10/11/2019 – Ephemeris – Interstellar comet 2I/Borisov ejects the same gas like ordinary solar system comets

October 11, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, October 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 12 minutes, setting at 7:05, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:54. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 6:24 tomorrow morning.

The interstellar comet 2I/Borisov, which was discovered August 30th by the Crimean amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov has given its first clues of its makeup. With data collected from the William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands the comet was discovered to give off cyanogen, a cyanide gas. This is just like what is given off by comets that belong to the solar system. As the comet comes closer to the Sun and warms up further more and different gasses will be liberated. It was the discovery of cyanogen in Halley’s Comet back in 1910 caused a panic because on that pass the comet’s tail swept past the Earth. However a comet’s tail is so tenuous that no cyanogen was detected in the Earth’s atmosphere.

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

Addendum

Color photograph of C/2019 Q4

Color photograph of 2I/Borisov. Image Credit: Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA

Spectrum of 2I/Boresov

Spectrum of 2I/Borisov. Top covers part of the visible and ultraviolet spectrum. The bottom zooms in on the CN emission. Credit https://arxiv.org/abs/1909.12144

10/09/2019 – Received word that C2 has also been discovered. This is also normal and can color the coma green. (I recorded the program on 10/06 illustrated this post on 10/07 due to being away due to my daughter’s surgery.)

10/10/2019 – Ephemeris – Saturn’s moon Enceladus may have the building blocks of life

October 10, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, October 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 15 minutes, setting at 7:07, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:52. The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 5:23 tomorrow morning.

Even though the Cassini mission to Saturn ended two years ago its data will be will be studied for decades by scientists around the world. One of Cassini’s discoveries were geysers of water ice being ejected from the small moon Enceladus, that creates Saturn’s tenuous E ring. Two instruments aboard Cassini, a mass spectrometer and a cosmic dust analyzer, discovered organic compounds in the geysers and the E ring. Further analysis by German geologists found nitrogen-oxygen molecules among the ice grains. These are like the constituent compounds that make up amino acids which on Earth make up the proteins of life. Currently both NASA and the Europeans are considering return missions to Enceladus.

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

Addendum

Enceladus, a small moon of Saturn spews continues to geysers of water rom cracks in its south polar region indicating an ocean below its frozen icy exterior. Sampling the plumes with the right instruments may detect life on this small world without the need for drilling. Credit: NASA/JPL – Caltech

How organic compounds are attached to ice grains and ejected from Enceladus. Credit: NASA/JPL – Caltech.

10/09/2019 – Ephemeris – Where are the bright planets?

October 9, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, October 9th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 18 minutes, setting at 7:09, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:51. The Moon, half way from first quarter to full, will set at 4:22 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the bright planets for this week. Mars, Venus and Mercury are too close to the Sun to be seen. Venus and Mercury are on the evening or east side of the Sun, Mars is on the west or morning side. Bright Jupiter will be low in the southwestern sky as it gets dark. Jupiter will set at 10:09 p.m. Jupiter is moving at nearly its fastest to the east now and next year will be where Saturn is now. Saturn, the ringed planet, will be in the south-southwestern sky in the evening, and set at 11:58 p.m. Next year it will be a bit farther east. Jupiter is approaching Saturn in our sky. They will cross paths late next year, December 21st, something they do about every 20 years.

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

Addendum

Evening Planets

Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon at 9 p.m. October 9, 2019. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The gibbous Moon as it might appear in binoculars at 9 p.m. October 9, 2019. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

Telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn with the same magnification at 9 p.m. October 9, 2019. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and the Moon on a single night

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on October 9, 2019. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 10th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

10/08/2019 – Ephemeris – Ada Lovelace Day

October 8, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Ada Lovelace Day, Tuesday, October 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 7:10, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:50. The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 3:21 tomorrow morning.

Ada Lovelace Day, is an international celebration of the achievements of women in STEM, science, technology, engineering and math. Ada Augusta King, Countess of Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, born in 1815 is considered the world’s first computer programmer, writing a program on Jacquard loom punch cards for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. Unfortunately the Analytical Engine never made it past the planning stage. The recently completed incredibly successful Cassini Mission mission had three women in top roles: Project scientist, Linda Spilker; Spacecraft Operations Team Manager, Julie Webster; Imaging Science Subsystem Principle Investigator, Carolyn Porco, plus many more. STEM fields are still male dominated but lets encourage women to enter them too.

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

Addendum

Ada Lovelace

Ada, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852) considered the first computer programmer, even though the machine she wrote code for was never built. Credit: Science & Society Picture Library

Part of the Analytical Engine

Part of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine on display, in 1843, left of center in this engraving of the King George III Museum in King’s College, London. Unknown engraver.

AnalyticalMachine

Trial model of a part of the Analytical Engine, built by Charles Babbage, as displayed at the Science Museum (London). By Bruno Barral (ByB), CC BY-SA 2.5.

10/07/2019 – Ephemeris – Tides on and by the Moon

October 7, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, October 7th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 24 minutes, setting at 7:12, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:49. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 2:21 tomorrow morning.

We always see the same face of the Moon turned toward the Earth. This does not mean that the Moon doesn’t rotate. It means that the Moon rotates on its axis in exactly the same time it takes to orbit the Earth. That is no coincidence. The effect of the Earth gravitation across the diameter of the Moon have essentially locked the Moon’s rotation to its revolution period. The crust of the far side of the Moon is thicker than the Earth facing side. The Moon is trying to do the same thing to the Earth. Its pull on the side of the Earth facing it is greater than the pull on the Earth’s opposite side. This stresses the Earth and raises tides in the ocean which actually slow the Earth’s rotation a tiny bit. As a consequence it pushes the Moon away by about 3.8 centimeters a year.

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

Addendum

Asymmetry of the crust of the Moon. Credit Lunar and Planetary Institute and Center for Lunar Science and Exploration.

For more information on this illustration:  https://www.lpi.usra.edu/exploration/training/illustrations/planetaryInteriors/ 4th illustration.

 

Categories: Concepts, Ephemeris Program Tags: , ,

10/04/2019 – Ephemeris – Astronomy events in Traverse City this weekend

October 4, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, October 4th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 7:18, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:45. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 11:33 this evening.

Tonight and tomorrow night there will be astronomy events at the Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory and weather permitting tomorrow night on Front Street in Traverse City.

  • Tonight there is the monthly meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society with a program at 8 p.m. and a star party starting at 9 p.m.
  • Tomorrow night at the observatory from 7 to 8:30 p.m. NMC, the Rogers Observatory and the Traverse Area District Library will present Storyteller’s Night Sky with Mary Stewart Adams.
  • At the same time, if it’s clear, members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will set up telescopes on the East 200 block of Front Street in Traverse City for the International Observe the Moon Night.

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

10/03/2019 -Ephemeris – The Moon tonight

October 3, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, October 3rd. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 37 minutes, setting at 7:20, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:44. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 10:46 this evening.

The planet Jupiter will appear below and right of the crescent Moon tonight. This evening one of the striking lunar craters will be seen at the sunrise line or terminator on the Moon. The crater might just be glimpsed in steadily held or tripod mounted binoculars, and definitely in a small telescope. The crater is Theophilus, some 61 miles (101 km) in diameter located south of the Sea of Tranquility. At lunar sunrise the central peak of the crater catches the Sun of the lunar sunrise way before the floor is illuminated showing a point of light within the circular crater rim against the black floor of the crater. That should happen before the Moon sets at quarter to 11 p.m. The central peak extends 650 feet (200 m) above the crater walls.

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

Addendum

The Moon

The Crater Theophilus on the Moon’s terminator at10 p.m. October 3, 2019, Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.