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10/21/2019 – Ephemeris – Sleeping Bear Dunes 49th Anniversary Star Party tonight

October 21, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, October 21st. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 42 minutes, setting at 6:48, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:07. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 12:55 tomorrow morning.

A star party celebrating the 49th anniversary of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will be held tonight, October 21 2019, starting at 8 p.m. at the Dune Climb but only if it’s clear. It will be hosted by the Park Rangers and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. The society invites all to come, to view the Milky Way, which will span the skies from horizon to horizon. The park has one of the darkest skies in the Lower Peninsula, and the Milky Way is especially impressive in late summer and early autumn. It’s our galaxy, containing all the individual stars we see, plus all the star clusters and nebulae we can see in our telescopes. And we can look out of it to the Great Andromeda Galaxy.

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

Addendum

Sunset on the 40th anniversary star party

Sunset on the 40th anniversary star party which was held at the Dunes Overlook on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Credit Eileen Carlisle.

Preparing to start the star party

Preparing to start a star party at the Dune Climb. A few of the telescopes are visible including the GTAS 25″ “Emmettron” telescope at the far right. Credit: Eileen Carlisle.

10/16/2019 – Ephemeris – The bright planets and another talk I’m giving tonight

October 16, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, October 16th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 6:56, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:00. The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 8:44 this evening.

Let’s look at the bright planets for this week. Mars, Venus and Mercury are too close to the Sun to be seen. Venus and Mercury are on the evening or east side of the Sun, Mars is on the west or morning side. Bright Jupiter will be low in the southwestern sky as it gets dark. It will set at 9:46 p.m. Saturn, the ringed planet, will be in the south-southwestern sky in the evening, and set at 11:32 p.m.

Tonight at 7 p.m. I will be giving an illustrated talk Apollo and the Moon Race at the main branch of the Traverse Area District library on Woodmere in Traverse City. It traces the events from Sputnik to the last Apollo mission to the Moon, the tumultuous 15 years of the space race between the United Stares and the Soviet Union.

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

Addenda

The planets this week

Evening planets

Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon at 8:30 p.m. tonight October 16, 2019. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

Telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn with the same magnification at 8:30 p.m. tonight October 16, 2019. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Binocular Moon

The waning gibbous Moon at 9:30 tonight October 16, 2019. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and the Moon on a single night

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on October 16, 2019. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 17th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Apollo and the Race to the Moon

Apollo and the Race to the Moon Title

Apollo and the Race to the Moon Title slide

10/04/2019 – Ephemeris – Astronomy events in Traverse City this weekend

October 4, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, October 4th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 7:18, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:45. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 11:33 this evening.

Tonight and tomorrow night there will be astronomy events at the Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory and weather permitting tomorrow night on Front Street in Traverse City.

  • Tonight there is the monthly meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society with a program at 8 p.m. and a star party starting at 9 p.m.
  • Tomorrow night at the observatory from 7 to 8:30 p.m. NMC, the Rogers Observatory and the Traverse Area District Library will present Storyteller’s Night Sky with Mary Stewart Adams.
  • At the same time, if it’s clear, members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will set up telescopes on the East 200 block of Front Street in Traverse City for the International Observe the Moon Night.

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

09/30/2019 – Ephemeris – Autumn Stars talk tonight

September 30, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, September 30th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 46 minutes, setting at 7:25, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:40. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 8:55 this evening.

I will be giving a presentation Autumn Stars, Galaxies Myths, and Stories tonight at the Woodmere Avenue branch of the Traverse Area District Library at 7 p.m. Afterward if it’s clear members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will bring their telescopes out to view Jupiter and Saturn. In the autumn season we lose the southern part of the Milky Way in the southwest, but there are number of of constellations that tell a famous story, that’s even made it to the cinema twice in recent years. There’s a star that evilly winks at us, and a huge galaxy the is visible to the naked eye that will crash into our Milky Way galaxy in the far future. Also the Native Americans around here have a constellation that paints the fall colors.

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

Addendum

09/27/2019 – Ephemeris – Apollo 50th anniversary talk tonight in Thompsonville

September 27, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, September 27th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 7:31, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:36. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 7:09 tomorrow morning.

Tonight to commemorate the 50th anniversary the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, I will present the illustrated talk Apollo and the Race to the Moon at 7 p.m. at the Betsie Valley District Library in Thompsonville. Afterwards, if it’s clear, members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will host a star party featuring Saturn and Jupiter and some of the brighter deep sky objects. In the talk I’ll explore the Apollo 11 mission, the engineers, astronauts and all the crewed and robotic missions that paved the way for the successful lunar landings. I’ll also look at the Soviet space program their triumphs, plans, and ultimate failure to beat the Americans to the Moon.

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

Addendum

Apollo and the Race to the Moon Title

Apollo and the Race to the Moon Title slide

09/20/2019 – Ephemeris – Two local astronomy events this weekend

September 20, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, September 20th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 17 minutes, setting at 7:44, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:28. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 11:19 this evening.

There are two local astronomical events tomorrow. The Leland Heritage Celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fishtown in Leland. The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be there to show the Sun through member’s telescopes, maybe spot the Moon plus give out NASA items for the kids. That evening from 9 to 11 p.m. members of the society will move to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s Dune Climb for this month’s star party featuring the planets Jupiter and Saturn and the wonders of the summer Milky Way. Rain will affect the Leland event, and heavy overcast will affect the Dunes event. Last month’s Dune event appeared earlier in the day to be clouded out, but it did clear up later on.

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

Addendum

Don Flegel at Fishtown

Don Flegel, in the foreground, with the society’s solar telescope assisting a person viewing the Sun at he Leland Heritage Festival 2017 at Fishtown. Don Flegel, in the foreground, with the society’s solar telescope assisting a person viewing the Sun at he Leland Heritage Festival 2017 at Fishtown. Man in the background in the blue cap is Gary Carlisle. Telescope in the middle is mine.

Preparing to start the star party

Preparing to start the May star party 3 years ago at the Dune Climb. A few of the telescopes are visible including the GTAS 25″ “Emmettron” telescope at the far right. Credit: Eileen Carlisle.

09/16/2019 – Ephemeris Extra – I’ll be giving my presentation “Apollo and the Moon Race” tonight

September 16, 2019 Comments off

I’ll be giving my illustrated talk Apollo and the Moon Race tonight at 7 p.m. at the Traverse Area District Library on Woodmere Avenue in Traverse City.  The 1960s were a heady time with the space race between the US and the USSR in achieving space firsts.  I will look at the competition, and the incremental steps that had to be made to finally send astronauts to the surface of the Moon on July 20th 1969.

If you miss this presentation, there will be another on Friday September 27, at 7 p.m. at the Betsie Valley District Library in Thompsonville.

Both events will have viewing of the skies with the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society including Jupiter and Saturn afterward if it’s clear.