Posts Tagged ‘Baade's Window’

08/05/2021 – Ephemeris – Looking toward the center of the Milky Way in Sagittarius

August 5, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Thursday, August 5th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 9:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:35. The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 4:09 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look around the Teapot shape of stars that is the constellation of Sagittarius. A pair of binoculars or a telescope with a very low magnifying power is all that’s needed. The purpose here is not so much to make things bigger, but make them brighter. Right off the tip of the teapot’s spout is a large and bright patch of light. This is the farthest we can see, in visible light that is, toward the center of our galaxy, part of the central bulge. Astronomer Walter Baade discovered that fact in the mid 1940s. The center of the galaxy is 4 moon-widths or 2 degrees to the right of it, but obscured by a cloud of interstellar dust. It is called the Large Sagittarius Star Cloud or Baade’s Window. The glow there comes from 25 thousand light years away.

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.


Baade's Window AKA Large Sagittarius Star Cloud

Baade’s Window, aka Large Sagittarius Star Cloud. A finder animation created from my photograph taken August 23, 2016, at 11:23 pm. Click on the image to enlarge it.