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Babylon: a small town in the 3rd millennium BC, later an Akkadian city-state in Mesopotamia founded in 1867 BC and then capital of Hammurabi’s empire. Twice the largest city of the ancient world and first to exceed 200,000 people, it was dissolved after the 7th century AD Arab Islamic conquest.

badly aspected/placed: a planetary affliction, sign in detriment or fall, or a weak house placement.

benefic(s): Venus and Jupiter.

Big Bang: a theory on how the universe began based on Edwin Hubble's 1929 discovery that all galaxies are moving away from one another at great speeds, and that therefore the space between them is continually expanding. This "expansion of the universe" point of few was popularized in the 1950s by George Gamow and a few other physicists, claiming that if the universe were expanding, it followed that the separation between galaxies must have been smaller in the past. Following this argument to its ultimate conclusion, the universe must have at one time been entirely located at a single point. Such an infinitely hot and dense point would necessarily have exploded in a cataclysmic creation event, and, if so, everything we now see in the universe must have come from this incredibly hot and dense point that primordially exploded in what is now called the "Big Bang."

In 1962 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, two Bell Labs physicists using a large New Jersey radio telescope, found a background "noise" everywhere they looked in the sky. Simultaneously at nearby Princeton University, Robert Dicke had hypothesized that if in fact there had been a big bang, the residue from that explosion would by now, some 13.7 billion years later, be reduced in temperature to a low-level uniform background radiation throughout the entire universe. His computations predicted that the temperature left over from the big bang would today be about 2.7 degrees above absolute zero, exactly what the two Bell Labs physicists were seeing everywhere as "noise" in their Holmdel radio telescope! This was extraordinarily strong supporting evidence of the Big Bang theory.

biquintile: a 144° aspect, 2/5th of a circle.

biseptile: a 102.86° aspect, 2/7th of a circle.

black hole: a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape. Black holes are thought to form when heavy stars collapse in a supernova at the end of their life. Once formed, a black hole can continue to grow by absorbing nearby mass, stars, or other black holes. It is thought that super-massive black holes lie at the centers of most galaxies, and that a black hole exceeding 4 million solar masses lies at the center of our Milky Way.

Bode's law: First stated by Johann Titius in 1766, this formula predicting the semi-major axis of each planet's orbit around the Sun was popularized by Johann Bode 10 years later. This Titius-Bode law states that a planet's semi-major axis (in AU, the Earth-Sun distance) is 0.4 + (0.3)2n where n = - infinity for Mercury , 0 for Venus, 1 for Earth, 2 for Mars, 3 for the asteroids, 4 for Jupiter, etc. The first test of the law occurred five years later in 1781 when William Herschel discovered Uranus at the distance predicted by the formula. Neptune, however, discovered on September 23, 1846, is much closer to the Sun than predicted by this law; Pluto actually occupies the n = 8 position. Although there is a high correlation for the positions of all the planets except Neptune, the law probably has no physical significance, particularly having to allow n = - infinity for Mercury. Some newly discovered extra-solar systems seem to follow the Titius-Bode law, whereas others do not.





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© Carl Woebcke, The Glossary: the Letter B, 1991-2016. All rights reserved.