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09/30/2014 – Ephemeris – Previewing October skies and events

September 30, 2014

Ephemeris for Tuesday, September 30th.  The sun will rise at 7:39.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 45 minutes, setting at 7:24.   The moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 11:43 this evening.

Let’s look at the skies for the month of October.  The sun will still be moving south rapidly.  Daylight hours in the Interlochen/Traverse City area and will drop from 11 hours and 42 minutes tomorrow to 10 hours, 14 minutes at month’s end.  The altitude of the sun above the southern horizon at local noon will be 42 degrees tomorrow in the Interlochen area, and will descend to 31 degrees on Halloween.  This month will see two eclipses visible from our area plus a close encounter that a comet will have near Mars and our assets on and around Mars.  We will be able to see, weather permitting a total lunar eclipse in the morning a week from today, the 8th and a partial solar eclipse on the 23rd, just before sunset.

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

Addendum

Star Chart

Star Chart for October 2014. Created using my LookingUp program.

The Moon is not plotted.  The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 8 p.m.  That is chart time.

Astronomical twilight ends at 9:00 p.m. on October 1st, decreasing to 8:11 on the 31st.

Add a half hour to the chart time every week before the 15th and subtract and hour for every week after the 15th.

For a list of constellation names to go with the abbreviations click here.

Also shown is the Summer Triangle in red. Clockwise from the top star is Deneb in Cygnus, Vega in  Lyra and Altair in Aquila.

The green pointers from the Big Dipper are:

  • Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star.
  • The arc of the dipper’s handle points to Arcturus.

Information on the total lunar eclipse on the 8th will be posted starting Monday October 6th.

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