Irene Worthington Baron

SATURN-VISIBLE-IN-THE-APRIL-2012-EVENING-SKY

SATURN IN THE APRIL 2012 EVENING SKY

This evening, 17 April 2012, Saturn is dominant in the western sky. It’s absolutely beautiful!

It’s fun to observe Saturn, for with binoculars you can see the rings.  If you want to hear the “wow” from children, give them a pair of binoculars.  Since the body moves with the pulsing of blood, it’s best to have them lean against a tree, a fence post or vertical porch support to steady their self.  Even then, with some observers, there will still be some motion.

Second only to Jupiter in size after the Sun and Moon, and an important celestial object, the Saturn god of the ancient astronomers was given the designation as the king of gods until later disposed of by Jupiter.  To the Greeks and Romans, Saturn was the father of the Olympian gods and the god of agriculture, associated with the planting and sowing of seed and harvest, and a fertility god. 

The name Saturn may have been derived from “sator”, an early word meaning “sower of seed.” During the time of Jesus Christ, the harvest was celebrated with a week-long party during December 17-24 called Saturnalia.  It was during this celebration that the pardoning of some criminals took place by the Romans.

To the earlier Babylonians and those who later adopted their celestial symbolism, Saturn was powerful like the Sun god and considered the bull of the heaven.  Ruling Saturday, it was the protector of the Jewish people, the youngest Titan, and father of the Olympian gods. Practical and wise, this sky god was linked with politics and friendships. To have been born when Saturn was present in the sky with Jupiter, the interpretation was that the child would become a genius and create a steadying influence.

The Babylonians originated the planet names for Saturn such as “Ninib”, “Niurta” or “Kaimann.” It was known  As “Kronos” in Greece, “Saturn” in Rome, and “Horus” in Egypt.

   

 

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