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03/27/2020 – Ephemeris – Enjoying astronomy when sheltering at home

March 27, 2020 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, March 27th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 8:04, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:30. The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 11:25 this evening.

With the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic hitting our area many of us are stuck in our homes waiting it out. It may be awhile. That’s OK for some of us. That’s because astronomical observation is in many ways a solitary pursuit. My mother taught me the first two constellations. She could never wake me to view the Perseid meteors of August. After that I learned the rest on my own, the first batch on a morning paper route in winter, previewing the spring and summer skies. Staying at home doesn’t mean staying indoors. Going out in the back yard or dark area alone also counts. It’s proximity to other people that’s the problem. I find that being alone out under the stars makes me feel that the Earth and its worries are a trillion miles away.

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

Addendum

Some constellation star fields guaranteed to be trillions of miles away:

Orion

Orion in a 30 second exposure taken at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Dune Climb February, 18, 2017 by Bob Moler. Click on image to enlarge a bit.

Pleiades and Hyades

Actual photo of the Pleiades to the right of the Hyades, the face of Taurus the bull. Credit Bob Moler