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Posts Tagged ‘Coathanger’

09/10/2018 -Ephemeris – The Coathanger in the sky

September 10, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, September 10th. The Sun will rise at 7:15. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 47 minutes, setting at 8:02. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 8:57 this evening.

Just about every amateur astronomer knows a little asterism or informal constellation called the Coathanger. It’s stars are mostly below naked eye visibility, but it is a great sight in binoculars. It’s located along a line from Altair in Aquila the eagle to Vega in Lyra the harp. These are two star of the Summer Triangle. It is also just west of, or right of, the constellation Sagitta the arrow. It consists of six stars in just about a perfectly straight line with four stars in a tight group south of them making the hook. In telescope finders which invert the image the Coathanger appears right-side-up. Arab astronomer Al Sufi discovered it and described it in 964 AD. It has the catalog designation of Collinder 399. It is also known as Brocchi’s Cluster.

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

Addendum

Coathanger finder animation

How to find the Coathanger. Look for the Summer Triangle. On the line from Altair to Vega the Coathanger can be found. Star imaged by Bob Moler.

Binocular view of the Coathanger

Binocular view of the Coathanger. From the original resolution of the above photograph.

Telescope finder view of the Coathanger

Telescope finder view of the Coathanger. Telescope finders usually invert the image, so it looks like a proper coat hanger.

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09/07/2015 – Ephemeris – Small summer constellations

September 7, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Labor Day*, Monday, September 7th.  The Sun will rise at 7:11.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 56 minutes, setting at 8:08.   The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 2:47 tomorrow morning.

Located below the eastern edge of the Summer Triangle of three of the brightest stars in the sky, which is  overhead in our sky at 10 p.m., is the tiny constellation of Delphinus the dolphin. Delphinus’ 6 stars in a small parallelogram with a tail, really does look like a dolphin leaping out of the water. The parallelogram itself has the name Job’s Coffin. The origin of this asterism or informal constellation is unknown. Of the dolphin itself: the ancient Greeks told stories of dolphins rescuing shipwrecked sailors. There’s another tiny constellation to the right of Delphinus, Sagitta the arrow a small thin group of 5 stars, which represents Cupid’s dart.  Behind Sagitta binoculars will find a little star group called the Coat hanger.

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

Addendum

The Summer Triangle July 5, 2012 at 11 p.m. Created using Stellaruim and The Gimp.

The Summer Triangle. Created using Stellarium and The Gimp.

Delphinus, Sagitta and the Coat hanger. Diagram created using Stellarium.

Delphinus, Sagitta and the Coat hanger. Diagram created using Stellarium.

* In the US Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September and is considered the unofficial end of summer.  The weather generally agrees.  Last week we had a preview of fall weather.  This week, except for today has been hot.  The outlook for next week is looking decidedly cooler.  Most schools in Michigan start the day after Labor Day. and end after June 1st.  The unofficial start of summer is Memorial day, the last Monday in May.

08/20/2012 – Ephemeris – Celestial Dolphin and Cupid’s dart

August 20, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, August 20th.  The sun rises at 6:51.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 47 minutes, setting at 8:39.   The moon, 3 days past new, will set at 9:48 this evening.

Located below the eastern edge of the Summer Triangle of three of the brightest stars in the sky, which is nearly overhead sky at 10 p.m., is the tiny constellation of Delphinus the dolphin, which is seen high in the south.  Delphinus’ 6 stars in a small parallelogram with a tail, really does look like a dolphin leaping out of the water.  The parallelogram itself has the name Job’s Coffin.  The origin of this asterism or informal constellation is unknown.  Of the dolphin itself: the ancient Greeks appreciated this aquatic mammal as we do, and told stories of dolphins rescuing shipwrecked sailors.  There’s another tiny constellation to the right of Delphinus, Sagitta the arrow, which represents Cupid’s dart.  [Off the tail of Sagitta binoculars will find a cute inverted coat hanger in the stars.]

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.  Bracketed text was removed from the audio program due to time constraints.

Addendum

Delphinus, Sagitta and the Coat hanger. Diagram created using Stellarium.

Delphinus, Sagitta and the Coat hanger. Diagram created using Stellarium.