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Posts Tagged ‘Pleiades’

04/04/2022 – Ephemeris – Two apparent planetary encounters tonight and tomorrow morning

April 4, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, April 4th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 56 minutes, setting at 8:14, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:16. The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 12:10 tomorrow morning. | We have action at both end of the night tonight. This evening the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters star cluster, will be seen just above and right of the three-day old crescent Moon. The cluster will be at the one o’clock position from the Moon at 9 pm. At the other side of night, at 6:30 tomorrow morning, Venus will be shining brilliantly in the east-southeast and the planets Mars and Saturn will be very close together. This type of appearance is called a conjunction. Mars will appear about three-quarters of a moon diameter below and left of the slightly brighter Saturn. Mars is getting slowly brighter as the Earth creeps up on it, to overtake it this December. It’s currently 165 million miles (266 million kilometers) away.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Moon and the Pleiades and Hyades tonight at 9 pm EDT, April 4, 2022. The Moon appears near the stepsister star clusters tonight. In Greek mythology, these two star clusters were indeed stepsisters, fathered by the god Atlas with different mothers. Created using Stellarium with additional captions in LibreOffice.

Saturn-Mars conjunction

A Saturn-Mars conjunction with brilliant Venus nearby as it might look like tomorrow morning, April 5, 2022. Created using Stellarium with labels added in LibreOffice.

01/20/2022 – Ephemeris – Taurus and the half sisters of the Pleiades

January 20, 2022 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Thursday, January 20th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 5:34, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:12. The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 8:23 this evening.

High in the south-southeastern sky, and above-right of Orion, is the bright star Aldebaran. It’s at one tip of a letter V of fainter stars. The group of stars is the face of the constellation of Taurus the bull. Aldebaran is the angry bloodshot eye of the bull that’s charging Orion, whose defending himself with a lion skin shield and an upraised club. The stars in the V, and many more visible in binoculars, except for Aldebaran, belong to a star cluster called the Hyades. In Greek mythology, these are the half sisters of the Pleiades, visible as a tight group of stars above them. The V of stars is actually an upside down letter A, or Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew and Mesopotamian alphabets. This was invented when Taurus, not Aries, was host to the Sun at the spring equinox.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT – 5 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Hyades and Pleiades

The  Hyades (left) and the Pleiades (right) in this photograph I took January 4, 2016. Aldebaran is the bright star at the left tip of the Pleiades (right)  of the Hyades.

Orion-Taurus animation

Orion and Taurus finder animation for mid-January. Created using Stellarium

11/02/2021 – Ephemeris – Finding the Pleiades or Seven Sisters

November 2, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Election Day for some, Tuesday, November 2nd. The Sun will rise at 8:22. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 7 minutes, setting at 6:29. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 6:35 tomorrow morning.

A marvelous sight in the autumn skies can be found low in the east after 8 in the evening. It is the famous star cluster called the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. I might also add the “Tiny Dipper”. Many people can spot a tiny dipper shape in its six or seven stars, and mistake it for the Little Dipper. However, with binoculars, one can see over a hundred stars appear along with the dipper shape of the brightest. In photographs, the Pleiades actually contain wisps of the dust they are passing through. They are a young star cluster, whose age is estimated to be one hundred million years. In Greek mythology, the sisters were daughters of the god Atlas. I’ll be revisiting the Pleiades several times this autumn, and winter, starting on Thursday.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Pleiades finder animation

Finding the Pleiades animation for 9 p.m. in late October/early November. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

The Pleiades, about what you'd see in binoculars.

The Pleiades, about what you’d see in binoculars.

03/03/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

March 3, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 3rd. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 17 minutes, setting at 6:33, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:14. The Moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 12:09 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Unfortunately the only one you’ll find is Mars. The other four are hanging out in the direction of the Sun and won’t be seen for a week or so. Mars can be found high in the west-southwest and below left of the Pleiades at 8 pm tonight. Mars will be due south of the Pleiades tonight, which from our cockeyed view of the heavens, from north of the equator, places Mars below and left of the Pleiades. The Red Planet will set at 1:20 am. Of the outer planets Mars is the fastest, being the nearest to the Sun, and to the Earth. So unlike Jupiter, Saturn, and the stars which rise and set about four minutes earlier each night, Mars sets about a minute earlier each night now.

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

Addendum

Mars south of Pleiades animation

Here’s an animation showing why Mars being south of the Pleiades doesn’t look like it in the sky. This is all about directions on the celestial sphere. This will be the position of Mars at 8 pm on March 3rd, 2021, seen in the west-southwest. It is a three frame animation. The first is without coordinate grids as one would see it from about 45 degrees north latitude. The second frame contains the equatorial grid. The lines to the upper right point to the North Pole of the sky near Polaris, so that’s north. The third frame has an alt-azimuth grid. Its lines run vertically and horizontally. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Binocular Moon

The moon as it might appear in binoculars at 6 am tomorrow morning March 4, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and the Moon on a single night

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on March 3, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 4th. There is a planet traffic jam in the morning and the symbols and labels for Jupiter and Mercury overlap. Unfortunately these planets rise too soon before the Sun to be seen for us up north. It is a great sight for Southern Hemisphere observers. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

12/08/2020 – Ephemeris – Finding Taurus the bull

December 8, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, December 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 5:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:08. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 1:39 tomorrow morning.

Orion is the big splashy constellation in the east southeast by 9 in the evening. Above it is another famous constellation Taurus the bull. Its face is a letter V shape of stars on its side with the open end of the V to the left. The bright star at the lower left end of the sideways V is the ruddy star Aldebaran, the Bull’s angry bloodshot eye. The bull is charging down at Orion. The Pleiades, also known as the seven sisters, is the cluster of stars in his shoulder, above the V. The stars in the face of Taurus, except for Aldebaran belong to a star cluster like the Pleiades, but closer and older, called the Hyades. In Greek mythology the Hyades are half sisters to the Pleiades, all fathered by the god Atlas.

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

Addendum

Taurus and Orion

Three views of Taurus the bull and Orion the hunter for 9 p.m. on December 8th. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Hyades and Pleiades

The Pleiades (right) and the Hyades (left) in this photograph I took January 4, 2016. The orientation is a bit different from how it appears in early December.

11/17/2020 – Ephemeris – The Pleiades in legends from different cultures

November 17, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, November 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 5:12, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:44. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 7:23 this evening.

Let’s look at how some other cultures saw the Pleiades, the star cluster that is seen in the eastern sky these evenings. To the Anishinaabe native peoples around here the Pleiades is the “Hole in the Sky” or the seven stones that are heated for the sweat lodge ceremony. To the Kiowa these were sister stars that had been whisked into the sky from the top of Devils Tower in Wyoming where they were threatened by a huge bear. In Norse mythology these were the goddess Freya’s hens. The name we know them by has rather misty origins. Some think the Greek name is from the mother of the seven sisters, Pleione. The Greek word for sail is similar to Pleiades, and it seems the appearance of the Pleiades in the morning sky saw the best sailing weather in the Mediterranean.

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

Addendum

Devil's Tower

Seven maidens being attacked by a giant bear, having fled to the top of Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Painting by Herbert Collins, https://www.nps.gov/deto.

The Pleiades, about what you'd see in binoculars.

The Pleiades, about what you’d see in binoculars, more than the 6 or 7 stars visible to the naked eye. The brighter stars are Freya’s Hens and also the Seven Sisters and Indian maidens. Credit Bob Moler.

Pleiades finder animation

Pleiades finder animation looking east about 8 pm in mid-November. Created using Stellarium.

11/16/2020 – Ephemeris – How to find the Pleiades or Seven Sisters

November 16, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, November 16th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 5:13, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:43. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 6:31 this evening.

A marvelous member of the autumn skies can be found low in the east after 8 in the evening. It is the famous star cluster called the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. I might also add the ‘Tiny Dipper’. Many people can spot a tiny dipper shape in its six or seven stars, and mistake it for the Little Dipper. When I was nearsighted*, though corrected, I never had been able to see more than a few stars and a bit of fuzz. However, with binoculars, even I could see over a hundred stars appear along with the dipper shape of the brightest. The fuzz I saw was unresolved stars, but in photographs the Pleiades actually contain wisps of the gas and dust they are currently passing through. In Greek mythology the sisters were daughters of the god Atlas. I’ll be revisiting the Pleiades several times this autumn, winter, and as they disappear in the west in evening twilight next spring.

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

*My vision was corrected with cataract surgery a few years ago. The Pleiades now have a granular appearance now.

Addendum

Pleiades finder animation

Pleiades finder animation looking east at 8 pm, November 16th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Aldebaran

Aldebaran in the ‘V’ shape of the Hyades (The face of Taurus the bull) with the Pleiades above. Created using Stellarium.

Greek Pleiades

The Greek Pleiades a painting by Elihu Vedder in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Public Domain.

4/03/2020 – Ephemeris – Tonight Venus appears among the stars of the Pleiades

April 3, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, April 3rd. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 8:13, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:17. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 5:48 tomorrow morning.

This evening the brilliant evening star, the planet Venus will appear within the Pleiades or Seven Sisters star cluster. Venus will slowly pass the Pleiades for the next few days. By the end of the month the Pleiades will be pretty much lost in the twilight. Evening star gazers will again pick it up late on September evenings, rising in the northeast. Venus, itself appears as a tiny crescent in small telescopes, and in May the tiny crescent will even be visible in binoculars. Venus reflects about 77 percent of the sunlight it receives because it is completely socked in by clouds. Clouds of a sulfuric acid mist. It is not a nice place. Surface temperature averages 867 degrees, and the atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of Earth.

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

Addendum

Venus and the Pleiades

binocular view of Venus and the Pleiades tonight at 10 p.m. EDT April 3, 2020. (2 hr UT April 4) Created using Stellarium. Note: More stars may be visible.  There will be a bright Moon out masking the dimmer members of the cluster. Your results may vary.

Update 04/03/2020 10:10 p.m. EDT

Photo of Venus and Pleiades

Photo of Venus and Pleiades taken at 9:37 p.m. EDT with Canon EOS Rebel T5, 300mm fl. f/5.6, 2 sec, ISO 3200, unguided. by myself.

12/16/2019 – Ephemeris – Taurus Treasures

December 16, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, December 16th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:14. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 9:59 this evening.

Rising in the east-southeast now is the bright star Aldebaran an orange star that’s at one end of the sideways letter V of stars that is the head of Taurus the bull. Above it is the jewel-like Pleiades or Seven Sisters star cluster. There’s more to Taurus, like it’s freakishly long horns and front part of its body. But you can say you’ve seem Taurus, if you can spot his face. That V of stars is actually a star cluster called the Hyades, the closest to the Earth, and in Greek Myth were the half-sisters of the Pleiades, also fathered by the god Atlas. Both the Hyades and Pleiades are being pursued by Orion, which is below it. He isn’t the only one following the Pleiades, the name Aldebaran means “The Follower”.

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

Addendum

the Hyades, Taurus, Orion and the Pleiades

An animation showing the Hyades, Taurus, Orion and the Pleiades. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Hyades and Pleiades

The Pleiades (right) and the Hyades (left) in this photograph I took January 4, 2016.

 

11/26/2019 – Ephemeris – The Pleiades in mythology

November 26, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, November 26th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 12 minutes, setting at 5:06, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:54. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

Let’s look at how some other cultures saw the Pleiades, the star cluster that is seen in the eastern sky these evenings. To the Anishinaabe native peoples around here the Pleiades is the “Hole in the Sky” or the seven stones that are heated for the sweat lodge ceremony. To the Kiowa these were sister stars that had been whisked into the sky from the top of Devils Tower in Wyoming where they were threatened by a huge bear. In Norse mythology these were the goddess Freya’s hens. The name we know them by has rather misty origins. Some think the Greek name is from the mother of the seven sisters, Pleione. The Greek word for sail is similar to Pleiades, and some suggested that the appearance of the Pleiades in the morning sky signaled the best sailing weather in the Mediterranean region. (12/16/2016 – Ephemeris – The Pleiades in the mythology of many cultures)

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

Addendum

The Pleiades, about what you'd see in binoculars.

The Pleiades, about what you’d see in binoculars.

Greek Pleiades

The Greek Pleiades a painting by Elihu Vedder in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Public Domain.

Devil's Tower

Seven maidens being attacked by a giant bear, having fled to the top of Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Painting by Herbert Collins, http://www.nps.gov/deto

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Mythology Tags: