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

September 20, 2019 Leave a comment

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.

 

 

09/06/2019 – Ephemeris – GTAS meeting looks at autumn skies

September 6, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, September 6th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 59 minutes, setting at 8:10, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:11. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 12:52 tomorrow morning.

I will be giving a presentation Autumn Stars, Galaxies Myths, and Stories tonight at this evening’s meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society at 8 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory. 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. After the meeting there will be a star party starting at 9 p.m. featuring, if it’s clear the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and that nearby galaxy.

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

Addendum

Star story of autumn

The constellations as characters in the great star story of Autumn. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

08/30/2019 – Ephemeris – Astronomy events at the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes tomorrow

August 30, 2019 2 comments

Ephemeris for Friday, August 30th. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 20 minutes, setting at 8:23, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:03. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

The second Sun and star party in August at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will be held at the Dune Climb tomorrow if it is reasonably clear. The solar portion will start at 4 p.m., while dark sky viewing will start at 9 p.m.. It will be hosted by the Park Rangers and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. The society’s new solar telescope can generally tease out some interesting detail from the currently quiet Sun. Later on the wonders of the Milky Way, which will span the skies from horizon to horizon will be seen, along with the planets Jupiter and Saturn. The park has one of the darkest skies in the Lower Peninsula, and the Milky Way is especially impressive this time of year.

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

Addendum

Milky Way

The Milky Way from the Sleeping Bear Dunes four years ago by Mark Stewart.   This year Jupiter and Saturn would also be in this photograph.

A Sun Party at the Dune Climb. Credit: Eileen Carlisle.

Dune Climb Setup

This in the beginning of setup for the October 21, 2917 star party at the dune climb. Taken early while there was enough light. The dune blocks up to 12 degrees from the southwest to northwest, but the rest of the horizon is quite low.  Photo by the author.

The weather for this event is very iffy, so if it is cancelled members of the GTAS will have their telescopes at the Dune Climb Sunday night, if it is clear, to view the sky.  Though not an official star party, campers and the public to view the heavens.  For a voicemail on the status of the star party on Saturday please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5005.

08/09/2019 – Ephemeris – Sun and Star Party tomorrow at the Sleeping Bear Dunes

August 9, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, August 9th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 20 minutes, setting at 8:57, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:39. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 2:11 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be part of the Port Oneida Rural Arts and Culture Fair, an event sponsored by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The society will bring their telescopes to the Thoreson Farm on Thoreson Road off M22 North of Glen Arbor for a Sun ‘n Star party beginning at 4 p.m. The evening events start at 9 p.m. Thoreson Road is a loop off M22. On tap will be the waxing gibbous Moon with the feature called Bay of Rainbows thrust into sunlight at the edge of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn. Even though the moonlit skies will be bright, there are plenty of wonders still visible in the telescopes. There will also be a few bright Perseid meteors to wow the viewer.

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

Addendum

 

Viewing the Sun at Thoreson Farm

Viewing the Sun at Thoreson Farm 2018. Credit: Eileen Carlisle.

Twilight at Thoreson Farm 2017

Twilight at Thoreson Farm 2017. Credit: Eileen Carlisle.

08/08/2019 – Ephemeris – Astronomy at the next three Friday Night Lives

August 8, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, August 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 8:59, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:37. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 1:33 tomorrow morning.

Starting tomorrow evening and the next two Fridays members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will bring their telescopes to Friday Night Live on Front Street in Traverse City. From 5:30 to 9 p.m. the members will be in the streets with their telescopes showing the Sun and other objects of interest. The newest society telescope is a new solar telescope that shows the Sun in the light of the element hydrogen revealing a thin region of the Sun above the bright ball we see, and clouds of hydrogen above this layer. After 9 p.m., if it’s clear, the telescopes will be pulled back to the sidewalk to view and show the Moon this Friday, and Jupiter and Saturn all of the Fridays.

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

Addendum

White light viewing of the Sun

Viewing the Sun with a while light filter at Friday Night Live using Ron Uthe’s telescope at Friday Night Live. Credit Bob Moler.

Friday Night Live

After Friday Night Live is over we pull the telescopes back to the sidewalk to view the Moon and planets. Credit: Bob Moler.

07/18/2019 – Ephemeris – Two Universe of Stories events today with the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society

July 18, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, July 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 9 minutes, setting at 9:23, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:15. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 10:45 this evening.

The Traverse Area District Library system is hosting two events in their summer reading program: A Universe of Stories. They both run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. One is at the Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory hosted by Dr. Jerry Dobek.

The second will be hosted at the Kingsley Library branch at Brownson Memorial Park, just south of the library, with the other members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. Both locations will feature safe views of the Sun, if it’s clear, plus hands on activities and stories. This the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission and the landing of the first humans on the Moon, a feat we want to repeat to stay and are also looking to land the first crews on Mars.

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

Addendum

A Universe of Stories