Archive for August 18, 2014

08/18/2014 – Ephemeris – Scanning the Milky Way in Scutum

August 18, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, August 18th.  The sun rises at 6:48.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 8:43.   The moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 1:37 tomorrow morning.

The teapot pattern of stars that is the constellation of Sagittarius lies at the southern end of the Milky Way this evening. It appears that the Milky Way is steam rising from the spout.  The area above Sagittarius in the brightest part of the Milky Way is the dim constellation of Scutum the shield.  Don’t bother looking for the stars that make up the constellation; what’s important is the star clouds of the Milky Way.  Scan this area with binoculars or small telescope for star clusters and nebulae or clouds of gas.  In binoculars both clusters and nebulae will appear fuzzy, but a small telescope will tell most of them apart.  Even if you’ve never been able to find anything in your telescope, use your lowest power and scan.

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


The constellations Sagittarius and Scutum. Created using Stellarium.

The constellations Sagittarius and Scutum. Created using Stellarium.