Home > Ephemeris Program, GTAS Outreach Event, Star Party > 08/05/2022 – Ephemeris – Star Party tonight at the Joseph H. Rogers Observatory

08/05/2022 – Ephemeris – Star Party tonight at the Joseph H. Rogers Observatory

August 5, 2022

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, August 5th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 9:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:34. The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 12:45 tomorrow morning.

Tonight, the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will host a star party at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory from 10 pm to midnight, if it’s clear. The first quarter Moon, and the planet Saturn, will be seen. Toward the end of the evening, Jupiter will make an appearance. Saturn is always magnificent with its rings, and Jupiter with its moons and cloud bands. Also, visible will be some brighter wonders beyond the solar system. Nebulae, which are clouds of gas, and great clusters of stars. Views from one of the observatory telescopes will be available via Zoom, link at gtastro.org. Some society members will also bring their telescopes for displaying the sky for attending visitors. The observatory is located south of Traverse City on Birmley Road. The approach to the observatory from Keystone Road from the south may be blocked by the construction of a roundabout at the Keystone-Cass Rd intersection.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.


Star party at the NMC Observatory

Telescopes set up by members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society at the back of Northwestern Michigan College’s Joseph H. Rogers Observatory on August 3, 2018. Credit mine.

This may be the first time since 2019 that members will set their telescopes out behind the observatory for a star party. The telescope in the small dome is the one used for Zoom views of the Moon and possibly Saturn. Saturn will be blocked by trees for most of the evening, except from the observatory dome which is high enough, so Saturn will clear the trees sooner.

The sky is forecast to be partly cloudy, whatever that means. The Clear Sky Chart for the observatory shows that it will be clear. There is also a possibility of haze from the forest fires out west, dimming the sky and making observation of deep sky objects more difficult.

Events of the evening:

The first quarter Moon will already be up and will set at 12:45 am
9:03 pm – sunset
9:24 pm – Saturn rises*
10:20 pm – Nautical twilight ends
11:02 pm – Jupiter rises*
11:07 pm – Astronomical twilight ends

* It may be at least a half hour after rising before the image of these planets become half way sharp, due to the great amount of atmosphere we are looking through to see them. The higher in the sky they are, the better they will appear.

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