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06/13/2018 -Ephemeris – Time to check out the bright planets

June 13, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, June 13th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 9:29, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:56. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

It’s Wednesday again and time to look for and at the bright planets. Two of them are visible in the evening sky. The brilliant beacon of Venus will be visible in the western twilight from about 9:50 p.m. until it sets at 11:59 p.m. Jupiter will be in the south-southeast as it gets dark. Jupiter is only outshone by Venus and the Moon. And after Venus sets will have the night to itself as the brightest star-like object until it sets at 4:03 a.m. Binoculars will show it to be bigger than star-like in size flanked by several little star-like moons to either side. Saturn will rise at 10:16 p.m. in the east-southeast. Mars will rise at 12:29 a.m. and is now outshining Saturn, and in July and August will even outshine Jupiter.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Venus and Jupiter at 10:30 p.m. June 13, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and moons at 10:30 p.m. June 13, 2018. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

 

Morning planets

Morning planets at 4:30 a.m. June 14, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic morning planets

Saturn and Mars with the same magnification with an inset of Mars at higher magnification at 4:30 a.m. June 14, 2018. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on June 13, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 14th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

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06/12/2018 – Ephemeris – Virgo the virgin

June 12, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, June 12th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 9:28, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:56. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 6:02 tomorrow morning.

Tonight in the sky: to the south, is bright Jupiter. The brightest star to the right of Jupiter is Spica. It is in the constellation and member of the of the zodiac: Virgo the virgin. Virgo is a large constellation of a reclining woman holding a stalk of wheat. The bright star in the center of the constellation, Spica, is the head of that spike of wheat; and as such it ruled over the harvest in two of Virgo’s guises as the goddesses Persephone and Ceres. Ceres is now a dwarf planet and the root of the word cereal. Virgo is also identified as Astraea the goddess of justice. The constellation of Libra, the scales of justice, which she is associated with, is found just east of her low in the southeast.

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

Addendum

Virgo finder chart

Virgo finder animation for 10:30 p.m. June 12, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

06/11/2018 – Ephemeris – Jupiter and the claws of the scorpion

June 11, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, June 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 9:28, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:56. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 5:17 tomorrow morning.

Right now the bright planet Jupiter is seen in the south as it gets dark. There is a star visible below Jupiter now. The name of that star is my favorite star name: Zubenelgenubi. It roughly translates from the Arabic, and most star names are Arabic, as “Southern Claw”. This star, also known as Alpha Librae, is in the zodiacal constellation of Libra the scales or balance, a roughly square constellation standing on one corner. The name relates to Scorpius the scorpion to the east who in the Arab’s imagination extended farther to the west. The star farther to the upper left of Jupiter tonight is Zubeneschamali, you guessed it, the northern claw, also part of Libra. It’s the longest star name at 14 letters.

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

Addendum

Jupiter with Zubenelgeubi

Jupiter with Zubenelgenubi, the South Claw and with nearby Zubeneschamali, the North Claw of Scorpius, still rising at 11 p.m. June 11, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

06/08/2018 – Ephemeris – Anishinaabek constellation of the Sweat Lodge

June 8, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, June 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 9:26, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:57. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:37 tomorrow morning.

This past Monday I talked about the constellation of Corona Borealis, high in the southeast at 10:30 in the evening and the Greek mythology that surrounds it. It’s a small three-quarters of a circle of stars sandwiched between the larger constellations of Boötes to the west or right and Hercules on left or east. To the Anishinaabek people, who are natives of our region of which the Ottawa or Odawa, Chippewa and Ojibwe tribes are a part it is the Sweat Lodge. A section of what we call Hercules next to it is the Exhausted Bather, who is a participant lying on the ground after the ceremony. The seven stones that are heated for the Sweat Lodge ceremony are the Pleiades, now too close to the Sun to be seen.

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

Addendum

Sweat Lodge finder animation

The Anishinaabek constellations of the Sweat Lodge and the Exhausted Bather looking high in the southeast at 10:30 p.m., Click on image to enlarge. June 8, 2018. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

The constellation art is part of the latest versions of Stellarium. Ojibwe (Anishinaabek) constellation art by Annette S Lee and William Wilson from Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide, ISBN 978-0-615-98678-4.

06/07/2018 – Ephemeris- Venus passes Pollux tonight

June 7, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, June 7th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 9:25, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:57. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 3:10 tomorrow morning.

The planet Venus will be passing the last of the bright winter stars tonight. That star is Pollux in Gemini the twins, which will appear below and to the left of the much brighter Venus. As Venus moves about the Sun in our evening sky it will pass other bright first magnitude stars that are near the ecliptic, the path of the Sun and also near the paths of the Moon and planets. On July 9th it will pass Regulus in Leo the Lion. Then on September 1st it will pass Spica in Virgo the Virgin. That will be the last of the first magnitude stars it will pass during its evening appearance this year. Venus will pass between the Earth and the Sun on October 26th, leaving the evening sky and entering the morning sky.

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

Addendum

Path of Venus

The path of Venus against the stars and constellations. This image ignores the Sun, Moon and other planets. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Venus

06/06/2018 – Ephemeris – Our weekly look at the bright planets

June 6, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, June 6th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 27 minutes, setting at 9:25, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:57. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 2:43 tomorrow morning.

It’s Wednesday again and time to look for and at the bright planets. Two of them are visible in the evening sky. The brilliant beacon of Venus will be visible in the western twilight from about 9:45 p.m. until it sets at 12:07 a.m. Jupiter will be in the south-southeast as it gets dark. Jupiter is only outshone by Venus and the Moon. And after Venus sets will have the night to itself as the brightest star-like object until it sets at 4:32 a.m. Binoculars will show it to be bigger than star-like in size flanked by little star-like moons. Saturn will rise at 10:45 p.m. in the east-southeast. Mars will rise at 12:50 a.m. and is now outshining Saturn, and will, in July and August even outshine Jupiter.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Venus and Jupiter at 10:30 p.m. June 6, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and moons at 10:30 p.m. June 6, 2018. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Morning planets

Morning planets and the Moon at 4:30 a.m. June 7, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 4:30 a.m. June 7, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic morning planets

Saturn and Mars with the same magnification with an inset of Mars at higher magnification at 4:30 a.m. June 7, 2018. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on June 6, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 7th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

06/05/2018 – Ephemeris – Green flash

June 5, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, June 5th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 25 minutes, setting at 9:24, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:58. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 2:16 tomorrow morning.

Now that it’s June and the season of summer is only two weeks away, thoughts run to heading out to the beach. One of the great pleasures of heading out to a Lake Michigan beach is seeing the sunset. And if the Sun sets on the cloudless horizon, a rare treat is to see the green flash. I’ve heard about it since my youth, but have seen it only once. I’ve seen the sunset many, though not a huge number of, times. The time I did, I was purposely looking for it. The green flash is when as the last part of the upper limb of the Sun disappears it suddenly turns green for a second, then it’s gone. So it’s easy to miss. The flash isn’t really brighter, but the top edge turns suddenly from reddish-orange to green as it disappears.

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

Addendum

Green flash in stages

The green flash recorded by Brocken Inaglory in January 2006 from Santa Cruz, CA. GNU Free Documentation License from the Green Flash Wikipedia page, which has more examples.