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09/21/2018 – Ephemeris – Twilight talk and star, actually planet, party tonight in Thompsonville

September 21, 2018 Leave a comment

Ephemeris for Friday, September 21st. The Sun will rise at 7:28. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 13 minutes, setting at 7:42. The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 4:44 tomorrow morning.

Tonight members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will hold a twilight talk and a star party at the Betsie Valley District Library in Thompsonville. It starts at 7 p.m. with a talk about how the Moon came to be and the features that will be visible tonight by yours truly. Where did the Moon come from? That mystery has baffled astronomers for ages. The rocks the Apollo astronauts brought back from the Moon offer clues to a possible answer. After which the Moon, Mars and Saturn will be visible. If cloudy, the talk will go on as scheduled, though the observing part of the evening will be replaced with a look at the skies via computer projection and a preview of the autumn season in the skies.

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

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09/18/2018 – Ephemeris – Moon and planet party tomorrow night

September 18, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, September 18th. The Sun will rise at 7:25. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 7:47. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 1:53 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow evening the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will set up their telescopes at the Traverse Area District Library Central Library on Woodmere Avenue from 7 to 8:30 p.m. weather permitting for a star party, though it won’t actually feature stars. It will feature the Moon in its gibbous phase and the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars after 7:30 p.m. The evening will start with a twilight talk by yours truly about the Moon. Also Mars is showing some features now that it is still relatively close to the Earth at 49 and a half million miles away, and the global dust storm on the planet has subsided. On the face of Mars tomorrow night is the large formation Syrtis Major, sounds nice, but it means the Great Swamp.

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

09/14/2018 – Ephemeris – Local astronomy activities Saturday the 15th

September 14, 2018 Comments off

Note:  I’m a bit late with this post due to unscheduled star party last night for Greenspire School at Leelanau Outdoor Center near Pyramid Point.  Then I had a sail this morning for Inland Seas.  I came home absolutely pooped out.  Anyway the events described except for the first paragraph below are for tomorrow.

Ephemeris for Friday, September 14th. The Sun will rise at 7:20. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 7:55. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 11:00 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 and the planet Venus plus give out NASA items for the kids. We’ll exhibit pictures gained from last year’s total solar eclipse. Then starting at 9 p.m. the crew will be at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory for a star party, viewing Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon, plus some brighter objects beyond the solar system. Rain will affect the Leland event. The observatory is located on south of Traverse City on Birmley Road between Keystone and Garfield roads.

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.

09/07/2018 – Ephemeris – Two astronomy events in the Grand Traverse region this weekend

September 7, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, September 7th. The Sun will rise at 7:12. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 56 minutes, setting at 8:08. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 5:35 tomorrow morning.

This evening the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at the Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory at 8 p.m. with a program featuring Dr. David Penney and his talk Large Impacts on the Earth. After watching the impacts of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 into Jupiter in 1994 the public and space agencies began to take the possibility of an asteroid or comet impact on the Earth seriously. Dr. Penney will talk about evidence of such impacts on the Earth in the past. After the talk, at 9 p.m. there will be a star party to view the heavens including Saturn and Mars and wonders of the Milky Way. 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

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.

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.

08/24/2018 – Ephemeris – The last Friday Night Live of the year is tonight

August 24, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, August 24th. The Sun rises at 6:55. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 37 minutes, setting at 8:33. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 5:54 tomorrow morning.

The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be at the last Friday Night Live of the year tonight on Front Street in Traverse City. We have a lot of fun at these events, looking at the Sun and possibly Venus from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., talking astronomy and what’s up in the sky, and NASA’s missions to the planets and now the Sun. After 9 p.m. if it’s clear we pull our telescopes off the street and onto the sidewalk to view the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Last week we had the Moon, but it’s no longer in the southern sky in the evening. Last week we didn’t pack our telescopes up until after 11 p.m. But it all depends on the clouds. Our next sidewalk event will be October 20th, International Observe the Moon Night.

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

Addendum

Looking at the Moon

A girl looking through a telescope at the nearly first quarter Moon at Friday Night Live, August 17, 2018.

Friday Night Live

Looking down Front Street in Traverse City at the Friday Night Live August 17, 2018.

08/17/2018 – Ephemeris – Another busy weekend for the GTAS

August 17, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, August 17th. The Sun rises at 6:47. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 8:45. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 12:29 tomorrow morning.

The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society (GTAS) has another busy weekend. Tonight the society members will bring their telescopes to downtown Traverse City and Friday Night Live. During the event we’ll be looking at the Sun and the planet Venus and staying after to view Saturn and the Moon if it’s clear. Saturn’s rings are, of course, spectacular. Tomorrow night society members will be at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory beginning at 9 p.m. for a star party viewing Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Later as it gets really dark, some of the brighter stellar wonders will come into view if it’s clear. There’s stars in groups called clusters great and small, and stars that orbit each other and can have different colors.

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

Addendum

Saturn in the 2013 Friday Night Live

Ron Uthe (with the beard) explains that his telescope is pointed to Saturn after the 2013 Friday Night Live. Credit mine.

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.

08/10/2018 – Ephemeris – A busy weekend here and in the skies

August 10, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, August 10th. The Sun rises at 6:39. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 8:56. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 6:45 tomorrow morning.

It’s a busy weekend for the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. Members will be on Front Street in Traverse City tonight for Friday Night Live with views of the Sun and later a look at the planet Saturn and its rings, weather permitting. On Saturday, again weather permitting members will be part of Sleeping Bear Dunes Port Oneida Fair with a Sun ‘n Star Party from 4 to 6 p.m. and from 9 to 11 p.m., though members will still be there in between. The location for that event is the Thoreson Farm on South Thoreson Road off M22, near Port Oneida Road. On tap will be Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and some of the Perseid meteors on the night before its peak night, plus some of the deep sky wonders of the summer Milky Way.

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 was over Saturn was visible until about 11 p.m. Credit: Bob Moler.

Star party 2

Star Party at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Thoreson Farm August 2013. Credit Eileen Carlisle.