Astronomy rings, sometimes called Gemma’s bands, are an ancient astronomical instrument used by many cultures across the world. The device itself is comprised of three bands, each reflecting the different heavenly coordinate, ranging from Polaris to Virgo. In addition, the band’s outer edge, called a cusp, represents the ecliptic (or eclavity) plane – a plane where the Earth’s axis of rotation lies. This plane is inclined by about five degrees from the actual geographic latitude of the site where the ring is located, which allows for easy viewing of stars at sea level. Because of its ease of use and clear visibility, many people have been captivated by the gemstone bands as an effective and attractive skywatching tool.
The primary aim of the band is to aid in timing the various celestial movements, particularly the seasonal variations, as well as to provide accurate predictions of solar birth and death, as well as of comings and goings from Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. This latter detail is extremely important to those who study ancient astronomy – specifically the effects that large comets will have on our planet. While there are a great many complex calculations involving planetary alignment and planetary motions that must be made by a professional astrologer or mathematician, amateur astronomers can use the bands to create a working model of these processes and in turn make more informed estimates of future events. In fact, many amateur astronomers have been able to successfully predict the dates of major celestial events using just the positions and velocities of the bands. Such a feat has inspired many professional astronomers to carry out research into further studies of this phenomenon, which they term “asterism.”
Astrology is the study of celestial relationships based on the presence or absence of specific factors. This can be broken down into a number of different areas. One such area includes the study of comets – those fast-moving, nearly ice-grain sized objects that left behind fragments of ice and debris. These comets are very important to our understanding of the solar system, and researchers have long studied their interaction with other space and celestial bodies. By analyzing the differences between completely independent comet debris and that which is brought together and re-assembled by other space and terrestrial objects, researchers have discovered that comets can affect the development of magnetic fields and solar wind particles in unique ways.
The Solar Ring is another interesting example of an alignment effect that can be used to study the effects of comets. Similar to the solar system’s belt, this consists of belt loops of very fine filaments which are similar to the veins that permeate our bodies. When a comet passes through such a field – which is tilted by Earth’s gravity – it can cause the loop to rotate, which can give scientists clues as to the formation of its own satellites. The existence of such satellites could mean that a larger comet is headed for a direct approach to our planet.
Astronomy rings also have a more mundane application: they mark the passage of years. For instance, the Dwarf Cape on the dwarf planetoid ho – which is about the size and shape of an orange – was discovered by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope during the course of one of these observations. This discovery gave rise to the now famous “rings of death” – small icy fragments that are riddled with ice crystals and which periodically smash together. In many cases, these collisions occur near the galaxies where astronomers have detected black holes (which may not harbor black planets).
Astronomy rings also can tell us something about the growth of stars. Stellar development is thought to be governed by chemical elements – particularly those that form when stars start out in a universe that is far from empty. The main elements found in stars are carbon and oxygen, and these elements combine to make both the dust and the stars. Through studies of the rings of the gas giant G2 and other similar systems, astronomers have learned that these elements spread through gaseous clouds by colliding with each other and with neutral gas clouds. Thus, by studying how the stars in a given system evolve over time, the astronomers have been able to infer the makeup of a star – and sometimes, they have been able to determine its makeup by looking at a single star in the distant system.