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10/20/2017 – Ephemeris – Last star party at Sleeping Bear Dunes this year is tomorrow night

October 20, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, October 20th. The Sun will rise at 8:04. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 6:49. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 7:43 this evening.

A star party celebrating the 47th anniversary of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will be held tomorrow evening, October 21 2017, starting at 8 p.m. at the Dune Climb if it’s clear. This is a change in location from some of the earlier notifications. It will be hosted by the Park Rangers and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. The society invites all to come, especially those with telescopes willing to share the wonders of 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. Please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5005 if in doubt about weather conditions. A decision will be made by 2 hours before the event.

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

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10/06/2017 – Ephemeris – GTAS meeting tonight – Remembering Cassini

October 6, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, October 6th. The Sun will rise at 7:46. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 7:13. The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 8:10 this evening.

Tonight’s meeting, at 8 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory, of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society (GTAS) will feature yours truly and a program I’m calling Remembering Cassini. On a planet nearly a billion miles from earth the intrepid spacecraft called Cassini met its planned fate burning up in its atmosphere. It was a mission that lasted nearly 20 years, and orbited the ringed planet for 13 of those years, viewing the planet, its rings and moons from all angles, tasting the atmosphere of Titan, the geysers of Enceladus, and finally, at the end, the atmosphere of its host planet Saturn. We’ll have images, videos, and sounds of those alien worlds. At 9 p.m. there will be a star party featuring the Moon and Saturn

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

 

09/29/2017 – Ephemeris – Last festival of the year for the GTAS – Acme Fall Fest tomorrow

September 29, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, September 29th. The Sun will rise at 7:38. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 47 minutes, setting at 7:26. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 1:59 tomorrow morning.

The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be at the Acme Fall Festival tomorrow, that’s Saturday September 30th from 10 to 4 p.m. It will be held at Flintfields Horse Park on Bates Road, north of M 72. The society members will bring their telescopes which will be used to view the sun if it’s clear. There will also be exhibits of astronomical photos from NASA, professional and our own amateur astronomers. As the festival and star party year winds down and the school year begins members of the society can bring astronomy and space to the classroom. Plus the society is beginning to plan for next year. Contact the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society via email at info@gtastro.org for information or to set up a date and topic.

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

09/28/2017 – Ephemeris – View the Moon and Saturn tonight at the library

September 28, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, September 28th. The Sun will rise at 7:37. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 51 minutes, setting at 7:28. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 1:05 tomorrow morning.

Tonight the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will set up their telescopes at the Traverse Area District Library Central Library on Woodmere Avenue in Traverse City from 7 to 9 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 planet Saturn probably after 8 p.m. We might also catch a glimpse of the Sun, since the event starts before sunset. The Sun’s sunspot activity has picked up a bit in the last month or so, since just before August’s solar eclipse. We’ve had a pretty sunspot-less early summer.

There will be a visible pass of the International Space Station, which will be high in the south at 8:30 p.m.  It will rise above the southwestern horizon at 8:25, and disappear into earth’s shadow at 8:33 p.m. in the south-southeast.  It will be visible from anywhere in Michigan, though the times may vary by a minute or so.  It’s traveling at 5 miles per second (8 km/s).

The library has a telescope, donated by the society and Enerdyne that they lend out, which has been in heavy demand. See the library for details.

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

 

09/22/2017 – Ephemeris – September star party at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore tomorrow night

September 22, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, September 22nd. The Sun will rise at 7:29. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 9 minutes, setting at 7:39. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 9:14 this evening.

Autumn starts at 4:02 this afternoon.

The first star party of autumn will be held at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore tomorrow evening starting at 9 p.m. at the Dune Climb if it’s clear. It will be hosted by the Park Rangers and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. The society invites all to come, especially those with telescopes willing to share the wonders of the Milky Way, which will span the skies from horizon to horizon, and the planet Saturn. 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.

Please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5005 if in doubt about weather conditions. A decision will be made by 2 hours before the event.

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

09/15/2017 – Ephemeris – Two local astronomy events tomorrow

September 15, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, September 15th. The Sun will rise at 7:21. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 7:52. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:10 tomorrow morning.

There are two local astronomical events tomorrow. Tomorrow the Leland Heritage Celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fish Town in Leland. The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be there to show the Sun through member’s telescopes and give out NASA items for the kids. We’ll exhibit pictures gained from last month’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 Saturn and the wonders of the Milky Way including star clusters and nebulae of clouds of gas and dust that mark locations of either the birth or death of stars. Rain will affect the Leland event. The observatory is located on Birmley Road.

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

Addendum

GTAS telescopes at Leland Heritage Celebration in 2011.

GTAS telescopes at Leland Heritage Celebration in 2011.

09/01/2017 – Ephemeris – Far flung astronomers return to share their reports of the eclipse

September 1, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, September 1st. The Sun will rise at 7:05. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 13 minutes, setting at 8:18. The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 3:16 tomorrow morning.

Tonight’s meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be a real treat. The far-flung members of the society on eclipse day nearly two weeks ago will bring back their treasures of experiences, pictures and videos from the path of totality from Oregon, Missouri and Tennessee. We’ll also have some wonderful images from the Society’s former president who had to leave the area to become an airline pilot. The meeting will be at 8 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan’s Joseph H. Rogers Observatory, located south of Traverse City, on Birmley Road, accessible from either Garfield or Keystone Roads. After the meeting there will be a star party to view Saturn and the 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

Solar corona

A composite image of something like 70 exposures of the Sun’s corona taken by Scott Anttila, former president of the GTAS. This and others of his images will be displayed, along with the stories and photographs from other members.