02/15/2016 – Ephemeris – President Lincoln’s visit to the Naval Observatory
Ephemeris for President’s Day, Monday, February 15th. The Sun will rise at 7:43. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 6:10. The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 2:44 tomorrow morning.
In August of 1863, during the height of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln and his secretary John Hay rode out to the Naval Observatory where it was back then in Foggy Bottom. The astronomer there Asaph Hall showed them the moon and the star Arcturus through the observatory’s telescope. A couple of nights later Lincoln came out alone to ask the astronomer some questions about what he saw, in including why the Moon was upside down in the observatory telescope while the telescope he used gave a right side up image. Fourteen years later Asaph Hall, still at the Naval Observatory, discovered the two satellites of Mars through the observatory’s then larger telescope.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
The above images are from the excellent post Lincoln and the cosmos by Kirk R. Benson, USN Ret. on the Astronomy Magazine website.