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08/01/2014 – Ephemeris – There’s a star party tonight

August 1, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, August 1st.  The sun rises at 6:28.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 38 minutes, setting at 9:07.   The moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 11:35 this evening.

Tonight the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will host a star party at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory from 9 to 11 p.m.  If it’s clear the planets Mars and Saturn and the Moon will be the featured attractions.  Saturn’s rings are always a fabulous sight.  Try to see the circular gap in the rings called Cassini division.  Cassini is also the namesake of the spacecraft that has spent 10 years orbiting the planet.  The moon Titan can also be easily seen.  It’s a world larger than Mercury, has an atmosphere denser than the Earth’s and has lakes of liquid methane and ethane at its poles.  Our Moon is two-thirds the diameter of Titan, and essentially airless, which allows us to see its features easily.

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

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