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Posts Tagged ‘Cygnus’

08/17/2020 – Ephemeris – The Milky Way’s Great Rift.

August 17, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, August 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 56 minutes, setting at 8:44, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:49. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 5:53 tomorrow morning.

High overhead the Milky Way is seen passing through the Summer Triangle of three bright stars. Here we find the Milky Way splits into two sections. The split starts in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan or Northern Cross very high in the east. The western part of the Milky Way ends southwest of Aquila the eagle. This dark dividing feature is called the Great Rift. Despite the lack of stars seen there, it doesn’t mean that there are fewer stars there than in the brighter patches of the Milky Way. The rift is a great dark cloud that obscures the light of the stars behind it. Sometimes binoculars can be used to find the edges of the clouds of the rift, as stars numbers drop off suddenly. This is especially easily seen in Aquila.

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

Addendum

Great Rift in the Summer Triangle

The Great Rift finder animation as seen in the Summer Triangle, also showing the constellations of Cygnus the swan and the the northern part of Aquila the Eagle. This image a stack of 5 30 second exposures taken the morning of the Perseid meteor shower in a vain attempt to capture some meteors.

Actual Aquila

Annotated and animated photograph taken of Aquila August 13, 2018 during the Perseid meteor shower, the same night the image above. Taken by me and processed using Registax and GIMP.

08/10/2020 – Ephemeris – The celestial eagle: Aquila

August 10, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Monday, August 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 15 minutes, setting at 8:55, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:41. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 12:20 tomorrow morning.

Aquila the eagle is a constellation that lies in the Milky Way. It’s in the southeastern sky as it gets dark. Its brightest star, Altair is one of the stars of the Summer Triangle, a group of three bright stars dominating the eastern sky in the evening now. Altair, in the head of the eagle, is flanked by two slightly dimmer stars, the shoulders of the eagle. The eagle is flying northeastward through the Milky Way. Its wings are seen in the wing tip stars. A curved group of stars to the lower right of Altair is its tail. Within Aquila the Milky Way shows many dark clouds as part of the Great Rift that splits it here. The other summer bird is Cygnus the swan above and left of Aquila, flying in the opposite direction.

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

Addendum

Aquila

Aquila the Eagle in the southeastern sky. Created using Stellarium.

Actual Aquila

Annotated and animated photograph taken of Aquila August 13, 2018 during the Perseid meteor shower. Alas, no Perseids in this photograph. Taken by me and processed using Registax and GIMP.

The constellations Lyra, Cygnus and Aquila

Deneb with the other stars and constellations in the Summer Triangle. Created using Stellarium.

07/13/2020 – Ephemeris – The constellation of Ajijaak, the crane

July 13, 2020 1 comment

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Monday, July 13th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 9:26, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:11. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 1:55 tomorrow morning.

Friday I looked at the constellation of Cygnus the swan and the informal constellation or asterism made from most of its stars the Northern Cross. Cygnus is the official International Astronomical Union constellation name. However the indigenous Anishinaabe people of our area had another bird in mind when seeing these stars, which are now fairly high in the east in the evening: Ajijaak, (pronounced a-ji-jock) a Sand Hill crane. While the swan is flying, neck outstretched to the south through the Milky Way, the crane is flying northward with its long legs trailing behind. The bright star Deneb is at his head. Where I live I see more cranes than swans these days and hear their creaking-door-like calls, and see a pair from time to time in a field south of where I live.

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

Addendum

Swan and the Crane constellations

The IAU Cygnus the swan and the Anishinaabe Ajijaak the crane constellations demonstrated via an animated GIF image. Note the bright star of the Summer Triangle. Click on the Image to enlarge it. Created using Stellarium (both star lore images are embedded in Stellarium). The Anishinaabe image is from Ojibwe Giizhig Anung Masinaaigan – Ojibiwe Sky Star Map created by A. Lee, W. Wilson, and C. Gawboy.

 

07/10/2020 – Ephemeris – The constellation Cygnus the swan

July 10, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, July 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 20 minutes, setting at 9:28, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:08. The Moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 12:52 tomorrow morning.

Fairly high in the east at 11 p.m. Is the constellation of Cygnus the swan, flying south through the Milky Way. It is also called the Northern Cross. At the left, the tail of the swan or the head of the cross is the bright star Deneb, one of the stars of the Summer Triangle. The next star right is Sadr the intersection of the body and the wings of the swan seen in flight, or the intersection of the two pieces of the cross. There are two or three stars farther to the right that delineate the swan’s long neck or upright of the cross, that ends with the star Alberio in the beak of the swan or foot of the cross. The crosspiece of the cross extends to the stars on either side of the intersection star Sadr, while the swan’s wings extend to a couple more stars each.

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

Addendum

Cygnus finder animation

Animated Cygnus finder chart. Included also are, beside Deneb, the other stars of the Summer Triangle: Vega and Altair and their constellations Lyra the harp and Aquila. See if you can find them. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using Stellarium.

07/02/2020 – Ephemeris – The star Deneb in Cygnus the swan

July 2, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Thursday, July 2nd. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 9:31, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:02. The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 4:29 tomorrow morning.

This evening when it gets dark enough the bright star Deneb in Cygnus the swan will be high in the east-northeast. Deneb is the dimmest star of the summer triangle. Of the other stars of the triangle, Vega is higher in the east, while Altair is lower in the southeast. Deneb’s apparent magnitude, or brightness as seen from Earth, makes it the dimmest of the three bright stars. Its vast distance of possibly 2,600 light years is over 100 times the distance of Vega. If brought as close as Vega, Deneb would be as bright at least as the quarter moon. It is possibly as bright as 200 thousand Suns; and a huge star, possibly as large in diameter as the orbit of the Earth. For all this it is only 19 or so times the mass of the Sun.

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

Addendum

The constellations Lyra, Cygnus and Aquila

Deneb with the other stars and constellations in the Summer Triangle. Created using Stellarium.

Deneb & North American Nebula

One of my old photographs of Deneb and the North American Nebula digitized from a slide.

06/12/2020 – Ephemeris – The Summer Triangle proclaims that summer is almost here

June 12, 2020 1 comment

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, June 12th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 9:29, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:56. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 2:27 tomorrow morning.

Summer skies are coming. It’s only 8 days until summer officially arrives. It is a calendar day early this year because of the extra day added in February for the leap year. Looking to the eastern sky at 11 pm are three bright stars in a large triangle. The top star Vega is about half way up the sky to the zenith, and the brightest of the three. It’s in the small constellation of Lyra the harp. Lowest of the stars and just about due east is Altair in Aquila the eagle. Completing the triangle is Deneb in the northeast in the tail of Cygnus the swan or the head of the horizontal Northern Cross. These three stars make up the Summer Triangle. Be that as it may, the Summer Triangle will be in our evening sky moving slowly westward until December.

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

Addendum

Finder animation for the Summer Triangle, seen in red for 11 pm, June 12th. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

08/26/2018 – Ephemeris – The Great Rift

August 26, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, August 26th. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 8:30, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:59. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:13 tomorrow morning.

High overhead the Milky Way is seen passing through the Summer Triangle of three bright stars. Here we find the Milky Way split into two sections. The split starts in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan or Northern Cross very high in the east. The western part of the Milky Way ends southwest of the Aquila the eagle. This dark dividing feature is called the Great Rift. Despite the lack of stars seen there, it doesn’t mean that there are fewer stars there than in the brighter patches of the Milky Way. The rift is a great dark cloud that obscures the light of the stars behind it. Sometimes binoculars can be used to find the edges of the clouds of the rift, as stars numbers drop off suddenly. This is especially easy to spot in Aquila the eagle.

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

Addendum

Great Rift in the Summer Triangle

The Great Rift finder animation as seen in the Summer Triangle, also showing the constellations of Cygnus the swan and the the northern part of Aquila the Eagle. This image a stack of 5 30 second exposures taken the morning of the Perseid meteor shower the is year in a vain attempt to capture some meteors.

Actual Aquila

Annotated and animated photograph taken of Aquila August 13, 2018 during the Perseid meteor shower. Alas, no Perseids in this photograph. Taken by me and processed using Registax and GIMP.

08/19/2019 – Ephemeris – The dimmest looking star of the Summer Triangle is by far the brightest

August 19, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, August 19th. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 8:42, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:50. The Moon, half way from full to last quarter, will rise at 10:53 this evening.

This evening when it gets dark the bright star Deneb in Cygnus the swan will be very high in the east. Deneb is the dimmest star of the summer triangle. Of the other stars of the triangle, Vega is higher nearly overhead, while Altair is lower in the southeast. While Deneb’s apparent magnitude, or brightness as seen from Earth, makes it the dimmest of the three bright stars, Deneb’s vast distance of possibly 2,600 light years* makes it over 90 times the distance of Vega. If brought as close as Vega, Deneb would be as bright at least as the quarter moon. It is possibly as bright as 196 thousand suns; and a huge star, possibly as large in diameter as the orbit of the Earth. For all this it is only 20 to 25 times the mass of the Sun.

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

Addendum

Great Rift in the Summer Triangle

The Great Rift finder animation as seen in the Summer Triangle, also showing the constellations of Cygnus the swan and the the northern part of Aquila the Eagle. This image a stack of 5 30 second exposures taken the morning of the Perseid meteor shower last year in a vain attempt to capture some meteors.

07/23/2019 – Ephemeris – Finding Cygnus the swan in the stars

July 23, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, July 23rd. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 59 minutes, setting at 9:18, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:20. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 12:50 tomorrow morning.

High in the east at 11 p.m. Is the constellation of Cygnus the swan, flying south through the Milky Way. It is also called the Northern Cross. At the left, the tail of the swan or the head of the cross is the bright star Deneb, one of the stars of the Summer Triangle. The next star right is Sadr the intersection of the body and the wings of the swan seen in flight, or the intersection of the two pieces of the cross. There are two or three stars farther to the right that delineate the swan’s long neck or upright of the cross, that ends with the star Alberio in the beak of the swan or foot of the cross. The wings of the swan span a couple of more stars on each side than the crosspiece of the cross.

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

Addendum

Cygnus finder animation

Animated Cygnus finder chart. Included also are, beside Deneb, the other stars of the Summer Triangle: Vega and Altair and their constellations Lyra the harp and Aquila. See if you can find them. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

08/14/2018 – Ephemeris – the constellation of Aquila the eagle

August 14, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, August 14th. The Sun rises at 6:44. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 6 minutes, setting at 8:50. The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 11:00 this evening.

Aquila the eagle is a constellation that lies in the Milky Way. It’s in the southeastern sky as it gets dark. Its brightest star, Altair is one of the stars of the Summer Triangle, a group of three bright stars dominating the eastern sky in the evening now. Altair, in the head of the eagle, is flanked by two slightly dimmer stars, the shoulders of the eagle. The eagle is flying northeastward through the Milky Way. Its wings are seen in its wing tip stars. A curved group of stars to the lower right of Altair is its tail. Within Aquila the Milky Way shows many dark clouds as part of the Great Rift that splits it here. The other summer bird is Cygnus the swan above and left of Aquila, flying in the opposite direction. ……

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

Addendum

Aquila finder animation

Animated Aquila finder chart. Created using Stellarium.

Actual Aquila

Annotated and animated photograph taken of Aquila August 13, 2018 during the Perseid meteor shower. Alas, no Perseids in this photograph. Taken by me and processed using Registax and GIMP.

Further notes on the Perseid meteor shower

I spent a good chunk of the Perseid peak night (August 12/13) at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore at the Dune Climb observing the Perseids.  Though clear there was a great amount of haze in the air, part of which was smoke from the fires out west, and the barometric high we’ve been under for the past few days getting stagnant,  The blue sky the day before was decidedly milky.  Though the Milky Way overhead was visible, the teapot of Sagittarius below Saturn wasn’t.

A casual inspection of my photographs show only 2 Perseid meteors.