Autumnal Equinox – September 22, 2013, 20:44 UT
Today is the Autumnal Equinox, one of the two days of the year, when the length of night and day is equal everywhere on Earth. No matter where on Earth we live, the one thing we all share every day of our lives is the ocean. There is only one global ocean, which covers about 70 percent of the Earth.
The Full Moon in Pisces last week occurred in exact conjunction with Salacia, a trans-Neptunian object named after the goddess of salt water, the wife of the sea god Neptune. According to some sources, Salacia was the personification of the calm and sunlit ocean. There are others, who say that Salacia represented the violent and gushing waters. In the news stream around the Full Moon, Salacia’s violent side has been noticeable.
120347 Salacia is a binary trans-Neptunian object discovered in 2004. The companion is named Actaea after a sea nymph. The recent study has shown, that Salacia is over 900 km in diameter (about same size as Ceres), setting it among the largest objects in the Kuiper belt.
In June 2011 Aquarius/SAC-D satellite was launched to map the salinity of sea water from space. On the midheaven of the launch chart was minor planet Salacia. Oceans are tied to the water cycle. Scientists have noticed that the salinity of sea water has changed over the last 40 years. They don’t know why this has happened, but it suggests that something fundamental is going on in the water cycle. Information about wind speed, sea surface heights, temperatures, rainfall and sea salt needs to be gathered.
Among the current news I noticed some science news related to the ocean. Use of underwater research instrument was tested successfully in Baltic Sea from the Finnish RV Aranda. The Finnish Meteorological Institute is in the project GROOM, Gliders for Research, Ocean Observation and Management, where the feasibility of building a European glider infrastructure is the main goal. Gliders collect data from the bottom and are used in ocean research routinely today, but in the Baltic Sea the shallowness and topography are challenging for gliders.
Another news was telling about wave energy. The ocean waves possess tremendous amounts of raw energy. The Finnish WaveRoller device has been tested on the coast of Portugal. The device converts ocean waves to energy and electricity. The French are now interested in testing the device in the Bretagne region.
Among the talented people born with their Sun conjunct Salacia are the Dutch swimmer Marcel Wouda, musicians Benny Andersson, Maurice and Robin Gibb, Michael Stipe, and Gary Barlow.
One of the bright moments in history, when the Sun was conjunct Salacia, was on January 24, 1975, when jazz pianist Keith Jarrett performed in Köln and played the solo improvisation, which became known as the Köln Concert. Like the waves in the ocean grow bigger and bigger, Jarrett’s performance originally for a relatively small audience, reached ultimately a huge amount of listeners worldwide. The recording of the concert became the best-selling solo album in jazz history, and the all-time best-selling piano album. Jarrett has told in an interview, that he totally trusted in his imagination while he was playing. The Sun-Salacia conjunction in Aquarius was sextile Jarrett’s Mars in Aries and trine his Neptune in Libra at the time.