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09/10/2021 – Ephemeris – Rescheduled virtual Sleeping Bear Dunes/GTAS star party set for tomorrow, Saturday night the 11th

September 10, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, September 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 46 minutes, setting at 8:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:17. The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 10:05 this evening.

Tomorrow night the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society (GTAS) will host an online star party starting around 9 pm via the Zoom app available for Android smartphones, iPhones and computers. This is rescheduled from last week due to clouds. Instructions for joining are on the society’s website, gtastro.org. Images will be captured live from Northwestern Michigan College’s Joseph H Rogers Observatory. The images will be pretty much what is seen at the telescope eyepiece, and definitely not Hubble Space Telescope quality, which take weeks or months to process. Visible will be the five-day-old Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the wonders of the Milky Way.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hr). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

During the GTAS board meeting, September 3rd, just before the canceled  star party, it was decided to hold off the decision on in person star parties until spring of 2022. We’ll follow the state of the pandemic in our area over the winter and see where we stand. Star parties at the Northwestern Michigan College’s Joseph H. Rogers Observatory could start in March. Star parties at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore have in the past started in April.

We may still use imagers on our telescopes to capture celestial objects for display on laptop computers rather than viewing through the eyepiece. The society has two imagers, and the Observatory another. The society’s imagers can be used on society’s and members telescopes. This will solve the problems of having to sanitize telescope eyepieces between observers. At this point, I’m not sure what sanitizing products do to the delicate anti-reflective coatings on eyepieces.

We will also pay more attention to viewing the heavens with the naked eye or binoculars that people may have. Bring your own. Learning the constellations is always the best way to be introduced to astronomy, and the only way, up until 411 years ago. And binoculars are a great first telescope.

09/03/2021 – Ephemeris – Tonight: Virtual Star Party via Zoom with the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

September 3, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, September 3rd. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 7 minutes, setting at 8:15, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:09. The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 4:01 tomorrow morning.

Tonight the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will host an online star party this evening starting around 9 pm via the Zoom app available for Android smartphones, iPhones and computers. Instructions for joining are on the society’s website, gtastro.org. Images will be captured live, if it’s clear, from Northwestern Michigan College’s Joseph H Rogers Observatory. The images will be pretty much what is seen at the telescope eyepiece, and definitely not Hubble Space Telescope quality, which take weeks to process. Visible will be the Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and wonders of the Milky Way, some really neat star clusters, and nebulae, that is clouds of gas and dust in the Milky Way.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hr). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Also, the planets Venus, Saturn and Jupiter will be visible during the session.

This post is going out at Midnight the night before, and the forecast is for clouds. It is possible that we will reschedule for Friday the 10th. If so, I’ll have a post about it then.

08/13/2021 – Ephemeris – Rescheduled virtual star party tonight

August 13, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, August 13th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 8 minutes, setting at 8:51, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:44. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 11:36 this evening.

The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will try again to hold a virtual star party starting at 9:30 pm tonight via the Zoom app on the Internet. We were clouded out last Friday night. Jerry Dobek, professor of astronomy at Northwestern Michigan College, will host the event with the 16-inch telescope at the College’s Observatory and an imager, but only if it’s clear in Traverse City. It should feature a look at Venus and the crescent Moon to start. Saturn and Jupiter will be up by then, but they’re quite low in the sky. We might take another look at them later on when their images are steadier. The wonders of the Milky Way are all available. Instructions and a link can be found on the society’s website, www.gtastro.org.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hr). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Southern Milky Way from Traverse City

The southern Milky Way from Aquila to Sagittarius taken from my backyard with light pollution from businesses on US 31 in Chums Corners and Grawn south of me.  I live about 7 miles west of the NMC Observatory. These bright lights are to its southwest and farther away. Click on the image to enlarge it.

07/02/2021 – Ephemeris – Virtual star party to be held tonight

July 2, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, July 2nd. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 9:31, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:02. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 2:14 tomorrow morning.

The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society hold a virtual star party starting at 10 pm tonight via Zoom app on the Internet. Jerry Dobek, professor of astronomy at Northwestern Michigan College, will host the event with the 16-inch telescope and an imager, but only if it’s clear in Traverse City. It should feature a look at Venus to start. There will be other objects visible in the darkening twilight, such as binary stars and a dramatic pair with contrasting colors. As it gets darker, we might spot clusters of stars including the Great Hercules Globular Cluster, a veritable popcorn ball of stars. Also, bright clouds of gas expelled by dying stars. Instructions to join the meeting and a link can be found on the society’s website, www.gtastro.org.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT-4). They may be different for your location.