APOD: Milky Way over Pyramid of the... (2019 Jun 17)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD Robot
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APOD: Milky Way over Pyramid of the... (2019 Jun 17)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:11 am

Image Milky Way over Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent

Explanation: To see the feathered serpent descend the Mayan pyramid requires exquisite timing. You must visit El Castillo -- in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula -- near an equinox. Then, during the late afternoon if the sky is clear, the pyramid's own shadows create triangles that merge into the famous illusion of the slithering viper. Also known as the Temple of Kukulkan, the impressive step-pyramid stands 30 meters tall and 55 meters wide at the base. Built up as a series of square terraces by the pre-Columbian civilization between the 9th and 12th century, the structure can be used as a calendar and is noted for astronomical alignments. To see the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy descend overhead the Mayan pyramid, however, requires less exquisite timing. Even the ancient Mayans might have been impressed, though, to know that the exact positions of the Milky Way, Saturn (left) and Jupiter (right) in the featured image give it a time stamp more specific than equinox -- in fact 2019 April 7 at 5 am.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Milky Way over Pyramid of the... (2019 Jun 17)

Post by Ann » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:11 am

Nice picture! :D Today's APOD is more impressive than "Milky Way in the Earth's skies" usually are.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Steven Spielberg/Columbia Pictures.
The impressive super-duper-incredibly big UFO appearance of the Milky Way in today's APOD reminds me of the fantastic mothership in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

I'm taking a chance when I'm posting the picture from the Steven Spielberg movie, because I'm not absolutely certain that the picture isn't too big. But I like it a lot, so I'm taking a chance on it. :wink:

Ann
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De58te
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Re: APOD: Milky Way over Pyramid of the... (2019 Jun 17)

Post by De58te » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:00 am

Nice picture but I am kind of confused. To take this picture requires exquisite timing. You must visit late afternoon at 5 am near the equinox. Is everything I was taught in school wrong? I was taught that 5 pm was late afternoon, and 5 am is early morning?

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Re: APOD: Milky Way over Pyramid of the... (2019 Jun 17)

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:39 am

De58te wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:00 am
Nice picture but I am kind of confused. To take this picture requires exquisite timing. You must visit late afternoon at 5 am near the equinox. Is everything I was taught in school wrong? I was taught that 5 pm was late afternoon, and 5 am is early morning?
It would appear the APOD is talking about two different timings. the timing for the equinox and the timing for the "serpent"...that afternoon...and the timing of the APOD itself...5am...which is well after official Spring...

Not only that, but I was out tonight around 11:30pm, and Saturn and Jupiter appear nearly as close... I would have thought they would appear farther apart... but hey, it is probably just me.

Awesome image by the way...really well done...

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Re: APOD: Milky Way over Pyramid of the... (2019 Jun 17)

Post by orin stepanek » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:27 am

I like the photo very much! Thanks Robert for sharing!
Orin

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Re: APOD: Milky Way over Pyramid of the... (2019 Jun 17)

Post by neufer » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:52 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Castillo,_Chichen_Itza wrote: <<The pyramid consists of a series of square terraces with stairways up each of the four sides to the temple on top. Sculptures of plumed serpents run down the sides of the northern balustrade. Around the spring and autumn equinoxes, the late afternoon sun strikes off the northwest corner of the pyramid and casts a series of triangular shadows against the northwest balustrade, creating the illusion of a feathered serpent "crawling" down the pyramid. The event has been very popular and is witnessed by thousands of visitors at the spring equinox, but it is questionable whether it is a result of a purposeful design, because the light-and-shadow effect can be observed, without major changes, during several weeks around the equinoxes. Each of the pyramid's four sides has around 91 steps which, when added together and including the temple platform on top as the final "step",may produce a total of 365 steps (the steps on the south side of the pyramid are eroded) (which is equal to the number of days of the Haab' year).>>
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Deck_of_Cards wrote:
<<To come up with 365 spots on a deck of cards, one would have to assume that the face cards have 11, 12 and 13 spots respectively, plus assume exactly one joker with one spot.>>
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_pyramidal_number wrote:

<<In mathematics, a pyramid number, or square pyramidal number, is a figurate number that represents the number of stacked spheres in a pyramid with a square base. Square pyramidal numbers also solve the problem of counting the number of squares in an n × n grid.

1, 5, 14, 30, 55, 91, 140, 204, 285, 385, 506, 650, 819, ... (sequence A000330 in the OEIS).>>
Art Neuendorffer