02/04/2016 – Ephemeris – The Great Underwater Panther & Fun star contest tonight
Ephemeris for Friday, March 4th. The Sun will rise at 7:14. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 6:35. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:47 tomorrow morning.
The Anishnabek people of the Great Lakes Region, which includes the Odawa and Chippewa Indians have two constellations of winter that I know of. The first is The Winter Maker which uses many of Orion’s stars plus Procyon the Little Dog Star. It rises in the eastern skies in the evening as winter is beginning. The second is the Great Underwater Panther. Which uses the stars of Leo the lion’s backward question mark as its tail and the small knot of stars that are the head of hydra the water snake below Cancer as its head. I imagine this constellation was a warning to youngsters to keep off the thinning ice of spring, lest they fall in and be snatched by the great underwater panther that lives down there.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
An astronomical quiz between the astronomy students and members of the Northwestern Michigan College Astronomy Club vs. the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be held tonight at 8 p.m. at the NMC Observatory. Folks attending can watch and learn or join one of the teams. The format is that of the popular Jeopardy show. These quizzes used to be called Star Bowls, after the old College Bowl TV shows. It’s been morphed into the Jeopardy format over the years, so this year I’m calling it Starpardy. And I can… I play Alex Trebek for this one, my second outing. Professor Jerry Dobek will be scorekeeper and arbiter of the Final Starpardy response, which will be open-ended this time. So come, enjoy the fun.
After the quiz there will be, weather permitting, a star party, and clear or not Becky Shaw will be by to continue her series on female astronomers of history and present day.