Archive

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

August 10, 2018 Leave a comment

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.

Advertisements

07/20/2018 – Ephemeris – Two astronomy events this weekend

July 20, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, July 20th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 5 minutes, setting at 9:21, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:17. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 1:57 tomorrow morning.

There are two astronomy events in the Grand Traverse region this weekend, starting tonight with a twilight talk and a star party at the Betsie Valley District Library in Thompsonville. It starts at 8:30 p.m. with a talk about Mars throughout history and how it has fascinated astronomers and the public alike through the ages. After which Jupiter and Saturn will be visible. If cloudy, the talk will go on as scheduled, though the observing part will be rescheduled to a later date. Tomorrow, Saturday there, will be viewing at the Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory starting at 9 p.m. Jupiter and Saturn will be featured there too. The Observatory is located south of Traverse City on Birmley road.

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

Addendum

Folks out to see the planets

A group of folks out to see the planets with the member’s and society’s telescopes. Credit staff of the Betsie Valley District Library.

Scooter girl

Scooter girl checking out the view through the rear finder of the society’s 25″ “Dobinator”. Credit staff of the Betsie Valley District Library.

05/10/2018 – Ephemeris – Berenice’s Hair

May 10, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, May 10th. The Sun rises at 6:20. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 38 minutes, setting at 8:58. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:42 tomorrow morning.

High in the southeast at 10 p.m. is a tiny and faint constellation of Coma Berenices, or Berenice’s hair. In it are lots of faint stars arrayed to look like several strands of hair. The whole group will fit in the field of a pair of binoculars, which will also show many more stars. The hank of hair was supposed to belong to Berenice, Queen of Egypt, of the 3rd century BCE. Coma Berenices is the second closest star cluster to us at only 250 light years away, after the Hyades, the face of Taurus the bull now setting in the west. It’s in an odd spot for a galactic star cluster, that’s supposed to lie in the plane of the Milky Way. It actually lies at the galactic pole. That’s an illusion because it’s so close to us. It’s still really in the plane of the Milky Way.

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

Addendum

Coma Berenices finder chart

Coma Berenices finder chart for 10 p.m. May 10, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

Coma Berenices binocular view

Coma Berenices as it might look in a pair of binoculars. Telescopes are too powerful. Created using Stellarium.

02/09/2018 – Ephemeris – Morning planet high jinx

February 9, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, February 9th. The Sun will rise at 7:51. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 11 minutes, setting at 6:02. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:05 tomorrow morning.

This past Wednesday morning the Moon passed Jupiter, Earlier this morning the Moon passed north of Mars, and on Sunday morning Saturn will appear south of The Moon. There is a once in about 2 year event, that is red Mars passing Antares, the red giant star in Scorpius, one of the easiest constellations to spot because it actually resembles a scorpion. The name Antares means “Rival of Mars” because they have the same color: Ant meaning anti and Ares is the Greek god of war and counterpart of the Roman god Mars. Mars will pass Antares on average of

every 22 ½ months, its period around the Sun. Since we are viewing it from a moving Earth, it varies. Mars will pass Antares next on January 19th, 2020.

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

Addendum

Morning planets and the Moon

Morning planets and the Moon at 7 a.m. on the mornings of February 9, 10 and 11, 2018.  See Mars changing position compared to Antares. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

11/22/2017 – Ephemeris – A look at the bright planets for Thanksgiving week

November 22, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, November 22nd. The Sun will rise at 7:48. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 19 minutes, setting at 5:08. The Moon, half way from new to first quarter, will set at 8:39 this evening.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets. Mercury is briefly visible in binoculars in the southwest in the evening, setting at 6:11 p.m., and will reach it’s greatest elongation from the Sun tomorrow evening. Saturn is sinking low in the southwestern sky. Saturn’s rings are still spectacular in telescopes, but since Saturn is so low in the sky the thick atmosphere makes Saturn fuzzy and seemingly to go in and out of focus. Saturn will set at 6:49 p.m. Tomorrow in the morning sky, Mars, heading away from the Sun will rise in the east at 4:11 a.m., Jupiter, also moving away from the Sun, will rise at in the east-southeast at 5:54 a.m., leaving Venus behind after their conjunction 9 days ago, which will rise at 6:47 a.m..

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

Addendum

Evening Planets

Mercury, Saturn and the Moon at 5:45 p.m., a bit more than a half hour after sunset, November 22, 2017. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Saturn_1800-112217

Saturn as it might be seen in a telescope tonight. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Star Charts).

Binocular Moon_1845-112217

The Moon as it might be seen tonight.  Created using Stellarium.

Morning Planets_0715-112317

The morning planets Mars, Jupiter and Venus at 7:15 a.m. November 23, 2017, about a half hour before sunrise on a really flat horizon.  Created using Stellarium.

 

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 November 22, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 22nd. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

11/10/2017 – Ephemeris – The North Taurid Meteors are reaching peak this weekend

November 10, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, November 10th. The Sun will rise at 7:32. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 46 minutes, setting at 5:19. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 12:07 tomorrow morning.

One of the little known meteor showers for most of us are the North and South Taurid meteor showers. The shower that will reach peak this weekend is the North Taurids. They may show only 5 an hour when their radiants are overhead, but they are reported to be very bright. The radiant, the place where the meteors will appear to come from is just south of the Pleiades, will be up just about all night. Saturday night the Moon will rise at 1:15 a.m. Sunday night it will rise at 2:21 a.m. Both Taurid meteor showers are thought to be related to Encke’s Comet, the periodic comet with a period of only 3.3 years, the shortest known. A posting on Space.com about this years shower talked about the possibility that one of these meteorites might reach the ground.

Space.com has an excellent article about the Taurid meteor showers:  https://www.space.com/34587-taurid-meteor-shower-guide.html

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

Addendum

Northern Taurid meteor radiant

Northern Taurid meteor radiant near the Pleiades in Taurus the bull. Note the face of Taurus, the letter V or stars and Aldebaran. The stars in the face without Aldebaran is a star cluster called the Hyades. Created using Stellarium.

07/28/2017 – Ephemeris – A Sun ‘n Star party tomorrow at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

July 28, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, July 28th. The Sun rises at 6:24. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 47 minutes, setting at 9:12. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 12:18 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow afternoon and evening will be what we call a Sun & Star Party at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This event will be at the Dune Climb. From 4 to 6 p.m., the Sun will be featured using two types of telescopes, one showing the sun’s photosphere in what we call white light, and another showing the chromosphere above it in the light of hydrogen giving a completely different view. At 6 p.m. Professor Jerry Dobek of Northwestern Michigan College and the college’s Rogers Observatory will be at the Visitors Center in Empire talking about dark skies and how to promote sensible lighting. Starting at 9 p.m. will be a star party, actually really a planet party, viewing the Jupiter early, plus Saturn, and the Moon.

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

Categories: Uncategorized