faint to make the celestial all-star team. To maximize your ability to see the Minor Leaguers, choose a moonless night during April (see Moon phase dates here) and a viewing location as far as possible from city lights.

Look First for Leo, the Lion

First, let’s get our bearings. When you look to the south on April evenings, mighty Leo, the Lion, dominates the scene. The most distinctive part of Leo is the Sickle asterism, a pattern of six stars anchored by Regulus, the 21st brightest star in the night sky. Once you’ve spotted the Sickle, you should have little trouble tracing out the rest of Leo, culmination with bright Denebola, whose name comes from an Arabic phrase meaning “tail of the lion.”

The Smaller Lion and Berenice’s Hair

With Leo clearly in view, we can now make our way to the first few Minor Leaguers. Just above Leo lies the Smaller Lion, Leo Minor. You’ll have to make good use of your imagination, because only three of Leo Minor’s stars are easily visible, arranged in a much-flattened triangle. Moving to the east (leftward), we find Coma Berenices, Berenice’s Hair, named for Queen Berenice of ancient Egypt. It seems Berenice pledged to cut her long, flowing hair if her husband, King Ptolemy III , returned safely from battle. When he did, Berenice lopped off her golden locks, and astronomers of the time declared that they would be forever preserved in the night sky.

Like Leo Minor, Coma Berenices consists of just three main stars. However, the constellation is also home to the Coma Berenices Star Cluster, which is highlighted on our map. With your eyes alone, you will see only about five stars in the cluster, but even small binoculars will reveal several more.

The Crow and the Cup

Continuing downward, past the large constellation Virgo, we come to the compact figures of Corvus, the Crow, and Crater, the Cup. Corvus is an ancient constellation, dating back to at least 1,100 B.C., when it was known to the Babylonians as The Raven. Its four main stars form an asterism that is easy to spot, even though it bears scant resemblance to a crow. Crater is much fainter but equally old, and it does actually resemble its namesake.

The Sextant

To the upper right of Crater and directly blow Regulus is Sextans, the Sextant, one of the least impressive constellations of all. It’s another three-star constellation, but unlike very ancient Corvus and Crater, Sextans is a modern invention. It was first designated as a constellation in 1687 by noted Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius.

The Water Snake

Slithering beneath the small constellations Corvus, Crater, and Sextans is Hydra, the Water Snake. Hydra is the largest of all constellations, an impressive meandering figure that spans nearly one-quarter of the sky, from its head high in the south to its tail near the eastern horizon. This constellation has been recognized since very ancient times, despite being home to only one bright star, Alphard, known as “The Solitary One.”

The Unicorn and the Crab

Hydra seems to be meandering westward toward Monoceros, the Unicorn, a faint W-shape grouping that will require you to have dark skies if you are to see it at all. The final Minor Leaguer in this part of the sky is Cancer, the Crab, which sits just above the head of Hydra and directly to the right of the Sickle, where we began our journey.

Hopefully, this tour will help you appreciate the so-called “little things.” Enjoy the April night sky!

Click here or on map below to enlarge ( PDF ).

Sky map produced using Chris Marriott’s Skymap Pro

Note: How to Read the Sky Map

Our monthly sky map does not show the entire sky which would be almost impossible. Instead, the map focuses on a particular region of the sky each month where something interesting is happening. The legend on the map always tells you which direction you should facing, based on midnight viewing. For example, if the map legend says “Looking Southeast,” you should face southeast when using the map.

The map is accurate for any location at a so-called “mid northern” latitude. That includes anywhere in the 48 U.S. states, southern Canada, central and southern Europe, central Asia, and Japan. If you are located substantially north of these areas, objects on our map will appear lower in your sky, and some objects near the horizon will not be visible at all. If you are substantially south of these areas, everything on our map will appear higher in your sky.

The items labeled in green on the sky map are known as asterisms. These are distinctive star patterns that lie within constellations. When getting your bearings under the stars, it’s often easiest to spot an asterism and use it as a guide to finding the parent constellation.

The numbers along the white “Your Horizon” curve at the bottom of the map are compass points, shown on degrees. As you turn your head from side to side, you will be looking in the compass direction indicated by those numbers. The horizon line is curved in order to preserve the geometry of objects in the sky. If we made the horizon line straight, the geometry of objects in the sky would be distorted.

Eclipses and Yods May Validate the Time of Birth

Many astrologers put up charts without giving the source of the data. Was it from the parent, or letters or notes, or biography or from birth certificate? Lois Rodden brought this to the attention of astrologers and did something about it. She created the AstroDatabank program which gave a rating to the data, according to the source of the information. If the data was from the birth certificate, the rating was AA. Where there was dirty data, she sometimes supplied the alternative data.

I began to notice in death charts of friends and family, that there was an eclipse on the natal or the progressed MC/IC several years prior to the death. The orb of the eclipse degree was not more than 4 degrees from the MC/IC. I found that the effect of an eclipse can occur three months before the eclipse date and at least a year and a half to two years later. If there are children in the family, many times the eclipse will occur on their MC/IC several years before the date of death or even three months before the death.

If there was no eclipse at all on the MC/IC, there was a finger of god aspect called a &lsquoyod&rsquo. A yod is the tenth letter of the Hebrew Language. The aspect relates to destiny, or an important event and death certainly falls into that category.

The yod aspect is formed by two sextile planets with both quincunxing a third planet at the apex. It forms a &ldquoV&rdquo. A yod is easier to find if there are additional meridians such as the equatorial ascendant and the vertex. The equatorial ascendant is formed by the prime vertical meridian crossing the celestial equator. The Vertex is formed by the prime vertical crossing the ecliptic. The computer program gives this pertinent information.

You can use the midpoint of two planets to complete a yod. For instance, in my chart, I have Sun at 10 Capricorn and Mercury at 24 Capricorn. To find the midpoint, just add the degrees of the two planets and then divide by 2. The midpoint of 10 Capricorn and 24 Capricorn, when added together and divided by 2, is 17 Capricorn. 17 Capricorn forms the apex of a yod with my natal Neptune (17 Leo) sextile Moon (17 Gemini) however, unless an eclipse aspects or a progressed planetary factor (planet, angle, node) conjoins one of the planets, nothing happens.

When my first husband died on Jan. 11, 1976 my progressed Venus was 17 Capricorn, at the apex of the yod. Venus signifies partner, spouse or lover, the Moon denotes &lsquoend of life&rsquo. There was an eclipse on 1/30/72 (9:36 Leo) on my natal MC (9:22 Leo) approximately three and a half years before his date of death.

At the time of this writing, my progressed ascendant is 17 Capricorn, and that yod is again activated. How does one interpret the yod? What does Neptune and Moon rule in my chart? This is how a determination is made. Neptune rules the 5th house of creativity. It is in the 10th house of work. Moon rules the 9th house of publication. It is in the 8th house of transformation. Suddenly New-Age Magazines have been publishing my articles.
My second husband was Bennett Peterson, the former Treasurer of ISAR and of UAC. He did not know his time of birth. His parents had died before he became interested in astrology. He found the time of his birth by sending through the mail a drop of his blood to someone who advertised in a publication. The time he received was 9:49 PM, giving him a 220 Cancer ascendant. He could not believe that this was correct but it was.

At the time of his death on 6/21/1992, the lunar eclipse of 12/21/91 (29:08 Gemini) was on his progressed MC (28:41 Gemini). He also had a finger of god aspect: Progressed No. Node (20:56 Leo) was sextile to progressed Pluto (21:01 Gemini) and natal Pluto (22:31 Gemini) and both quincunxed progressed Moon (21:26 Capricorn). The Moon as ruler of the 4th house, signifies &lsquoend of life.&rsquo Pluto relates to death and the Nodes have something to do with destiny.

In his daughter&rsquos chart, the solar eclipse of 6/30/92 (8:56 Cancer) was on her progressed IC (8:59 Cancer). She also had a yod: Progressed Mars (9:27 Leo) sextiled the midpoint of Sun (5:45 Gemini) and Mercury (12:18 Gemini) which midpoint is 9:01 Gemini. Progressed MC (8:59 Capricorn) was at the apex of the yod. Midheaven signifies parent. Mars rules her Scorpio MC. Mercury rules the 8th house of death. He was very close to his daughter. His ascendant is on her descendant.

In his oldest son&rsquos chart, the lunar eclipse (29:08 Gemini) aspected his natal IC (29:33 Gemini). He also had a yod: natal Venus (29:47 Cancer) sextiled progressed Moon (28:04 Taurus) and both quincunxed natal MC (29:33 Sag.) (parent).

In his younger son&rsquos chart, there was an eclipse (23:30 Libra) on April 14, 1987 on the natal MC (21:29 Libra) within five years of the date of death. There was a yod: Natal MC (21:29 Libra) sextiled progressed descendant (22:22 Leo) and both quincunxed natal Mercury (21:27 Pisces). Mercury is co-ruler of the 8th house of death. MC relates to parent. There was an eclipse on 6/27/91 (5:07 Capricorn) that activated a yod involving the progressed No. Node (3:01 Gemini) sextile natal Saturn (2:45 Leo) with both quincunx natal ascendant (2:37 Capricorn). Saturn relates to Father. The ascendant applies to himself.

In my chart the lunar eclipse of 1/30/91 (9:43 Leo) was on my natal MC (9:22 Leo). The eclipse of 6/30/92 (8:56 Cancer) was on my Pluto (10:09 Cancer). Every eclipse on an MC also effects the IC, which signifies family and/or the &lsquoend of life&rsquo. There was a change in the family relationship.

I wondered if this would demonstrate with grandchildren and great grandchildren. Bennett had two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
For the older grandchild, the eclipse was on her natal IC. The eclipse of 7/11/91 was 18:59 Cancer. Her natal IC is 18:18 Cancer.

For the younger grandchild, the eclipse of 8/17/89 at 24:12 Aquarius was on his MC (25:51 Aquarius).

For the older great grandchild, the eclipse of 3/29/87 at (8:18 Aries) was on her progressed IC (4:49 Aries). She had a yod. Declination antiscia Jupiter (6:02 Virgo) sextiles natal Pluto (7:09 Scorpio) and both quincunx natal No. Node of the Moon (7:23 Aries). Pluto signifies death.

For the younger great grandchild, the eclipse of 12/21/91 (29:08 Gemini) was on his progressed MC 28:02 Gemini. He also had a yod with natal IC (25:51 Leo) at the apex of a yod, quincunx the declination antiscia1 Mercury (24:41 Capricorn) sextile to declination antiscia Venus (25:48 Pisces). Mercury rules the Gemini ascendant, which signifies the grandparent. There was a solar eclipse (25:20 Capricorn) on 1/15/91 on Mercury.

Planets form parallel aspects when they share the same degree of declination north or south of the celestial equator. A declination equivalent planet, is when the planet&rsquos degree of latitude above or below the celestial horizon is converted into a degree of longitude along the ecliptic. This also applies to a declination antiscia planet. Computer software will do this for us.

All of the charts were configured by solar arc secondary progression to 6/21/92, the date of Bennett&rsquos death. All of the charts had an eclipse prior to the date of death. The eclipse may occur even five or six years before the death.

When you think of all the aspects and degrees of the planets and how they correlate to life events, you have to marvel at the wisdom of the Creator of the Universe and to love astrology.

1Christen, Gary Important Points in a Chart, Essentials of Intermediate Astrology, 1995 USA by NCGR, Inc. Antiscia p.107

Chart data and sources:
Bennett Peterson, October 28, 1905 9:49 PM, time zone 06:00(CST) Minneapolis, Minnesota (93W18&rsquo06&rdquo 44N59&rsquo48&rdquo) time from drop of blood. Ascendant 22:18 Cancer.
Daughter, May 26, 1940 11:02 PM, time zone 06:00 (CST), Minneapolis, Minnesota (93W18&rsquo06&rdquo 44N59&rsquo48) from birth certificate (Ascendant 21:36 Capricorn)
Oldest Son, June 07, 1943 2:12 AM, time zone 05:00 (CWT) Minneapolis, Minnesota (93W18&rsquo06&rdquo 44N59&rsquo48&rdquo) from birth certificate (Ascendant, 29:04 Pisces)
Younger Son, March 04, 1947, 2:28 AM, time zone 08:00 (PST) Santa Monica, California, (118W29&rsquo12&rdquo 34N01&rsquo30&rdquo) from birth certificate. (Ascendant 02:37 Capricorn)
Marguerite dar Boggia, January 1, 1923, 02:03&rsquo32&rdquo AM, time zone 05:00 (EST) New York City, NY, (73W59&rsquo30&rdquo 40N45) from Mother for 2 AM, then rectified to 2:03:30 AM. Ascendant 3 Scorpio
Granddaughter, March 26, 1962, 6:58 AM, time zone 08:00 (PST) Glendale, California (118W15&rsquo18&rdquo 34N09&rsquo54&rdquo) from birth certificate. Ascendant 29:45 Aries.
Grandson, November 6, 1964 6:41 PM, Van Nuys, California, time zone 08:00 (PST) (118W28&rsquo12&rdquo 34N10&rsquo36&rdquo) from birth certificate. Ascendant 15:49 Gemini.
Older Great Granddaughter, July 10, 1987, 5:43 PM, Santa Paula, California, time zone 07:00 (PDT) (119W04&rsquo 34N21&rsquo) from birth certificate. Ascendant 14:52 Sagittarius.
Great Grandson, July 09, 1989 11:30 AM, Santa Maria, California, time zone 07:00 (PDT) (120W23&rsquo30&rdquo 34N55&rsquo06&rdquo) from birth certificate. Ascendant 25:38 Virgo.

Image sources:
Yod: Richard Vetter, AstroWiki
Eclipses: CC0 Creative Commons license, via

Marguerite dar Boggia formerly served as Membership Secretary for ISAR, the International Society for Astrological Research. She was past Secretary and Director of ISAR and Publisher of Kosmos, the ISAR journal. She was a co-founder of UAC and its past Secretary and Director. She can be contacted at her website which she created at the age of 90:

How to visually chart HORIZON ephemeris - Astronomy

This program is used to prepare for astronomical observations and for ephemeris calculation. It can calculate the position of the major planets, the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, and minor planets and comets given either orbital elements or a tabulated ephemeris. Coordinates of stationary objects may also be input. It calculates (approximate) rise and set times, and transit times, of all objects to be observed. It calculates the (approximate) altitude and azimuth of objects at sun rise and set, and morning and evening twilight.

The information (coordinates, rise and set times) may be prepared for either a single time or a sequence of times.

Output includes a file containing the timetable of events for the evening or evenings. The coordinates of the sun and moon, plus any planets, minor planets, and comets are placed in a readable text file, with other calculated values for solar system objects (e.g. distance to earth). The coordinates of all objects to be observed are placed in files in formats to be read by the other programs in this family, namely dataconv and the starchart charting programs. A file listing the (approximate) altitude and azimuth of objects at sun rise and set, and morning and evening twilight is output. If satellite positions are to be computed, these coordinates are placed in one file, and a separate PostScript file graphically showing their positions relative to the primary is also produced.

These output files are optional: any subset of the possible output files may be produced.

Parameters set the location of the observer, control what objects are to be observed, and designate the time or times of interest.

  • Minor corrections such as parallax and nutation are not made.
  • Positions are accurate enough for most applications other than occultations.
  • Rise and set times may be off by several minutes.
  • Positions of Saturn's satellites are approximate, good enough for identification of satellites.

Command line options set the location of the observer, control what objects are to be observed, control the output files produced, and designate the time or times of interest. The default location of the observer is set when the program is compiled.

`-m' Meridian of longitude, measured East of Greenwich. The USA is West of Greenwich, and the longitude is negative for all USA locations. One to three numbers can be used: degrees, degrees and minutes, or degrees minutes and seconds. `-l' Latitude. One to three numbers can be used: degrees, degrees and minutes, or degrees minutes and seconds. `-a' Altitude in meters. `-z' Time zone in hours East of Greenwich, again, this number is negative for USA locations. This does not include any effects of daylight savings. `-d' The date or dates of observation in UT are specified with this flag. The dates for the `-d' option are each specified as a string consisting of month, day, and optional year (use if different from the current year). The month may be encoded as above, e.g. `Aug' for august. Using the first three letters of the English name for the month always works, as does the Roman numeral form. Some other common abbreviations also work. The year may also be specified, the default is the current year. The day may be fractional, e.g. 1.25 is 6 am UT on the first. An optional third parameter is the increment of time to be used in stepping between the two dates. `-o' This sets names used for the output files and controls which output files are produced. The output file names all have the form ` outfile_root .XXX' , where outfile_root is set at compile time (usually to `planet' ), or is set to the argument for this option. The `-o' may be followed with a letter or letters from the set "aeios" to select the altaz, eph, sif, obs, and star files, respectively. e.g. `-oae austin' would produce only the output files "austin.altaz" and "austin.eph". `-p' The positions of any or all of the major planets at the time(s) may be calculated. This is specified either as `-p' which causes the positions of all planets to be calculated, or individual planets may be specified by following the `-p' with a letter or letters from the sequence "MVmJsUN". The positions of the sun and moon are always calculated, since they always have some effect on observing conditions. `-s' The -s option causes the `.sat' and `.sat_PS' files to be produced for the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn. `-s' implies `-p' . With the `-si' option the drawings in the PS file are flipped north to south (if for one time) or east to west (if for multiple times) to produce an inverted view. `-f' Input object data is contained in files in several formats. The `-f filename format ' option sets this input file. `-n' For some input file formats, the name of the object must be specified using the `-n' option.

Sample data files should be used for the file formats used for input files. The format names are `obj' for fixed objects, `ell_e' and `par_e' for parabolic orbital elements, and `emp' , `empb' , `aa' , `st' , and `iau' for tabulated ephemerides. The fixed object format contains the coordinates, name, magnitude, type and size of objects to be observed. The other file formats are used for comets and minor planets, and are discussed below.

The output files are named ` outfile_root .XXX' where XXX is: `altaz' altitude and azimuth of objects at sun rise and set, and morning and evening twilight. `eph' ephemeris of sun, moon and objects specified. `obs' observability of objects: rise and set times of objects, twilight times, etc. `star' `lineread' format file containing coordinates (equinox 2000) of the object(s), sun, moon. `sif' `sif' format file containing the same information as the .star file. The separation character is `' . `sat' Locations of the major satellites of Jupiter and Saturn with respect to the primary. `sat_PS' PostScript file drawing either: one page showing appearance of Jupiter and Saturn with satellites, and relative sizes and orientations of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, and the Moon or several pages showing Jupiter and Saturn with moons on a sequence of times if a range of dates was specified.

Planetary positions are calculated with moderate precision. Formulae are largely from Astronomical Formulae for Calculators by Jean Meesus. Minor corrections are currently ignored.

Comets and minor planet positions may be calculated either directly from the orbital elements or by interpolating a tabulated ephemeris. The calculation from orbital elements is most convenient, but the tabulated ephemeris is likely to be slightly more accurate.

The coordinates of objects in elliptical or parabolic orbits may be calculated from orbital elements given in files of format `ell_e' and `par_e' respectively.

Orbital elements are: `a' semimajor axis, A.U. `q' perihelion distance, A.U. `e' eccentricity `i' inclination (degrees) `omega' argument of perihelion `Omega' longitude of ascending node `n' mean motion (degrees/day) `M' Mean anomaly at epoch `T' Time of perihelion.

For elliptical orbits, `q' and `T' are not needed for parabolic orbits, only `q' , `i' , `omega' and `Omega' are needed.

Orbital elements are referred to a certain equinox, and apply on a certain epoch date.

If `a' is not given, it may be calculated from `a' = `q' /(1- `e' ).

If `n' is not given, it may be calculated from `n' = 0.985609/( `a' *sqrt( `a' )).

If `M' is not given, use `M' = ( `Epoch_date' - `T' ) * `n' .

The magnitude of an asteroid may be calculated from two parameters: `G' and `H' . The magnitude of a comet may be calculated from the parameters `g' and `kappa' .

All ephemeris formats have date, RA, DEC, then other info. Date is the month in characters, then the day of the month. How the month is encoded is format dependent, examples include `IX' `Sept.' `Sep' `Sep.' `September' . Year is current year unless specified in command line, and is the year of the first date. Dates must be in increasing order: 3 followed by 4, December followed by January.

The formats are: `emp' Format used in the Russian Ephemerides of minor planets . `empb' Format used in the Russian Ephemerides of minor planets for bright and unusual asteroids. `aa' Format used by the Astronomical Almanac . `st' Format commonly used by Sky and Telescope magazine. `iau' Format commonly used by IAU Circulars.

The `.obs' file contains a timeline of events for the night or nights of observation. Events include sun and moon rise and set, morning and evening twilight, and for each object to be observed: the rise and set times, the times when they are 20 degrees and 30 degrees above the horizon, and the time of their transit (when they cross the line from north to south passing directly overhead, and are at their maximum altitude above the horizon).

The times, especially sun and moon rise and set are approximate.

The timeline should help you plan your evening, so you know when to begin and end (twilight), and when the moon will interfere. It helps you plan to observe the objects when they are well placed, and ensure that you can observe an object before it has fallen too low in the sky.

The positions of the major satellites of Jupiter and Saturn are calculated for the time or times of interest. The Saturn satellite positions in particular are approximate, but are certainly good enough for identification purposes.

The positions are output in the `.sat' file, and also illustrated in PostScript in the `.sat_PS' file.

If more than one time is specified, the PostScript program draws many Jupiters and Saturns with their moons on a page (with separate pages for Jupiter and Saturn). If one time is specified, a single page is produced containing large drawings of Jupiter and Saturn with their moons. As a bonus, this single page also illustrates the phases and orientations of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (with rings), and the moon.

How to visually chart HORIZON ephemeris - Astronomy

Check the website for a friendly web-interface of that library! (soon)

Astroobs provides astronomy ephemeris (airmass, azimuth, altitude, moon separation, etc) of a night sky target as a function of the date-time and the longitude/latitude of the observer. A list of international observatories is provided as well as a SIMBAD-querier to easily import targets. This package is based on pyephem ephemeris calculations. The main difference with this latter package is that astroobs provides a very straight-forward library for the observer to get the critical information in order to plan an observation. It also provides convenient turn-key tools to convert epochs and plot diagrams. It is released under the GNU General Public License v3 or later (GPLv3+).

astroobs requires the following Python packages:

  • NumPy: for basic numerical routines
  • Astropy: for angle units
  • Astroquery: for querying Simbad
  • pyephem: for the calculations of ephemeris
  • matplotlib: for plotting (optional)
  • pytz: for timezones management
  • re, os, sys, datetime, time: for basic stuff

astroobs is tested on Linux and Python 2.7 only, but should cross-plateform and python3 friendly without too many issues.

The easiest and fastest way for you to get the package and run is to install astroobs through pip:

You can also download astroobs source from GitHub and type:

Dependencies will not be installed automatically. Refer to the requirements section. If you have an anaconda distribution, you will only need to install astroquery and pyephem.

Code contributions are welcome! Just send a pull request on GitHub and we will discuss it. In the issue tracker you may find pending tasks.

If you think you've found one please refer to the issue tracker on GitHub.

You can either send me an e-mail or add it to the issues/wishes list on GitHub.

If you use astroobs on your project, please drop me a line <>, you will get fixes and additional options earlier.

astroobs is released under the GNU General Public License v3 or later (GPLv3+). Please refer to the LICENSE file.

Asteroid 8 Flora Distance from Earth

The distance of Asteroid 8 Flora from Earth is currently 456,223,696 kilometers, equivalent to 3.049667 Astronomical Units. Light takes 25 minutes and 21.7984 seconds to travel from Asteroid 8 Flora and arrive to us.

The following chart shows the distance of Asteroid 8 Flora from Earth as a function of time. In the chart the distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with an interval of 1 day.

The value of the reported distance might be somewhat inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth. The value of the distance of 8 Flora from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Ephemerides, Star Charts, Orbital Elements

The following ephemerides were generated using the JPL HORIZONS system web-interface using the following settings:
Ephemeris Type: OBSERVER
Target Body: Comet 103P/Hartley 2 [2004] or Asteroid 4 Vesta or .
Observer Location: Geocentric [500]
Time Span: Start=2010-08-01, Stop=2010-09-01, Step=1 h
Table Settings: QUANTITIES=1,9,19,20,23,24,29

Users may wish to generate an ephemeris for their specific location and only for the times when the asteroid is above their local horizon and it is dark. Check out our sample ephemeris to learn how to read and interpret these files.

[These are text files. For printing, you may want to use landscape mode.]

Star Charts

About the Charts

Charts were generated (19 Oct) using Starry Night Pro Plus 6.2.3 with some edits in Photoshop CS3. These charts are just to help give you an approximate idea of where Hartley 2 is in the sky. To get a better fix on the position for your specific location, we suggest you generate an ephemeris for your location or use your own planetarium software setup for your location to pinpoint the target.
For printing, use landscape mode.

Table 1: Charts for finding Hartley 2 20 Oct - 11 Nov 2010.

Orbital Elements

Comet 103P/Hartley 2

Asteroid 4 Vesta

Dwarf planet 1 Ceres

Table 2: Table containing the orbital elements (as available from NEO site on 2010-10-18) for Hartley 2, Vesta, and Ceres for input into personal planetarium programs.

Other Targets to Observe

Although Vesta and Ceres are the targets of the Dawn mission and Hartley 2 the target of the EPOXI mission, there are other asteroids and comets related to the missions that you might want to try to observe! Scientists, engineers, and other staff associated with the missions have asteroids named after them for recognition of work done in the field. And what about Tempel 1, the orginal Deep Impact target or comet Boethin the original EPOXI target? Well, here are the links to get you started. Just use what you've learned about observing Vesta and Ceres and apply it to these.

Orbital Elements for Spacecraft

Although the Deep Impact Flyby spacecraft had a flyby of Earth on 31 Dec 2007 (as well as in 2008, 2009 and 2010), it and other spacecraft are generally too faint to actually observe.

On occasion we have provided the elements for spacecraft, but they would be for a given date. Why? When looking for the elements, I found (using the telnet option at Horizons) the elements, but it gave them to me for every day that I had specified during a timespan. So I asked.

Q: Okay, if I'm understanding the output right, the elements for the spacecraft are actually changing continuously so there's not exactly one definitive set of elements?

A: Yes, that's correct. Osculating elements can only represent the position and velocity at one instant.

The spacecraft is continuously acted on by gravity perturbations, solar radiation pressure, maneuvers, etc. Six orbital elements at some instant can't capture this time evolution.

Horizons internally uses the navigation team's trajectory model, which includes such factors. So when you obtain orbital elements over a span of time, each set is the result of accessing the underlying trajectory and converting the instantaneous state into equivalent orbital elements for that instant.

Aside from thruster events (maneuvers), the delta should be small. Suitability depends on how accurate you want the result to be.
Jon G.