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Posts Tagged ‘Antares’

07/18/2017 – Ephemeris – The constellation of Ophiuchus the serpent bearer

July 18, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Tuesday, July 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 7 minutes, setting at 9:22, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:15. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 2:47 tomorrow morning.

Saturn and the red star Antares shine in the south at 11 p.m. In the area of sky above them lies a large constellation of faint stars called Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer. Ophiuchus represent the legendary physician Aesculapius. The constellation shape is like a large bell, which reminds me of the head, shoulders and arms of a fellow that’s holding the snake like a weight lifter struggling to pull up a heavy barbell. Serpens, the constellation of the serpent is in the sky in two sections. The front end lies to the right as Serpens Caput, and wends its way up the right side of Ophiuchus. Serpens Cauda, the tail rises to the left of Ophiuchus. It’s a rewarding sight, and not that hard to spot.

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

Addendum

Animated Ophiuchus finder

Animated Ophiuchus finder chart. Unfortunately the program doesn’t isolate Ophiuchus and Serpens, but also displays Scorpius and Lupus the wolf peeking over the horizon. Created using Stellarium.  Click on the image to enlarge.

06/13/2017 – Ephemeris – I call Antares the UFO star

June 13, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, June 13th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 9:28, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:56. The Moon, half way from full to last quarter, will rise at 12:22 tomorrow morning.

Last week I was observing and showing another person the sky when she remarked about that star low in the sky. That star happened to be Antares, which I call the UFO star. This is a red giant star which in Interlochen and Traverse City never rises above 19 degrees over the southern horizon. It is located in the heart of the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. With the turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere, being more marked for objects low in the sky, Antares twinkles mightily. And also being low in the sky, the atmosphere also breaks Antares’ light into a rainbow of colors which, under binocular and telescopic magnification can give the appearance of a multicolored sparkler.

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

Addendum

Antares, Saturn and Jupiter

The star Antares in the heart of Scorpius and the planets Saturn and Jupiter at 11 p.m., June 1, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Antares

The star Antares in long exposure in this image probably taken from farther south than here. Source unknown, however because the star has four diffraction spikes the photograph was taken with a reflector telescope whose secondary mirror is supported by a 4 vane “spider”.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, stars Tags: ,

10/04/2016 – Ephemeris – The bright planets score: three in the evening and one in the morning

October 5, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, October 5th. The Sun will rise at 7:46. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 7:15. The Moon, 4 days before first quarter, will set at 10:04 this evening.

Mercury is seen in the morning now, rising at 6:21 today, and should be high enough to be visible between 7 and 7:30 this morning low in the east if it’s clear. Venus, Saturn and Mars are in the evening sky. Venus is briefly visible after sunset, low in the west-southwest. It will set at 8:28 p.m., following the Sun’s earlier setting times. Mars, Saturn and the star Antares start the evening in the southwestern sky in a lengthening triangle, with Saturn on top and Antares below. Mars is way out to the left of the other two. Tonight Saturn will be about 10 of the Moon’s diameter to the left of the crescent Moon. Saturn, spectacular in telescopes with its rings, will set at 10 p.m. and Mars will set at 11:18 p.m.

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

Addendum

Mercury this a.m.

Mercury in the east at 7 a.m. this morning, October 5, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Venus in twilight

Venus, low in west-southwest with the Moon (enlarged to show phase), Saturn and Mars at 7:35 p.m. (20 minutes after sunset). Created using Stellarium.

The Moon and the evening planets

The Moon, Saturn, Antares and Mars with the low constellations in the southwest at 8:30 p.m. October 5, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon in binoculars

The Moon as it might appear in binoculars at 8:30 p.m. October 5, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Saturn

Saturn and some of its moons at 8:30 p.m. October 5, 2016. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on October 5, 2016. The night ends on the left with sunrise on October 6. If you are using Firefox right-click on the image and select View Image to enlarge the image. That goes for all the large images. Created using my LookingUp program.

08/24/2016 – Ephemeris – Planets gather into two groups this evening

August 24, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, August 24th.  The Sun rises at 6:56.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 36 minutes, setting at 8:32.  The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 12:31 tomorrow morning.

Tonight we still have all the bright classical planets in the evening sky, barely.  Mercury, Venus and Jupiter are very low in the west and will set at 9:08, 9:24 and 9:29 p.m. respectively.  Saturday evening, right after sunset, Venus will be passing very close to Jupiter while they are low in the west, well within a low power telescope field.  Mars, Saturn and the star Antares start the evening in the southwestern sky in a nearly perfect line.  Antares, whose name means Rival of Mars is On the bottom with brighter Mars just above it, with Saturn above.  Mars, moving rapidly to the east against the stars will set at 12:15 a.m.  Saturn, spectacular in telescopes with its rings, will set at 12:39 a.m.

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

Addenda

The Planets Tonight

Jupiter, Venus, Mercury

Looking very low in the west at 9 p.m., 28 minutes after sunset, August 24, 2016. For scale, Jupiter is a bit less than 5 degrees above the horizon, Mercury a bit lass than 2. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn, Mars and Antares

Mars breaks out the Saturn-Antares lineup at 9:30 p.m., August 24, 2016. Created by Stellarium.using Stellarium.

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and some of its moons at 9:30 p.m. August 24, 2016. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and Moon on a single night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on August 24, 2016. The night ends on the left with sunrise on August 25. Actually all the naked eye planets are in the evening sky. If you are using Firefox right-click on the image and select View Image to enlarge the image. That goes for all the large images. Created using my LookingUp program.

Mars, Antares and Saturn Last Night

Saturn, Mars and Antares

Saturn, Mars and Antares and the setting Scorpius to the right of the tree, and the Sagittarius Teapot with the Milky Way boiling out of the spout at 11:03 p.m. EDT, August 24, 2016. Credit Bob Moler from my back yard.

08/23/2016 – Ephemeris – Mars, Antares and Saturn line up

August 23, 2016 1 comment

Ephemeris for Tuesday, August 23rd.  The Sun rises at 6:55.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 39 minutes, setting at 8:34.  The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 11:49 this evening.

Tonight if you look out to the southwest, you will see a nearly perfect, nearly vertical line of bright stars.  But two of these are planets.  The brightest is the red planet Mars.  Below is it’s rival, the red giant star Antares.  Above is the ringed planet Saturn.  Tonight Mars will be just to the right of the Saturn Antares line.  After they set tonight and before we see them tomorrow night Mars will have moves  to be just out of the line to the left.  I hope it’s clear tonight so I can get a picture of them.  A digital camera on a tripod with a low f-stop, and a high ISO speed with a shutter open for maybe 15 seconds ought to do it.  Manually focus on infinity.  Dark skies confuse auto focusers.  And turn the flash off.  Try it again tomorrow night.

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

Addendum

Mars approaching Antares

Animation of Mars approaching Antares from August 4 to the 24th, 2016 at 10 p.m. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

The lineup is forming. Saturn, Mars and Antares at 10:20 p.m., August 22, 2016.  The globular cluster M 4 is also barely visible.Credit:  Bob Moler.

The lineup is forming. Saturn, Mars and Antares at 10:20 p.m., August 22, 2016. The globular cluster M 4 is also barely visible. Credit: Bob Moler.

75 mm focal length, 5 Seconds, F/4, ISO 6400

08/04/2016 – Ephemeris – Mars’ lookalike star

August 4, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, August 4th.  The Sun rises at 6:32.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 9:03.  The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 10:01 this evening.

As it gets dark this evening a bright reddish star will appear low in the south. It will appear to twinkle mightily.  It is not the planet Mars, which is brighter and to the right of it, but its rival the star Antares in Scorpius the scorpion.  The star’s name, Antares, notes the rivalry.  “Ant” means anti, while “Ares” is the Greek name for the Roman god Mars.  Antares literally means “Rival of Mars”.  Antares appears red due to its cool surface temperature of 3,600 Kelvin, much cooler than the sun’s 6,000 Kelvin, while Mars is red due to rust.  Watch nightly as Mars slowly approaches Antares, and will pass it on the 24th.  Being always low in the sky, Antares’ spectacular twinkling has sparked more than a few emails about a strange light in the sky.

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

Addendum

Mars approaching Antares

Animation of Mars approaching Antares from August 4 to the 24th, 2016 at 10 p.m. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

08/02/2016 – Ephemeris – The Scorpion has visitors this year

August 2, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, August 2nd.  The Sun rises at 6:30.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 35 minutes, setting at 9:06.  The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

There’s a large constellation located low in the south as it gets dark about 10:30 tonight  It’s Scorpius the scorpion.  Its brightest star is Antares in its heart, a red giant star whose name means “Rival of Mars”.  From Antares to the right is a star then a vertical arc of three stars that is its head.  The Scorpion’s tail is a line of stars running down to the left of Antares swooping near the horizon before coming back up and ending in a pair of stars that portray his poisonous stinger.  This year the planet Saturn appears almost directly above Antares.  Tonight Mars is right of Antares.  On the 23rd of this month Mars will pass just above

Antares, between it and Saturn, making line of three bright objects.  Mars is currently brighter than Antares.

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

Addendum

Scorpius with Mars and Saturn

Scorpius with Mars and Saturn at 10:30 p.m. August 2, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

The red lines are the official constellation boundaries by the International Astronomical Union.  From the look of some of the boundaries, astronomers apparently gerrymander as well as our politicians.

For those unfamiliar with gerrymandering put “gerrymander” in your favorite search engine or Wikipedia.