In the Stars

In the Stars

Article from Issue 217/2018

OpenAstro helps users determine the positions of stars and generate charts to use when creating horoscopes for friends, relatives, or celebrities.

The plane in the sky defined by the Earth's revolution around the sun is known as the ecliptic. Stargazing ancients were well aware of the mysterious properties associated with this band of sky, in which the sun, moon, and planets appeared to move across a fix background of the stars [1]. Western and near-eastern sky watchers referred to the 20 degree band around the ecliptic as the Zodiac and divided this band into 30 degree segments, each corresponding to one month of the Sun's apparent motion. The constellations that traversed the Zodiac, rising and falling, then reappearing at the same time and place the next year in what appeared to be a giant celestial clock, were especially important to these ancient astronomers, who believed the motion of the sky held clues for understanding the universe. The ancient art of astrology developed around the practice of analyzing this celestial motion and using it to make predictions about people and future events.

Modern-day astrologers still use information about the locations of the planets and constellations to perform astrological readings. If you're interested in exploring this ancient practice, an open source tool called OpenAstro will help you get started.


Several distributions currently have OpenAstro 1.1.56 [2] in their repositories, and you can install the program conveniently with the package manager. You then launch it from the menu via a starter or use the openastro command in a terminal window.


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