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Archive for the ‘Ephemeris Program’ Category

07/11/2018 – Ephemeris – The bright planets for this week

July 11, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, July 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 20 minutes, setting at 9:28, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:08. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 5:36 tomorrow morning.

It’s Wednesday and time to look for and at the bright planets. Four of them are 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 11:33 p.m. Mercury, reaching its greatest separation from the Sun just after midnight, is far below and right of it, setting at 10:44 p.m. Jupiter will be in the south as it gets dark. Jupiter is only outshone by Venus and the Moon, though Mars will outshine it later this month at its closest. Jupiter will set at 2:09 a.m. Saturn will start the evening low in the southeast will stay relatively low, above the Teapot of Sagittarius and will set at 5:10 a.m.. Mars will rise at 10:46 p.m. and is now outshining Saturn.

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

Addendum

Venus and Mercury

Venus and Mercury at 10 p.m. July 11, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

Evening planets

The evening planets except Mercury at 10:30 p.m. July 11, 2018. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Mars and Saturn

Mars and Saturn in the morning at 4:30 a.m. July 12, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

 

Telescopic planets

Telescopic views of Venus, Jupiter and Saturn at 10:30 p.m. on July 11, and Mars at 4:30 a.m. on July 12. All images are at the same magnification. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts)

Planets and the Moon on a single night sunset 07/11/18 to sunrise 07/12/18

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on July 11, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 12th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

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07/10/2018 – Ephemeris – The celestial scorpion

July 10, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, July 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 9:28, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:08. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 4:38 tomorrow morning.

For most of the year I’ve been referencing the constellation of Scorpius the scorpion in passing. Let’s take a good look at this creature. There are no scorpions in Michigan, unless someone imported some. However the one celestial scorpion now seen in the south near 11 p.m. is a beautiful example of one. His heart is the red giant star Antares. Another to the upper right leads to a trio of stars in a bit of a vertical bow. It’s claws extend into the next constellation over, Libra and the stars Zubenelgenubi, near Jupiter and Zubeneschamali, the south and north claws. From Antares the body droops down and curves just at the horizon, before making that distinctive curved tail with two stars at the stinger.

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

Addendum

Scorpius finder animation

Scorpius finder animation. I’m leaving the artwork to another image, since I really don’t see the scorpion as Stellarium’s artist sees it. Animation created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Scorpius artwork

Scorpius artwork closer to how I see it with the claws extending into Libra. I was able to find the image using a Google search, but was unable to find the original source.

07/09/2018 – Ephemeris – Ophiuchus. the serpent bearer in the sky

July 9, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, July 9th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 9:29, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:07. The Moon, half way from last quarter to new, will rise at 3:50 tomorrow morning.

The red star Antares shines in the south at 11 p.m. In the constellation of Scorpius. In the area of sky above and a little to the left lies a large constellation of faint stars called Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer. The constellation shape is like a large bell, which reminds me of the head, shoulders and arms of a fellow that’s holding the snake-like a weight lifter pulling up a heavy barbell. The serpent he’s holding is Serpens, the only two-part constellation in the heavens. The head rises to Ophiuchus’ right and the tail extends up to the left. In Greek legend Ophiuchus was a great physician, educated by the god Apollo, and the centaur Chiron, also found in the stars as Sagittarius, now rising below and left of him.

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

Addendum

Ophiuchus finder animation

Ophiuchus finder animation plus constellations discussed. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

07/06/2018 – Ephemeris – Learn about meteorites tonight

July 6, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, July 6th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 9:30, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:04. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 2:06 tomorrow morning.

Meteorites will be the topic given by Joe Brooks local meteorite expert and collector at this evening’s meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society at 8 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory. He even has a meteorite of a type called a Howardite that the Dawn spacecraft that orbited the asteroid Vesta has determined to be from the there. Today we are all too aware that stones and even bigger asteroids can collide with the Earth, so studying meteorites and the asteroids they come from is important. Everyone is welcome. Also at 9 p.m. there will be a star party at the observatory. The observatory is located south of Traverse City on Birmley Road between Garfield and Keystone roads.

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

Addendum

A Howardite meteorite is a chip off this old block.

Vesta as Dawn headed off to Ceres.

Looking back at Vesta as Dawn headed off to Ceres. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCAL/MPS/DLR/IDA

07/05/2018 – Ephemeris – Earth will be the farthest from the Sun in its orbit tomorrow

July 5, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, July 5th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 27 minutes, setting at 9:30, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:04. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 1:39 tomorrow morning.

At just before noon tomorrow the Earth will reach the aphelion point in its orbit of the Sun reaching 94.48 million miles from our star. The is a bit farther than the Earth was at its perihelion point in early January of 91.32 million miles. This doesn’t affect the total amount of heat the Earth gets from the Sun, as could be felt in the last week. The big temperature differences are due to the seasons, which are caused by the tilt of the Earth’s axis with respect to its orbit. However having aphelion in summer, when the Earth moves it slowest around the Sun makes summer the longest season. It’s 4 days longer than winter. I know it doesn’t feel like it in northern Michigan, especially with the April we had this year.

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

Addendum

Earth's orbit

The Earth’s orbit, somewhat exaggerated, showing aphelion and the seasons. Credit “Starts with a Bang” blog by Ethan Siegel.

The exact date and distance of aphelion and perihelion change by a few days and a few thousand miles every year.  The Earth’s orbit of the Sun is also affected by the other planets of the solar system, principally Venus and Jupiter.

Categories: Earth, Ephemeris Program Tags:

07/04/2018 – Ephemeris – The bright planets for the week of Independence Day

July 4, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 9:31, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:03. The Moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 1:13 tomorrow morning.

It’s Wednesday again and time to look for and at the bright planets. Four of them are 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 11:42 p.m. Mercury is far below and right of it, setting at 10:57 p.m. Jupiter will be in the south as it gets dark. Jupiter is only outshone by Venus and the Moon, though Mars will outshine it next month at its closest. Jupiter will set at 2:37 a.m. Binoculars will show it to be bigger than star-like in size. Saturn will start the evening low in the southeast will stay relatively low, above the Teapot of Sagittarius and will set at 5:39 a.m.. Mars will rise at 11:17 p.m. and is now outshining Saturn.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

All the evening planets for July 4, 2018 at 10:30 p.m. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Telescopic appearance of Venus on July, 4, 2018. A moon filter helps cut down the glare to be able to more easily see the phase. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

Telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at 10:30 p.m. on July 4, and Mars at 12 midnight on July 5, 2018 at the same magnification. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Europa’s transit of the face of Jupiter starts at 1:55 a.m. July 5th.  The Great Red Spot will cross the central meridian of Jupiter at 11:19 p.m.

Morning planets

Mars Saturn and the Moon at 5 a.m. July 5, 2018. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

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 July 4, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 5th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

07/03/2018 – Ephemeris – Antares the sparkler star

July 3, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, July 3rd. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 9:31, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:02. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 12:47 tomorrow morning.

There’s going to be a lot of fireworks tomorrow night to celebrate Independence Day, and I may be watching some after the local Beach Bums baseball game. There’s at least one star that is a great sparkler any summer evening. That’s Antares in Scorpius the scorpion low in the south tonight. We in Michigan always see Antares low in the south. It’s a bright red giant star which twinkles mightily, and since it’s low in the sky spits and sputters all kinds of colors due to our atmosphere’s turbulence, and the fact that we’re looking through so much of it at Antares. The more magnification one uses with binoculars or a telescope the greater the sparkler effect. It is even called in sometimes as a UFO.

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

Addendum

Antares finder chart

Antares finder chart for 11 p.m., July 3, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, stars Tags: ,