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Posts Tagged ‘Bootes’

05/14/2018 – Ephemeris – Big Dipper: Pointer to the Stars

May 14, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, May 14th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 47 minutes, setting at 9:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:14. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 6:45 tomorrow morning.

The Big Dipper points to other stars and constellations. Right now the Big Dipper is nearly overhead. The front bowl stars point to Polaris, the North Star which never seems to move in the sky. The handle can be used to find two stars. First follow the arc of the handle away from the bowl to find the fourth brightest night-time star Arcturus in the base of the kite shaped constellation of Boötes. Straighten the arc to a spike and continue to the south and you will come to the bright blue-white star Spica in Virgo the virgin. You can remember these stars with the phrase “Follow the arc of the handle to Arcturus and then spike to Spica” or if you prefer the alternate pronunciation of the latter star “Speak to Speeka”.

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

Addendum

As can be seen below, there was one pointer function that didn’t make it into the program:  A leaky dipper drips on Leo.

Big Dipper Pointer to the Stars

Using the Big Dipper as a pointer to other stars. The pointers to Polaris could be life saving, since it is always north. The view is southward. The cross displayed near the center is the zenith. One might want to lay down to take all this in. Created using my LookingUp program.

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04/10/2018 – Ephemeris – How Boötes and the Great Bear got into the sky

April 10, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, April 10th. The Sun will rise at 7:07. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 14 minutes, setting at 8:21. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 5:14 tomorrow morning.

Appearing mid way up the sky in the east at 10 p.m. is the kite shaped constellation of Boötes the herdsman. The bright star Arcturus is at the bottom-right of the kite, pointed to by the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper, above it. In one Greek myth Boötes represents a young hunter named Arcas, son of Callisto, a beautiful young lady who had the misfortune of being loved by Zeus the chief of the Greek gods. Zeus’ wife Hera, found out about the affair, and since she couldn’t punish Zeus, turned the poor woman into an ugly bear. Arcas, unaware of the events surrounding his mother’s disappearance in his youth was about to kill the bear when Zeus intervened and placed them both in the sky to save her. To this day Boötes continues to chase the great bear Ursa Major around the pole of the sky each night.

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

Addendum

Arcas and Callisto woodcut

Arcas about to slay the bear by the 17th century artist Baur. Source: University of Virginia Electronic Text Center

Arcas and Callisto

Bootes and Ursa Major aka Arcas chasing Callisto around the pole of the sky. Created using Stellarium.

04/24/2017 – Ephemeris – A story of the Great Bear, Ursa Major

April 24, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, April 24th.  The Sun rises at 6:42.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 8:38.  The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 6:32 tomorrow morning.

Appearing in the eastern sky at 10 p.m. tonight is the kite shaped constellation of Boötes the herdsman.  The bright star Arcturus is at the bottom of the kite to the right, pointed to by the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper, higher in the east.  In one story Boötes represents a young hunter named Arcas, son of Callisto, a beautiful young lady who had the misfortune of being loved by Zeus the chief of the Greek gods.  Zeus’ wife Hera, found out about the affair, and since she couldn’t punish Zeus, turned the poor woman into an ugly bear.  Arcas, many years later, unaware of the events surrounding his mother’s disappearance was about to kill the bear when Zeus intervened and placed them both in the sky to save her, as he continues to chase her across the sky nightly.

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

Addendum

Arcas and Callisto

Bootes and Ursa Major aka Arcas chasing Callisto around the pole of the sky. Created using Stellarium.

Arcas and Callisto woodcut

Arcas about to slay the bear by the 17th century artist Baur. Source: University of Virginia Electronic Text Center

04/17/2017 – Ephemeris – How to find the stars Arcturus and Spica from the Big Dipper

April 17, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, April 17th.  The Sun rises at 6:54.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 35 minutes, setting at 8:30.  The Moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 2:21 tomorrow morning.

The Big Dipper, now nearing the zenith at 10 p.m. points to several stars and constellations.  It’s handle points to two bright stars.  First we follow the arc of the handle to the bright orange star Arcturus, the 4th brightest night-time star.  The reason I say night-time is that the sun is a star also but by definition is not out at night.  The arc to Arcturus is a how to find Arcturus and a clue to its name.  Arcturus, midway up the sky in the east, lies at the base point of the kite shaped constellation of Boötes the herdsman.  From Arcturus, straighten out the arc to a spike and one soon arrives at Spica a blue-white star in Virgo the virgin, now low in the southeast.  It is below Jupiter this year.  Spica is also sometimes pronounced ‘Speeka’.

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

Addendum

Finding Arcturus and Spica

How to find the stars Arcturus and Spica from the Big Dipper in April 2017. Created using my LookingUp program.

06/28/2016 – Ephemeris – Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown

June 28, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, June 28th.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 9:32, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:00.  The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 2:31 tomorrow morning.

High in the south at 11 p.m. can be found a small but easily spotted constellation of Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown.  It is located just east or left of the kite shaped constellation of Boötes, with its bright star Arcturus at the bottom.  The Northern Crown is a three-quarters circle of stars, like a tiara, with a brighter star Alphecca or Gemma at the bottom.  Alphecca in Arabic means “Bright star of the broken ring of stars”.  Gemma could mean gem or a bud or blossom, so Corona Borealis could represent a floral crown.  According to Greek mythology it belonged to Princess Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete who helped Theseus escape from the Labyrinth of the Minotaur, only to be abandoned by him on an island.

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

Addendum

Corona Borealis

Corona Borealis tonight, June 28, 2016. Alphekka is the alternate spelling, European, of Alphecca. Created using Stellarium.

 

04/14/2015 – Ephemeris – Arcas and Callisto

April 14, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, April 14th.  The Sun will rise at 7:00.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 25 minutes, setting at 8:26.   The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 5:08 tomorrow morning.

Rising in the eastern sky at 10 p.m. tonight is the kite shaped constellation of Boötes the herdsman.  The bright star Arcturus is at the bottom of the kite, pointed to by the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper, overhead.  In one story Boötes represents a young hunter named Arcas, son of Callisto, a beautiful young lady who had the misfortune of being loved by Zeus the chief Greek god.  Zeus’ wife Hera, found out about it, and since she couldn’t punish Zeus, turned Callisto into an ugly bear.  Arcas, unaware of why his mother disappeared in his youth was about to kill the bear when Zeus intervened and placed them both in the sky.  Now Arcas as Boötes chases the Great Bear forever around the pole of the sky each night.

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

Addendum

Arcas and Callisto

Bootes and Ursa Major aka Arcas chasing Callisto around the pole of the sky. Created using Stellarium.

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04/06/2015 – Ephemeris – Arcturus the 4th brightest star

April 6, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, April 6th.  The Sun will rise at 7:14.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 1 minute, setting at 8:16.   The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 10:37 this evening.

One of the stars that stays up most of the year, except late autumn and most of winter is Arcturus.  Now in the evening Arcturus is low in the east.  It’s a bright star, officially the 4th brightest star in the night sky, and the 4th brightest star-like object in our night sky after Venus, Jupiter, and Sirius.  Arcturus can be found by following the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to it.  Remember, follow the arc to Arcturus.  Arcturus belongs to the kite shaped constellation of Boötes, which we’ll visit in greater detail when it’s higher in the sky.  Arcturus is an interesting star.  It’s 37 light years away, and moving quite rapidly at 75 miles per second (122km/s), mostly across the sky.  Some astronomers think that it

Arcturus finder chart

Arcturus off the handle of the Big Dipper at 9:30 p.m. April 6, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

may be part of a captured dwarf galaxy.

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

Addendum