The story of Chang’E (version 1) 2

The story of Chang'E (version 1)
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little girl living in the palace of the Jade Emperor in Heaven. Her name was Chang’E 嫦娥. One day, she broke the Jade Emperor’s favorite porcelain jar. Angered, he banished her to live among the mortals on Earth. Now an ordinary human, and not a goddess, Chang’E became a simple farm girl in a well-to-do family. She grew up to be stunningly beautiful young woman. A farm boy, HouYi, fell in love with her, and they became friends. Then one day, a strange thing happened. Ten suns appeared in the sky, which would scorch the Earth and kill all the people. HouYi was an expert archer. He climbed to the top of the highest mountain, and shot down nine of the suns with his arrows. He became a hero, was made the king and of course, he married Chang’E. But fame and fortune made HouYi a little crazy. He was a cruel king, and greedy. He wanted to be immortal, like the gods. So, he spent a lot of money to get a magic pill to preserve his life. Being a little careless, King HouYi left the pill on his bedside table. ...

Browser planetarium from the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network 1

JISHOU, HUNAN — A science moment!! I found Virtual Sky after reading an old Sky & Telescope magazine a friend mailed me just before summer vacation began. I only got around to reading it today. Virtual Sky is a browser-based planetarium that you can embed in your blog or website. Mine here shows the sky at it would appear from Jishou, because that’s where I live. The red line is the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the sky. That’s also where you’ll find the planets, the Moon and the signs of Zodiac hanging out, too. Holding down the left mouse button and scrolling left or right will change the view. Cardinal points are at the bottom. There are options you, the reader, can control, too. With the mouse pointer over the map, type a question mark (?) for a list of keyboard commands. Typing a capital S will show names of some bright stars, like Wentworth Miller or Natalie Portman. Typing p will show the planets, Sun and Moon. If it doesn’t work right, you may using too old a version of Internet Explorer. Sucks for you. Get Chrome or Firefox. And I was just joking about ...

Happy vernal equinox!

At 1:48 am tonight (the 20th), the Sun will be right on the celestial equator. At sunrise, it will come up due east of your location. We northern hemisphere dwellers call this event the vernal (as in spring) equinox. Southern hemisphere types call it the autumnal equinox. Either way, for one day, we each get about 12 hours of day and 12 of night. Ancient civilizations held big celebrations around the time of the equinox, since it marked both the end of winter (in the northern hemisphere, anyway) and the beginning of the planting season. Two religious observances, Passover and Easter, are tied to the season. Easter bunnies and Easter eggs are signs of fertility and reproduction, celebrating the rebirth of the land in spring. Speaking of eggs, it’s a myth that the only time you can balance an egg on its end is during the equinox. In fact, you can do it any old time. The Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait, shows you how here:
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