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Archive for October, 2017

10/31/2017 – Ephemeris – Previewing November skies

October 31, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Halloween, Tuesday, October 31st. The Sun will rise at 8:19. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 13 minutes, setting at 6:32. The Moon, half way from first quarter to full, will set at 4:58 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look ahead at the skies for the month of November. The sun is still moving south rapidly. Daylight hours in the Interlochen/Traverse City area and will drop from 10 hours and 10 minutes tomorrow to 9 hours 5 minutes on the 30th. The altitude, or angle, of the Sun above the southern horizon at local noon will be at 30 degrees tomorrow and will descend to 23 and a half degrees on the 30th. The altitude of the Sun in the Straits area will be a degree lower. Local noon, this month, is about 12:30 p.m.

The Leonid meteor shower will reach a peak on the 16th and again on the 17th and is expected to be lackluster and will peak in our afternoon both days, and may only produce 10 meteors per hour.

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

Addenda

November Evening Sky Chart

November star chart

Star Chart for November 2017 (9 p.m. November 15, 2017). Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 9 p.m. EDT in the evening and 6 a.m. for the morning chart. These are the chart times. Note that Traverse City is located approximately 45 minutes behind our time meridian. (An hour 45 minutes behind our daylight saving time meridian. during EDT and 45 minutes behind our daylight standard time meridian. during EST). To duplicate the star positions on a planisphere you may have to set it to 1 hour 45 minutes (Daylight Time) or 45 minutes (Standard Time) earlier than the current time if you are near your time meridian.

Note the chart times of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. are for the 15th. For each week before the 15th add ½ hour. For each week after the 15th subtract ½ hour. The planet positions are updated each Wednesday on this blog. For planet positions on dates other than the 15th, check the Wednesday planet posts on this blog.

November Morning Star Chart

Morning Star Chart

Star Chart for November 2017 mornings based on 6 a.m. November 15th. Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

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

  • Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star.
  • Follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to the star Arcturus and
  • Follow the spike to Spica
  • The Summer Triangle is in red
  • LeoR is the Leonid meteor shower radiant. Peaks on November 16th and 17th.

Twilight

Evening nautical twilight ends at 7:39 p.m. EDT on the 1st, decreasing to 6:16 p.m. EST on the 30th.
Evening astronomical twilight ends at 8:13 p.m. EDT on the 1st, decreasing to 6:51 p.m. EST on the 30th.
Morning astronomical twilight starts at 6:47 a.m. EDT on the 1st, and increasing to 6:19 a.m. EST on the 30th.
Morning nautical twilight starts at 7:21 a.m. EDT on the 1st, and increasing to 6:55 a.m. EST on the 30th.

NASA Calendar of Planetary Events

    Date   Time     Event 
Nov 01  We          Venus: 16.8° W
    02  Th  8:58 am Venus-Spica: 3.5° N
    04  Sa 12:23 am Full Moon
    05  Su  6:22 am South Taurid Shower: ZHR = 5
    05  Su  7:09 am Moon Perigee: 361400 km
    05  Su  9:19 pm Moon-Aldebaran: 0.7° S
    07  Tu  8:28 pm Moon North Dec.: 19.8° N
    09  Th  8:58 pm Moon-Beehive: 2.7° N
    10  Fr  3:37 pm Last Quarter
    10  Fr  5:40 pm Moon Ascending Node
    11  Sa 11:07 am Moon-Regulus: 0.4° S
    12  Su  5:39 am North Taurid Shower: ZHR = 5
    12  Su 12:48 pm Mercury-Antares: 2.2° N
    14  Tu  7:40 pm Moon-Mars: 3.4° S
    17  Fr 11:56 am Leonid Shower: ZHR = 10
    18  Sa  6:42 am New Moon
    20  Mo  7:34 am Moon-Saturn: 3.3° S
    21  Tu  1:52 pm Moon Apogee: 406100 km
    21  Tu  9:06 pm Moon South Dec.: 20° S
    23  Th  6:59 pm Mercury Elongation: 22° E
    25  Sa  3:22 am Moon Descending Node
    26  Su 12:03 pm First Quarter
    29  We  9:27 am Mars-Spica: 3.1° N
Dec 01  Fr          Venus: 9.4° W

Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC),
http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html

If you go to the above site you can print out a list like the above for the entire year
or calendar pages for your time zone.

Sun and Moon Rising and Setting Events

     LU                  Ephemeris of Sky Events for Interlochen/TC
November, 2017    Local time zone: EDT
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| DATE |  SUN     SUN  DAYLIGHT|   TWILIGHT*    |MOON  RISE OR    ILLUM |
|      |  RISE    SET    HOURS |  END    START  |PHASE SET** TIME FRACTN|
+=======================================================================+
|Wed  1| 08:21a  06:31p  10:09 | 07:36p  07:16a |      Set  06:08a   93%|
|Thu  2| 08:22a  06:29p  10:07 | 07:34p  07:17a |      Set  07:21a   98%|
|Fri  3| 08:23a  06:28p  10:04 | 07:33p  07:18a |      Set  08:36a  100%|
|Sat  4| 08:25a  06:27p  10:01 | 07:32p  07:19a |Full  Rise 07:18p   99%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
| EST  |      Time Change      |                |                       |
|Sun  5| 07:26a  05:25p  09:59 | 06:31p  06:21a |      Rise 07:01p   95%|
|Mon  6| 07:27a  05:24p  09:56 | 06:30p  06:22a |      Rise 07:52p   89%|
|Tue  7| 07:29a  05:23p  09:53 | 06:29p  06:23a |      Rise 08:49p   80%|
|Wed  8| 07:30a  05:22p  09:51 | 06:27p  06:24a |      Rise 09:52p   70%|
|Thu  9| 07:32a  05:20p  09:48 | 06:26p  06:25a |      Rise 10:59p   60%|
|Fri 10| 07:33a  05:19p  09:46 | 06:25p  06:27a |L Qtr Rise 12:07a   48%|
|Sat 11| 07:34a  05:18p  09:43 | 06:24p  06:28a |      Rise 01:15a   38%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 12| 07:36a  05:17p  09:41 | 06:24p  06:29a |      Rise 02:21a   28%|
|Mon 13| 07:37a  05:16p  09:38 | 06:23p  06:30a |      Rise 03:26a   19%|
|Tue 14| 07:38a  05:15p  09:36 | 06:22p  06:31a |      Rise 04:30a   12%|
|Wed 15| 07:40a  05:14p  09:34 | 06:21p  06:33a |      Rise 05:32a    6%|
|Thu 16| 07:41a  05:13p  09:31 | 06:20p  06:34a |      Rise 06:34a    2%|
|Fri 17| 07:42a  05:12p  09:29 | 06:19p  06:35a |      Rise 07:34a    0%|
|Sat 18| 07:44a  05:11p  09:27 | 06:19p  06:36a |New   Set  05:48p    0%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 19| 07:45a  05:10p  09:25 | 06:18p  06:37a |      Set  06:24p    2%|
|Mon 20| 07:46a  05:09p  09:23 | 06:17p  06:38a |      Set  07:04p    6%|
|Tue 21| 07:48a  05:09p  09:21 | 06:17p  06:40a |      Set  07:50p   11%|
|Wed 22| 07:49a  05:08p  09:19 | 06:16p  06:41a |      Set  08:39p   17%|
|Thu 23| 07:50a  05:07p  09:17 | 06:16p  06:42a |      Set  09:33p   25%|
|Fri 24| 07:51a  05:07p  09:15 | 06:15p  06:43a |      Set  10:31p   34%|
|Sat 25| 07:53a  05:06p  09:13 | 06:15p  06:44a |      Set  11:31p   43%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 26| 07:54a  05:05p  09:11 | 06:14p  06:45a |F Qtr Set  12:33a   53%|
|Mon 27| 07:55a  05:05p  09:09 | 06:14p  06:46a |      Set  01:38a   63%|
|Tue 28| 07:56a  05:04p  09:08 | 06:13p  06:47a |      Set  02:45a   73%|
|Wed 29| 07:57a  05:04p  09:06 | 06:13p  06:48a |      Set  03:54a   82%|
|Thu 30| 07:59a  05:03p  09:04 | 06:13p  06:49a |      Set  05:07a   90%|
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
* Nautical Twilight
** Moonrise or moonset, whichever occurs between sunset and sunrise

 

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10/30/2017 – Ephemeris – Halloween preview: The Ghoul Star

October 30, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, October 30th. The Sun will rise at 8:17. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 15 minutes, setting at 6:33. The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 3:50 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow night is the spookiest night of the year, so lets preview the spookiest star of all. It’s Algol, from Ghoul Star or Demon Star. The Chinese had a name for it that meant ‘piled up corpses’. It’s the second brightest star in the constellation Perseus the hero, rising in the northeast this evening. The star is located where artists have drawn the severed head of Medusa, whom he had slain. Medusa was so ugly that she turned all who gazed upon her to stone. Algol is her still glittering eye. Astronomers finally found out what was wrong with Algol. It does a slow 6 hour wink every two days 21 hours, because it is two stars that eclipse each other. It began to dip this morning just before sunrise and it will again centered on 11:41 p.m. Friday night.

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

Addendum

Algol Finder

Perseus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda with Algol finder animation for Autumn evenings. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Eclipsing Binary Star

Animation of an eclipsing binary star like Algol. Credit: Wikimedia Commons h/t Earth and Sky

 

10/27/2017 – Ephemeris – Tomorrow night is International Observe the Moon Night in downtown Traverse City

October 27, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, October 27th. The Sun will rise at 8:13. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 24 minutes, setting at 6:38. The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 12:44 tomorrow morning.

The annual International Observe the Moon Night will be observed this Saturday evening. Members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be stationed on the north side of the 200 block of East Front Street. Starting at 7 p.m. near Orvis Streamside and will be moving our telescopes eastward from time to time to keep up with the westward sinking motion of the Moon over the single story buildings to the south as long as we can. The moon will be a day past first quarter with lots of craters and lunar seas visible in telescopes. The society will also have some giveaway items from NASA for the young and not so young. The event will be canceled due to heavy overcast or other inclement weather.

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

Addendum

The Moon

The Moon about as it would appear tomorrow night, October 28, 2017 at 8 p.m. Credit: NASA/Ernie Wright.

10/26/2017 – Ephemeris – Jupiter at perihelion and 96P/Comet Machholz 1 rounds the Sun

October 26, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Thursday, October 26th. The Sun will rise at 8:12. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 27 minutes, setting at 6:39. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 11:48 this evening. | Today at 2:02 in the afternoon the planet Jupiter will be in conjunction with the Sun, moving from east to west with respect to the Sun. Leaving the evening sky to enter the morning sky. While invisible from the Earth’s surface. There are cameras recording the Sun at all times that will also pick up Jupiter. Two on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory perched a million miles sunward of the Earth. are chronagraphs, and contain disks that block out the light of the Sun creating total eclipses. The planet will pass above or north of the Sun. The easiest way to find these images is to go to spaceweather.com, go down to the link section and select Solar and Heliospheric Observatory and click on The Sun Now. The images to check out at the two LASCO images.

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

Addendum

Jupiter snd Comet Machholz

The current LASCO C3 image at this blog’s posting time Credit: ESA/NASA/SOHO.

Jupiter is about to be covered by the LASCO C3 coronagraph’s occulting disk.  It will still be visible in the C2 field.  As an extra bonus Comet 96P/Machholz entered the LASCO C3 field of view on the 25th and will exit on the 30th.

To follow Jupiter’s progress check out these animated GIFs:  https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/LATEST/current_c3.gif and https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/LATEST/current_c2.gif.

Note that these animations will be current as of the date you click on them.

10/25/2017 – Ephemeris – Looking for the bright planets

October 25, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Wednesday, October 25th. The Sun will rise at 8:11. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 6:41. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 10:56 this evening.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets. Jupiter, will leave the evening sky and enter the morning sky tomorrow as it moves behind the Sun though not directly behind. Saturn is sinking lower in the southwestern sky in the evening. Saturn’s rings are still spectacular in telescopes, but since Saturn is so low in the sky the turbulence of the thick atmosphere makes Saturn fuzzy and seemingly to go in and out of focus. Saturn will set at 9:27 p.m.

Tomorrow in the morning sky, Mars, heading away from the Sun will rise in the east at 5:29 a.m., Venus, is heading closer to the Sun, will rise at 6:34 in the east. Mercury has moved into the evening sky 10 days ago, but will not be easily visible even at its greatest elongation a month from now.

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

Addendum

Saturn and the Moon

Saturn and the Moon at 8 p.m., October 25, 2017. Created using Stellarium

Saturn and Titan

Saturn and Titan as it might be seen in a telescope. October 25, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 8 p.m., October 25, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Mars and Venus

Mars and Venus at 7:30 a.m. October 26, 2017. Create using Stellarium.

Planets and the Moon on a single night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on October 25, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 26th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Planets Tags: , , ,

10/24/2017 – Ephemeris – Saturn and the Moon tonight

October 24, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Tuesday, October 24th. The Sun will rise at 8:09. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 6:42. The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 10:09 this evening.

The crescent Moon will be in the southwest as it gets dark tonight. The planet Saturn will appear below and to the right of our satellite. Saturn has those gorgeous rings, which are visible at as low as 20 power scopes and hinted at lower magnifications. The Moon shows a fat crescent with two whole gray seas, Crises, nearest the limb, and below Fertility. Partially illuminated are Tranquility above and the small sea of Nectar. At the bottom end of that small sea is a horse shoe shaped crater called Fracastorius. It looks like the lava welling up from the Nectar asteroid impact washed down the walls of Fracastorius. The bottom part of the Moon is the lunar highlands of brighter rugged craters.

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

Addendum

The Moon and Saturn

The Moon and Saturn at 8 p.m. October 24, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon at 8 p.m. October 24, 2017 as it might be seen in binoculars. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

 

10/23/2017 – Ephemeris – The loneliest star in the sky

October 23, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, October 23rd. The Sun will rise at 8:08. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 35 minutes, setting at 6:44. The Moon, half way from new to first quarter, will set at 9:27 this evening.

There’s a bright star that appears for only seven and a half hours on autumn evenings from northern Michigan. It’s appearance, low in the south at around 10:30 p.m. tonight, is a clear indication of the autumn season. The star’s name is Fomalhaut, which means fish’s mouth. That’s fitting because it’s in the constellation of Piscis Austrinus, the southern fish. At our latitude it’s kind of the fish that got away, because Fomalhaut appears to be quite alone low in the sky. The faintness of the constellation’s other stars and location close to the horizon make the dim stars hard to spot. The earth’s thick atmosphere near the horizon reduces their brightness by a factor of two or more, so Fomalhaut, one of the brightest stars in the sky, keeps a lonely vigil in the south.

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

Addendum

Fomalhaut in the south at 8 p.m. on November 15, 2012. Created using Stellarium.

Fomalhaut in the south at 9:30 p.m. on October 23, 2017. Created using Stellarium.