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01/31/2018 – Ephemeris – Lunar Eclipse happening now* and the bright planets for this week

January 31, 2018 1 comment

* The Ephemeris radio program run at 6:19 a.m. and 7 a.m. EST will run during the lunar eclipse.

Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 31st. The Sun will rise at 8:02. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 47 minutes, setting at 5:50. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 6:15 this evening.

We have a lunar eclipse in progress this morning. Before the partial phase starts the Moon will have a dusky appearance because the Moon will be in the Earth’s outer penumbra shadow.  The partial phase starts at 6:48 a.m. (11:48 UT), when the upper left part of the Moon will enter the Earth’s inner shadow, called the umbra. The Moon will be fully immersed in the shadow beginning at 7:51 a.m. (12:51 UT). It will probably disappear by then because the Sun will rise just after 8 a.m. and the Moon will set, at least in the Interlochen/Traverse City area at, 8:04.

Venus is our evening planet, but too close to the Sun to spot. At 7 a.m. Jupiter and Mars below left of it are in the south while Saturn is low in the southeast. Tomorrow morning Jupiter will rise at 2:20 a.m., Mars will follow at 3:25. Last of all Saturn will rise at 5:50 a.m.

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

Addendum

Partial eclipsed Moon

The partially eclipsed Moon at 7:40 a.m. January 31, 2018 from Traverse City, MI as simulated by Stellarium.

For more on the eclipse see yesterday’s post:  https://bobmoler.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/01-30-2018-ephemeris-looking-for-tomorrows-lunar-eclipse/.

On to the planets

Morning planets and the Eclipsed Moon

Morning planets and the partially eclipsed moon at 7 a.m. this morning, January 31, 2018. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and its moons at 7 a.m. this morning January 31, 2018. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Saturn and moons

Saturn and its brighter moons at 7 a.m. this morning January 31, 2018. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on January 31, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on February 1st. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

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01/30/2018 – Ephemeris – Looking for tomorrow’s lunar eclipse

January 30, 2018 2 comments

Ephemeris for Tuesday, January 30th. The Sun will rise at 8:04. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 5:48. The Moon, 1 day before full, will set at 8:04 tomorrow morning.

At a bit before 5 this morning the Moon passed perigee, it closest approach to the Earth in its monthly orbit of the Earth. It was 223,072 miles (359,000 km) away. That makes tonight’s Moon, 12 hours or less before full, a super moon. It will rise tonight at about 5:01. However it’s setting that is of interest because it will be in eclipse. The partial phase of tomorrow morning’s lunar eclipse will begin at 6:48 a.m. (11:48 UT), when the upper left part of the Moon will enter the Earth’s inner shadow, called the umbra. The Moon will be fully immersed in the shadow beginning at 7:51 a.m. (12:51 UT). It will probably disappear by then because the Sun will rise just after 8 a.m. and the Moon will set, at least in the Interlochen/Traverse City area at, 8:04.

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

Addendum

Partial eclipsed Moon

The partially eclipsed Moon in twilight at 7:40 a.m. January 31, 2018 from Traverse City, MI as simulated by Stellarium.

The following is an article I submitted to Green Elk Rapids website that was also published in the Elk Rapids News.  Elk Rapids is a village about 20 miles north of Traverse City on the east shore of Grand Traverse Bay.  I added the metric units for this post.

We will have a calendrical coincidence on January 31st along with a natural event, and just missing another natural event all having to do with the Moon. The first is that the full moon on January fits one of the definitions for a “blue moon”, the second full moon in a month. Of course the Moon doesn’t actually turn blue. It doesn’t really care. Since February is shorter than a lunation, a lunar month, it will not have a full moon. However March will have two full moons like January.

The second is a real event. The Moon being opposite the Sun in the sky, the definition of a full moon, will pass into the Earth’s shadow causing a lunar eclipse or eclipse of the Moon. In this case, a total eclipse. A lunar eclipse of some type occurs in about one in six full moons. We only have to be on the night side of the Earth to see it. That’s the rub this time, because the eclipse will be in progress at sunrise. The partial phase starts at 6:48 a.m. From about 6:30 on the upper left part of the Moon will appear dusky as the Moon sinks deeper in the Earth’s outer shadow, where the Sun is only partially blocked. The Moon will sink farther and farther into the Earth’s inner shadow called the umbra until at 7:51 a.m. it will be totally immersed. By then the sky will be quite bright, with sunrise to occur at 8:02. The Moon should completely disappear and will set unseen at 8:04. Folks a few states west of us will see, more than likely, a coppery colored totally eclipsed Moon. Some TV preacher some years ago called it a blood moon, hoping to sell books about the end times.*

The color comes from the sum of all the sunrise and sunsets happening on Earth at that instant. The red sunrise we see is caused by the blue light being scattered out of the Sun’s light by molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere. It gives us the blue sky. Our atmosphere also bends the Sun’s light. When we see the full disc of the Sun just clear the horizon, it’s still actually fully below the horizon. The light of the sunrise that passes over our heads continues on, being bent further and becoming redder, and fills the Earth’s shadow by the time it reaches the Moon’s distance, making the Moon red. Volcanic ash in the upper atmosphere can make the Moon almost disappear during totality.

This full moon is also a so-called “super moon”. These occur when the full moon is nearest the Earth in its monthly orbit of the Earth. January first’s full moon was the closest of the year, you might say a super-duper moon. The Moon reached its perigee, closest point or 221,581 miles (356,600 km) away 5 hours before the Moon was officially full. This time perigee is the day before full, about 1,500 miles (2,400 km) farther away. These are measured center to center. The closest an Elk Rapids observer will be to the Moon on the 31st will be at about 12:30 a.m. at 219,920 miles (353,927 km), subtracting most of the Earth’s radius. Of course the Moon won’t look that big being high in the south then. By moon set it will retreat to 223,778 miles (360,136 km) from an Elk Rapids observer. The increased apparent size of the rising or setting Sun or Moon is an optical illusion. The Moon is closer to us when high in the sky than when on the horizon.

The next lunar eclipse visible to us is next year, on the night of January 20-21, 2019.

* The Elk Rapids News didn’t like my dig about the TV preacher and omitted this sentence.  I rather expected them to.


Lunar Eclipse January 31, 2018

Credit NASA.

The original page for this graphic is:  https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEplot/LEplot2001/LE2018Jan31T.pdf

    Total Lunar Eclipse January 31
Event               Time EST   Time UT
                    GT Area    
Enter penumbra      5:51 a.m.  10:51   Unseen
Begin partial phase 6:48 a.m.  11:48
Totality begins     7:51 a.m.  12:51
Sun rises           8:02 a.m.
Moon sets           8:04 a.m.
Mid eclipse                    13:28
Totality ends                  14:07
End partial phase              15:11
Leave penumbra                 16:08   Unseen

The shading of the penumbra is generally noticeable within 1/2
hour before the partial phase begins and again after it ends.

12/31/2017 – Ephemeris Extra – January 2018 preview

December 31, 2017 Comments off

This isn’t going to be recorded as an actual program.  I’m not sure how much information one could retain at 6 or 7 New Years Day morning.

Year end is a busy time astronomically with Earth’s perihelion and the Quadrantid meteor shower following rapidly on New Years day

Let’s look ahead at January 2018. Tuesday the 2nd is the date of the latest sunrise. The Sun is already beginning to head north, as can be seen in the sunset time on the 1st, 11 minutes later than at its earliest three weeks ago. Both sunrise and sunset will be moving in January with sunrise time at 8:20 a.m. and sunset time at 5:12 p.m. on the 1st moving to 8:02 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. at month’s end. The sun’s altitude at noon will increase from 22 degrees on the 1st to nearly 28 degrees by the 31st. The Earth will reach its closest to the Sun in its orbit, called perihelion, on the 2nd at 91.4 million miles (147.1 million km).

We’ll have a full moon on the 1st and the 31st, the so-called blue moon.  Both those moons will be super moons, occurring at or near perigee.  On  top of all that the  full moon on the 31st will be totally eclipsed.  We in Michigan will see nearly the first half of the eclipse before the Moon sets at 8:04 in the grand Traverse area.  Folks farther west will see more, if not all of the eclipse. February will have no full moons, so March again will have two full moons.

The Quadrantid meteor shower will reach peak on the 3rd, in the afternoon.  The radiant is circumpolar here, being off the handle of the Big Dipper.  Mercury will reach its greatest western elongation on the 1st and be visible shortly before sunrise for the next week rising after 6:30, but brightening a bit each day.  It’s not a particularly favorable elongation, now that winter is here.  The next evening elongation in  March will be a lot better.  Venus will be in superior conjunction with the Sun on the 9th and will enter the evening sky, but don’t look for it this month.  Mars and Jupiter will have a close conjunction on the 6th.  It will look about equally OK on the morning of the 6th or 7th around here because it occurs on the evening of the 6th, when they are not up.

Addenda

January Evening Sky Chart

January Evening Star Chart

Star Chart for January 2018 (9 p.m. January 15, 2018). Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 9 p.m. EST in the evening and 6 a.m. for the morning chart. These are the chart times. Note that Traverse City is located approximately 45 minutes behind our time meridian. (An hour 45 minutes behind our daylight saving time meridian. during EDT and 45 minutes behind our daylight standard time meridian. during EST). To duplicate the star positions on a planisphere you may have to set it to 1 hour 45 minutes (Daylight Time) or 45 minutes (Standard Time) earlier than the current time if you are near your time meridian.

Note the chart times of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. are for the 15th. For each week before the 15th add ½ hour. For each week after the 15th subtract ½ hour. The planet positions are updated each Wednesday on this blog. For planet positions on dates other than the 15th, check the Wednesday planet posts on this blog.

January Morning Star Chart

January Morning Star Chart

Star Chart for January 2018 mornings based on 6 a.m. January 15th. Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

For a list of constellation names to go with the abbreviations click here.

  • Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star.
  • Leaky Big Dipper drips on Leo.
  • Follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to the star Arcturus.
  • The Summer Triangle is in red
  • QuadR is the Quadrantid meteor shower radiant. Peaks on January 2nd, but the almost full moon will interfere this year.

Twilight

Evening nautical twilight ends at 6:22 p.m. EST on the 1st, increasing to 6:55 p.m. EST on the 31st.
Evening astronomical twilight ends at 6:57 p.m. EST on the 1st, increasing to 7:29 p.m. EST on the 31st.
Morning astronomical twilight starts at 6:35 a.m. EST on the 1st, and decreasing to 6:23 a.m. EST on the 31st.
Morning nautical twilight starts at 7:10 a.m. EST on the 1st, and decreasing to 6:57 a.m. EST on the 31st.

NASA Calendar of Planetary Events

    Date    Time    Event
Jan 01  Mo          Venus: 1.9° W
    01  Mo  2:59 pm Mercury Elongation: 22.7° W
    01  Mo  4:54 pm Moon Perigee: 356600 km
    01  Mo  7:01 pm Moon North Dec.: 20.1° N
    01  Mo  9:24 pm Full Moon
    02  Tu  9:59 pm Perihelion: 0.9833 AU
    03  We  2:50 pm Moon-Beehive: 2.3° N
    03  We  3:19 pm Quadrantid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 120
    04  Th  2:48 am Moon Ascending Node
    05  Fr  2:24 am Moon-Regulus: 0.9° S
    06  Sa  7:39 pm Mars-Jupiter: 0.2° N
    08  Mo  5:25 pm Last Quarter
    09  Tu  1:16 am Venus Superior Conjunction w/Sun
    11  Th 12:59 am Moon-Jupiter: 4.7° S
    13  Sa  2:58 am Mercury-Saturn: 0.7° N
    14  Su  9:09 pm Moon Apogee: 406500 km
    14  Su  9:13 pm Moon-Saturn: 2.9° S
    15  Mo 11:28 am Moon South Dec.: 20° S
    16  Tu  9:17 pm New Moon
    18  Th  9:28 am Moon Descending Node
    24  We  5:20 pm First Quarter
    27  Sa  5:09 am Moon-Aldebaran: 0.7° S
    29  Mo  6:32 am Moon North Dec.: 20° N
    30  Tu  4:54 am Moon Perigee: 359000 km
    31  We  2:19 am Moon-Beehive: 2.3° N
    31  We  8:27 am Full Moon
    31  We  8:30 am Total Lunar Eclipse (See Below)
    31  We  1:46 pm Moon Ascending Node
Feb 01  Th          Venus: 5.7° E

Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC),
http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html

If you go to the above site you can print out a list like the above for the entire year
or calendar pages for your time zone.

Sun and Moon Rising and Setting Events

     LU                  Ephemeris of Sky Events for Interlochen/TC
     January, 2018    Local time zone: EST
     +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
     | DATE |  SUN     SUN  DAYLIGHT|   TWILIGHT*    |MOON  RISE OR    ILLUM |
     |      |  RISE    SET    HOURS |  END    START  |PHASE SET** TIME FRACTN|
     +=======================================================================+
     |Mon  1| 08:20a  05:13p  08:52 | 06:23p  07:09a |Full  Rise 05:11p  100%|
     |Tue  2| 08:20a  05:13p  08:53 | 06:24p  07:09a |      Rise 06:18p   99%|
     |Wed  3| 08:20a  05:14p  08:54 | 06:25p  07:10a |      Rise 07:30p   95%|
     |Thu  4| 08:20a  05:15p  08:55 | 06:25p  07:10a |      Rise 08:44p   88%|
     |Fri  5| 08:19a  05:16p  08:56 | 06:26p  07:10a |      Rise 09:56p   80%|
     |Sat  6| 08:19a  05:17p  08:58 | 06:27p  07:09a |      Rise 11:05p   70%|
     +------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
     |Sun  7| 08:19a  05:19p  08:59 | 06:28p  07:09a |      Rise 12:12a   60%|
     |Mon  8| 08:19a  05:20p  09:00 | 06:29p  07:09a |L Qtr Rise 01:17a   49%|
     |Tue  9| 08:19a  05:21p  09:02 | 06:30p  07:09a |      Rise 02:19a   39%|
     |Wed 10| 08:18a  05:22p  09:03 | 06:31p  07:09a |      Rise 03:20a   30%|
     |Thu 11| 08:18a  05:23p  09:05 | 06:32p  07:09a |      Rise 04:19a   22%|
     |Fri 12| 08:18a  05:24p  09:06 | 06:33p  07:08a |      Rise 05:16a   14%|
     |Sat 13| 08:17a  05:25p  09:08 | 06:34p  07:08a |      Rise 06:11a    8%|
     +------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
     |Sun 14| 08:17a  05:27p  09:10 | 06:36p  07:08a |      Rise 07:02a    4%|
     |Mon 15| 08:16a  05:28p  09:11 | 06:37p  07:07a |      Rise 07:49a    1%|
     |Tue 16| 08:15a  05:29p  09:13 | 06:38p  07:07a |New   Set  05:21p    0%|
     |Wed 17| 08:15a  05:31p  09:15 | 06:39p  07:06a |      Set  06:17p    1%|
     |Thu 18| 08:14a  05:32p  09:17 | 06:40p  07:06a |      Set  07:15p    3%|
     |Fri 19| 08:14a  05:33p  09:19 | 06:41p  07:05a |      Set  08:15p    8%|
     |Sat 20| 08:13a  05:34p  09:21 | 06:42p  07:05a |      Set  09:17p   14%|
     +------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
     |Sun 21| 08:12a  05:36p  09:23 | 06:44p  07:04a |      Set  10:20p   21%|
     |Mon 22| 08:11a  05:37p  09:25 | 06:45p  07:04a |      Set  11:24p   30%|
     |Tue 23| 08:10a  05:38p  09:28 | 06:46p  07:03a |      Set  12:30a   40%|
     |Wed 24| 08:10a  05:40p  09:30 | 06:47p  07:02a |F Qtr Set  01:38a   51%|
     |Thu 25| 08:09a  05:41p  09:32 | 06:48p  07:01a |      Set  02:48a   62%|
     |Fri 26| 08:08a  05:43p  09:34 | 06:50p  07:01a |      Set  03:59a   72%|
     |Sat 27| 08:07a  05:44p  09:37 | 06:51p  07:00a |      Set  05:09a   82%|
     +------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
     |Sun 28| 08:06a  05:45p  09:39 | 06:52p  06:59a |      Set  06:14a   90%|
     |Mon 29| 08:05a  05:47p  09:42 | 06:53p  06:58a |      Set  07:13a   96%|
     |Tue 30| 08:04a  05:48p  09:44 | 06:55p  06:57a |      Set  08:04a  100%|
     |Wed 31| 08:02a  05:50p  09:47 | 06:56p  06:56a |Full  Rise 06:15p  100%|
     +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
     * Nautical Twilight
     ** Moonrise or moonset, whichever occurs between sunrise and sunset

Total Lunar Eclipse January 31, 2018

Lunar Eclipse January 31, 2018

I’ll have more on this toward the end of the month. Credit NASA.

The original page for this graphic is:  https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEplot/LEplot2001/LE2018Jan31T.pdf

    Total Lunar Eclipse January 31
Event               Time EST   Time UT
                    GT Area    
Enter penumbra      5:51 a.m.  10:51   Unseen
Begin partial phase 6:48 a.m.  11:48
Totality begins     7:51 a.m.  12:51
Moon sets           8:04 a.m.
Mid eclipse                    13:28
Totality ends                  14:07
End partial phase              15:11
Leave penumbra                 16:08   Unseen

The shading of the penumbra is generally seen within 1/2
hour before and after the partial begins and ends.

Update

Lunch time at the bird feeder

Our bird feeder at about 2 p.m. It was cleaned off and filled 6 hours before. Dining are a downy woodpecker, behind the suet block; a flicker with a seed in its beak and three chickadees. Can you spot the third?

While I was writing this post on the afternoon of the 30th, we were getting a rather intense lake effect snow storm, at about an inch an hour.  By nightfall the snow on top of the feeder just about reached the hook.  We also get cardinals, blue jays, sparrows.   Poor juncos.  They seem to feed on the ground, and the snow came too fast and covered the seed that had dropped, so they were looking in vain.

I really love the chickadees, they’re fearless.  When I’m filling the bird feeder the other birds scatter, but the chickadees sit in the tree, a couple of feet over my head and wait patiently until I hang it back up.

08/08/2017 – Ephemeris – Eclipse seasons

August 7, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, August 7th. The Sun rises at 6:36. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 8:59. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 9:00 this evening.

At two weeks before the great solar eclipse, the world is experiencing another eclipse, this one is a partial lunar eclipse where the Moon will just clip the northern part of the Earth’s shadow this afternoon our time. It will be mainly visible from Asia. Eclipses occur in seasons of about a month long that occur at a bit less than six month intervals, so eclipses will occur a little earlier next year to the this. That’s because the crossing points of the Moon’s and the Earth’s orbital planes regress slowly westward. In an eclipse season two eclipses will occur: a solar and a lunar eclipse. On rare occasion when a lunar eclipse occurs in the center of a season a partial solar eclipse can occur two weeks before and again after the lunar eclipse, but they will affect the opposite polar regions of the Earth.

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

Addendum

Table of this and next three eclipse seasons

Date Eclipse Type Notes
08/07/2017 Lunar Eclipse – partial Moon clips northern part of Earth’s umbra
08/21/2017 Solar Eclipse – total Path of totality crosses US
01/31/2018 Lunar Eclipse – total Moon crosses just south of center of umbra
02/15/2018 Solar Eclipse – partial  Visible mostly from Antarctica
07/13/2018 Solar Eclipse – partial Seen from southern Australia
07/27/2018 Lunar Eclipse – total Moon crosses center of umbra
08/11/2018 Solar Eclipse – partial Seen from northern Europe, Asia
01/06/2019 Solar Eclipse – partial Seen mostly from northern Pacific Ocean
01/21/2019 Lunar Eclipse – total Moon crosses just north of center of umbra

07/10/2017 – Ephemeris – There’s a penumbral eclipse of the Moon tonight

February 10, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, February 10th.  The Sun will rise at 7:49.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 15 minutes, setting at 6:04.  The Moon, at full today, will rise at 5:58 this evening.

This evening there will be a penumbral eclipse of the moon, which will reach its peak at 7:45 p.m.  The moon, on its left side will be slightly darkened as the Moon passes through the Earth’s partial outer shadow where the Sun is only partially blocked by the Earth.  Only the left side of he Moon will show the effect, which is best seen wearing sunglasses to reduce the Moon’s glare.  The Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory will be open to view the event from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. but only if it’s clear.  This event does not require a telescope to appreciate, but it might be nice to view it with others.  The observatory is located south of Traverse City on Birmley Road between Keystone and Garfield roads.

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

Addendum

Lunar Eclipse Geometry

How lunar eclipses occur. For this eclipse the Moon will miss the umbra but will penetrate the deep into the penumbra.  Credit NASA/Fred Espenak.

Eclipse Diagram

Diagram of the penumbral lunar eclipse on the evening of February 10, 2016 for the Eastern time zone. Diagram adapted from Fred Espenak, NASA GSFC.

February 10, 2017 Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon

This is the maximum of the February 10th penumbral lunar eclipse. The Moon will appear to move diagonally down to the left. It is shown at maximum eclipse at 7:45 p.m. (0:45 UT February 11). The diagram is oriented for viewing from northern Michigan. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

NASA’s pdf page on this eclipse:  https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEplot/LEplot2001/LE2017Feb11N.pdf

02/09/2017 – Ephemeris – Tomorrow’s penumbral eclipse of the Moon

February 9, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, February 9th.  The Sun will rise at 7:50.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 12 minutes, setting at 6:03.  The Moon, 1 day before full, will set at 7:28 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow evening, clouds willing, we see an odd partial eclipse of the Moon called a penumbral lunar eclipse.  What is a penumbra?  It’s the fuzzy outer part of a shadow that’s cast when the light source isn’t a pin point.  Look at your shadow in the sunlight, especially that of your head.  The outline isn’t sharp.  That outer fuzziness of the shadow is your penumbra where the Sun isn’t completely blocked., while the dark inner shadow is the umbra, where the Sun is completely blocked by your head.  Tomorrow evening  the eclipse will actually start before the Moon rises.  The Moon should appear pretty much normal until it passes deep into the penumbra of the Earth’s shadow.  Deepest penetration will occur at 7:45 pm. Where the upper left part of the Moon will appear dimmer than the rest of it.

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

Addendum

Eclipse Diagram

Diagram of the penumbral lunar eclipse on the evening of February 10, 2016 for the Eastern time zone. Diagram adapted from Fred Espenak, NASA GSFC.

P1 is the first contact with the shadow and P4 the last.  Nothing will be noticed at these times.  Only when closest to the greatest eclipse will the part of the moon nearest the inner shadow will show darkening.

Eclipse map

Only from the lighter parts of the map will the eclipse be visible. Diagram from Fred Espenak, NASA GSFC.

01/31/2017 – Ephemeris – Looking ahead at February 2017

January 31, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Tuesday, January 31st.  The Sun will rise at 8:02.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:50.  The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 10:06 this evening.

February is the shortest month, even so the daylight hours throughout the month will be getting longer.  Daylight hours will increase from 9 hours and 50 minutes tomorrow to 11 hours and 7 minutes on the 28th.  The sunrise time will decrease from 8:01 tomorrow to 7:21 at months end.  The sunset times will increase from 5:51 tomorrow to 6:29 on the 28th.  Along with that the altitude of the sun at noon will increase from 28.4 degrees today to  38.6 degrees at month’s end.  It will be a degree lower for folks in the Straits area because they are a degree of latitude farther north.  Local noon, by the way for Interlochen and Traverse City is about 12:55 p.m. On the evening of the 10th the Moon will enter the Earth’s outer shadow with an penumbral lunar eclipse.  I’ll have more information on that then.  Moon will be near the planets Mars and Venus in the southwestern sky early tonight.

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

Addenda

February Star Charts

Evening
February evening skies

Star Chart for February 2017. Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

Morning
The sky on February mornings

Star Chart for February 2017 mornings. Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

 Since the night time hours are long I’ve decided to add a morning star chart .

The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 9 p.m. EST, and again at 6 a.m.  Those are chart times.  Note, Traverse City is located approximately 45 minutes behind our time meridian.  (An hour 45 minutes behind our daylight saving time meridian. during EDT and 45 minutes behind our daylight standard time meridian. during EST).  To duplicate the star positions on a planisphere you may have to set it to 1:45 or 0:45  earlier than the current time if you were near your time meridian.

Add a half hour to the chart time every week before the 15th and subtract a half hour for every week after the 15th.

For a list of constellation names to go with the abbreviations click here.

  • Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star
  • Follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to the star Arcturus, and
  • Straighten to a spike to Spica
  • The Summer Triangle is shown in red

Evening nautical twilight ends at 6:56 p.m. EST on the 1st, increasing to 7:31 p.m. EST on the 28th.
Evening astronomical twilight ends at 7:30 p.m. EST on the 1st, increasing to 8:05 p.m. EST on the 28th.
Morning astronomical twilight starts at 6:22 a.m. EST on the 1st, and increasing to 5:45 a.m. EST on the 28th.
Morning nautical twilight starts at 6:56 a.m. EST on the 1st, and Increasing to 6:19 a.m. EST on the 28th.

NASA Calendar of Planetary Events

Credit:  Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC)

To generate your own calendar go to http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html

Times are Eastern Time and follow the time change dates.

Date        Time    Event
Feb 01  We          Venus: 45.5° E
    02  Th  5:11 am Venus-Mars: 5.4° N
    03  Fr 11:19 pm First Quarter
    05  Su  4:14 pm Moon-Aldebaran: 0.2° S
    06  Mo  8:59 am Moon Perigee: 368800 km
    07  Tu  1:34 pm Moon North Dec.: 18.9° N
    10  Fr  7:33 pm Full Moon
    10  Fr  7:45 pm Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
    11  Sa  9:04 am Moon-Regulus: 0.8° N
    11  Sa  2:49 pm Moon Ascending Node
    15  We  9:55 am Moon-Jupiter: 2.9° S
    18  Sa  2:33 pm Last Quarter
    18  Sa  4:14 pm Moon Apogee: 404400 km
    20  Mo  6:44 pm Moon-Saturn: 3.9° S
    21  Tu  3:50 pm Moon South Dec.: 18.8° S
    26  Su  1:28 pm Moon Descending Node
    26  Su  9:54 am Annular Solar Eclipse - South Atlantic
    26  Su  9:58 am New Moon
Mar 01  We          Venus: 32.5° E

February 2017 Calendar

LU             Ephemeris of Sky Events for Interlochen/TC
February, 2017    Local time zone: EST
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| DATE |  SUN     SUN  DAYLIGHT|   TWILIGHT*    |MOON  RISE OR    ILLUM |
|      |  RISE    SET    HOURS |  END    START  |PHASE SET** TIME FRACTN|
+=======================================================================+
|Wed  1| 08:01a  05:51p  09:50 | 06:57p  06:55a |      Set  11:15p   26%|
|Thu  2| 08:00a  05:53p  09:52 | 06:59p  06:54a |      Set  12:25a   37%|
|Fri  3| 07:59a  05:54p  09:55 | 07:00p  06:53a |F Qtr Set  01:35a   48%|
|Sat  4| 07:57a  05:56p  09:58 | 07:01p  06:52a |      Set  02:45a   59%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun  5| 07:56a  05:57p  10:00 | 07:03p  06:51a |      Set  03:53a   70%|
|Mon  6| 07:55a  05:58p  10:03 | 07:04p  06:50a |      Set  04:56a   80%|
|Tue  7| 07:54a  06:00p  10:06 | 07:05p  06:48a |      Set  05:54a   89%|
|Wed  8| 07:52a  06:01p  10:09 | 07:06p  06:47a |      Set  06:45a   95%|
|Thu  9| 07:51a  06:03p  10:11 | 07:08p  06:46a |      Set  07:28a   99%|
|Fri 10| 07:50a  06:04p  10:14 | 07:09p  06:45a |Full  Rise 05:59p  100%|
|Sat 11| 07:48a  06:06p  10:17 | 07:10p  06:43a |      Rise 07:06p   99%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 12| 07:47a  06:07p  10:20 | 07:12p  06:42a |      Rise 08:12p   96%|
|Mon 13| 07:45a  06:08p  10:23 | 07:13p  06:41a |      Rise 09:16p   90%|
|Tue 14| 07:44a  06:10p  10:26 | 07:14p  06:39a |      Rise 10:18p   84%|
|Wed 15| 07:42a  06:11p  10:28 | 07:15p  06:38a |      Rise 11:18p   76%|
|Thu 16| 07:41a  06:13p  10:31 | 07:17p  06:37a |      Rise 12:18a   67%|
|Fri 17| 07:39a  06:14p  10:34 | 07:18p  06:35a |      Rise 01:16a   58%|
|Sat 18| 07:38a  06:15p  10:37 | 07:19p  06:34a |L Qtr Rise 02:12a   48%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 19| 07:36a  06:17p  10:40 | 07:21p  06:32a |      Rise 03:07a   39%|
|Mon 20| 07:34a  06:18p  10:43 | 07:22p  06:31a |      Rise 03:59a   30%|
|Tue 21| 07:33a  06:20p  10:46 | 07:23p  06:29a |      Rise 04:49a   21%|
|Wed 22| 07:31a  06:21p  10:49 | 07:25p  06:28a |      Rise 05:34a   14%|
|Thu 23| 07:30a  06:22p  10:52 | 07:26p  06:26a |      Rise 06:16a    8%|
|Fri 24| 07:28a  06:24p  10:55 | 07:27p  06:25a |      Rise 06:54a    3%|
|Sat 25| 07:26a  06:25p  10:58 | 07:28p  06:23a |      Rise 07:29a    0%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 26| 07:25a  06:26p  11:01 | 07:30p  06:21a |New   Set  06:43p    0%|
|Mon 27| 07:23a  06:28p  11:04 | 07:31p  06:20a |      Set  07:53p    2%|
|Tue 28| 07:21a  06:29p  11:07 | 07:32p  06:18a |      Set  09:03p    7%|
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
* Nautical Twilight
** Moonrise or moonset, whichever occurs between sunset and sunrise

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse February 10/11, 2016

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

The moment of mid-eclipse at 7:45 p.m. February 10, 2016 EST (0:45 UT February 11). The Moon is traveling from upper right to lower left. Orientation is alt-az for northern Michigan. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

In the early evening hours of February 10th the Moon will pass through the Earth’s outer or penumbral shadow.  It will not get particularly dark since the Moon will still be somewhat illuminated by the Sun.

Anything shows two types of shadows in the sunlight.  Your shadow appears fuzzy.  That fuzziness is your penumbra, where the sunlight is only partially blocked.  The dark inner part of your shadow is your umbra.

The eclipse starts at 5:34 p.m. (22:34 UT) at which time you will see nothing out of thee ordinary.  Since the Moon is entering the shadow at a shallow angle it will take 2 hours and 11 minutes to reach the maximum eclipse.  I’m guessing here, but one will probably not notice anything before 7 p.m.  (0:00 UT)  To help see the effect better, put on sunglasses.  They will reduce the Moon’s glare to help see the darkening effect.  Officially the eclipse will end at 9:53 p.m. (2:53 UT the 11th)

Binocular Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Comet 45P

Comet 45P’s track for February. The comet is expected to be about a magnitude brighter than displayed (7th magnitude). Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

In the chart above the comet’s position is marked by a comet symbol. The comet’s tail, if visible at all, will actually point to the right along its track. The data for this chart is taken from Seiichi Yoshida’s Weekly Information about Bright Comets: http://www.aerith.net/comet/weekly/current.html