07/09/2015 – Ephemeris – The first stars to appear at night
Ephemeris for Thursday, July 9th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 9:29. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 2:05 tomorrow morning, and tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:07.
Let’s check out all the bright stars in the evening sky, as it gets dark tonight. Low in the west are the planets Venus and Jupiter. High in the west is the bright yellow-orange star Arcturus. In the northwest is the Big Dipper, whose curved handle points to Arcturus. Straightening that curve to a spike will point to Spica a blue-white star low in the southwest. The planet Saturn is located in the south. Below and left of it is the red star Antares which usually twinkles merrily. High in the east is the bright white star Vega. To its lower right is Altair, and to its lower left the star Deneb. Vega, Altair and Deneb make the Summer Triangle, whose rising in the east signals the coming of summer.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
I talked about seeing the first stars a month ago. It seems that in holding star parties this time of year we spend a lot of time watching the first stars appear. I wanted to discuss the Summer Triangle, but it wandered off to what you see above. I’ll get there next week, I promise.