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07/17/2014 – Ephemeris – The constellation Cygnus the swan

July 17, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, July 17th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 10 minutes, setting at 9:23.   The moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 12:25 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 6:14.  |  Fairly high in the east at 11 p.m. Is the constellation of Cygnus the swan, flying south through the Milky Way.  It is also called the Northern Cross.  At the left, the tail of the swan or the head of the cross is the bright star Deneb, one of the stars of the Summer Triangle.  The next star right is Sadr the intersection of the body and the wings of the swan seen in flight, or the intersection of the two pieces of the cross.  There are two or three stars farther to the right that delineate the swan’s long neck or upright of the cross, that ends with the star Alberio in the beak of the swan or foot of the cross.  The crosspiece of the cross extends to the stars on either side of the intersection star Sadr, while the swan’s wings extend to a couple more stars each.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

CygnusTheSwan Created using Stellarium.

CygnusTheSwan Created using Stellarium.

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07/16/2014 – Ephemeris – A late post for the planet day

July 17, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, July 16th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 11 minutes, setting at 9:24.   The moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:52 this evening.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 6:13.

It’s Wednesday and once again time to locate the bright planets for this week.  Reddish Mars is in Virgo in the southwest as darkness falls.  It’s 101 million miles (163 million km) away now, nearly 2 and a half times farther away than last April, and will set at 12:56 a.m.  Saturn will be low in the south-southwest as darkness falls, in the faint constellation of Libra the scales.  It will set at 2:06 a.m.  Saturn’s in perfect position for viewing with a small or large telescopes to see those fabulous rings and its large moon Titan.  Somewhat larger telescopes can spot some smaller moons closer in.  Brilliant Venus will rise in the east at 4:14 a.m. in morning twilight.  Mercury will rise at 4:46 and be barely visible below Venus.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

I’m late on this one, so the planet positions below are for Thursday evening and Friday Morning.

Mars and Saturn

Mars and Saturn with the evening stars and constellations at 11 p.m. Thursday July 17, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn

Saturn through a telescope. In small telescopes of the moons only Titan will be visible. July 17, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Venus & Mercury

Venus and Mercury at 5:30 a.m. July 18, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

07/15/2014 – Ephemeris – The constellation of Lyra the harp

July 17, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, July 15th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 13 minutes, setting at 9:24.   The moon, half way from full to last quarter, will rise at 11:19 this evening.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 6:12.

Very high up in the eastern sky at 11 p.m. can be found a bright star just north of a small, narrow, but very distinctive parallelogram of stars.  They are the stars of the constellation Lyra the harp.  The bright star is Vega, one of the twenty one brightest first magnitude stars.  Vega is actually the 5th brightest night-time star. The harp, according to Greek mythology, was invented by the Greek god Hermes.  The form of the harp in the sky, is as he had invented it: by stretching strings across a tortoise shell.  Hermes gave it to his half-brother Apollo, who in turn gave it to the great musician Orpheus.  The sun has a motion with respect to most stars around it. Its direction is towards the vicinity of Lyra.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Lyra

Lyra as a tortoise shell harp. Created using Stellarium and free clip art.