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Posts Tagged ‘Leo’

04/02/2019 – Ephemeris – Hydra the longest constellation

April 2, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, April 2nd. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 8:11, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:20. The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 7:03 tomorrow morning.

In the south and southeastern sky at 10 p.m. can be found the constellation of Hydra the water snake. Unlike the monster of the same name this Hydra has but one head, which is its most distinctive part. At 10 p.m. look to the south. The head of Hydra is located below a line from the constellation Leo the Lion in the south and Gemini high in the west-southwest, and directly below Cancer the crab. Hydra’s head is a small but distinctive group of 6 stars that make a drooping loop to the right. The rest of Hydra wends its way diagonally to the southeastern horizon below the bright blue star Spica in Virgo. Some delineations of Hydra have the tail tickling the constellation Libra which is just about to rise at that time.

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

Addendum

Hydra finder

Hydra the water snake finder animation for 10 p.m. April 2nd.. Hydra is the longest of all the constellations. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

03/07/2019 – Ephemeris – Leo the lion rising

March 7, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, March 7th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 6:38, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:08. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 7:42 this evening.

Tonight as twilight fades around 8 p.m. the constellation of Leo the lion can be seen rising in the east. The head and mane of a male lion is seen as a backward question mark. This pattern of stars is also called the sickle. The bright star that is the dot at the bottom is Regulus, the “Little King Star”. To the lower left is a triangle of stars that is the lion’s hind end with the star Denebola at the far end. It is said that the reason the figure of a lion came to be seen in the stars here is because lions came from the desert, driven by the heat, to drink from the river Nile the time of the year that the sun was in this part of the sky. Leo can also be found by first locating the Big Dipper high in the northeast, a hole in its bowl drips on Leo.

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

Addendum

The constellation Leo animation

The constellation Leo rising animation. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Leaky Big Dipper drips on Leo

Finding Leo from the Big Dipper: Leaky Big Dipper drips on Leo. Created using my LookingUp program.

02/25/2019 – Ephemeris – Cancer the crab

February 25, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, February 25th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 6:24, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:25. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 1:46 tomorrow morning.

Between the stars Castor and Pollux in Gemini high in the southeast and the star Regulus in Leo the Lion in the east-southeast lies the dimmest constellation of the zodiac, Cancer the crab. To me its 5 brightest stars make an upside down Y. There’s the stars in the center of the constellation Asellus Borealis and Asellus Australis, the north and south donkeys. There’s a fuzzy spot between and just west of them called Praesepe, the manger. In binoculars it resolves into a cluster of stars called the Beehive cluster. We amateur astronomers also know it as M44, the 44th object on comet hunter Charles Messier’s list of objects that might be mistaken for comets.

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

Addendum

Cancer

The constellation Cancer finder chart. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

 

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.

02/13/2018 – Ephemeris – The Big Dipper as a pointer to other stars and constellations

March 13, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, March 13th. The Sun will rise at 7:58. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 47 minutes, setting at 7:46. The Moon, 4 days before new, will rise at 6:42 tomorrow morning.

With the Big Dipper up in the northeastern sky it is a sign that spring is coming. At 9 p.m. The Big Dipper can be used to find other stars and constellations. The Big Dipper’s most famous function is in locating Polaris the North Star. It’s a good way of finding directions at night. The altitude of Polaris, that is angle above the horizon, will give one’s approximate latitude north of the equator. Another constellation that can be found is Leo the lion. It is rising in the east in the evening, but it can also be found from the Big Dipper by imagining that a hole were drilled in the bottom of the bowl to let the water leak out. It would fall on Leo’s back. The Big Dipper can be used to find two more stars, but they have not yet risen.

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

Addendum

The Big Dipper

The Big Dipper points to Polaris, the, North Star, and to Leo the lion at 9 p.m., March 13th. In another hour the 4th brightest night-time star Arcturus will appear above the eastern horizon pointed to by the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper. We’ll revisit the Big Dipper next month when Arcturus and Spica will also be found by the use of the Big Dipper. Created using Stellarium and Libre Office.

03/08/2018 – Ephemeris – Beware the Great Underwater Panther

March 8, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, March 8th. The Sun will rise at 7:07. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 6:39. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 1:56 tomorrow morning.

The Anishinaabek people of the Great Lakes Region, which includes the Ottawa or Odawa, Chippewa and Ojibwe Indians have two constellations of winter that I know of. The first is The Winter Maker which uses many of Orion’s stars plus Aldebaran and Procyon. It rises in the eastern skies in the evening as winter is beginning. The second, of late winter and early spring is Curly Tail, the Great Underwater Panther. Which uses the stars of Leo the lion’s backward question mark as its tail and the small knot of stars that are the head of Hydra the water snake below Cancer as its head. I imagine this constellation was a warning to youngsters to keep off the thinning ice of spring, lest they fall in and be snatched by the great underwater panther that lives beneath the ice.

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

Addendum

Western and Anishinaabek constellations

Finder animation for western and Anishinaabek constellations for March 8, 2018 at 9 p.m. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

The Anishinaabek constellation drawings are from Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide  by Annette S. Lee, William Wilson, Jeffrey Tibbets and Carl Gawboy available locally and online.  They are part of the latest editions of Stellarium, a free planetarium program.  Links to it are on the left.  Other information and links are available within the Sky Lore tab.

Here’s one of the links: http://www.nativeskywatchers.com/.  It also contains links to Lakota star maps and lore.

 

 

03/05/2018 – Ephemeris – Spring is coming: Leo is rising

March 5, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, March 5th. The Sun will rise at 7:13. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 6:35. The Moon, half way from full to last quarter, will rise at 10:53 this evening.

The constellation Leo the lion is now rising in the east at 9 pm. It’s below and left of the Big Dipper higher up in the east-northeast. Leo is marked by two sets of easily recognizable stars. The front of him is a backward question mark of stars, also known as the Sickle that mark his head and mane, along with the front part of his body. Regulus is the star at the bottom of that backwards question mark. It’s the Little King Star. The hind end of him is a triangle of stars ending with another bright star, but not as bright as Regulus. It’s Denebola which means Lion’s tail. It is thought when the Sun was in this constellation long ago that the lions were driven by the heat to quench their thirst in the Nile river. Ancients physicians thought medicines were poison when the Sun was here also.

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

Addendum

The constellation Leo animation

The constellation Leo animation. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Algieba is a binary star, which should be able to be split with any good telescope.  The magnitude 2.4 and 3.6 components are separated by 4.6 arc seconds.  Binary stars are one type of object that benefit from using high power to resolve.  The stars are very close in temperature, so each appears a yellow-orange color offering no color contrast.