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Posts Tagged ‘Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’

08/18/2017 – Ephemeris – More eclipse information

August 18, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, August 18th. The Sun rises at 6:48. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 53 minutes, setting at 8:42. The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 4:16 tomorrow morning.

OK here you are 3 days before the solar eclipse, where to you go and when do you look to see it. Circle next Monday, August 21st. The times, if you are in the Grand Traverse area, say near Traverse City and Interlochen, are these: The eclipse starts at a couple of minutes before 1 p.m., The maximum eclipse will be at 2:20 when nearly 75% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. The eclipse will end about 3:40 p.m. For locations south and west of Traverse City the eclipse will start up to a few minutes earlier, to the north and east, up to a few minutes later. The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will host an eclipse watch at the Dachow farm on M-22 at Port Oneida Road.

We’ll be at Friday night Live night on the 200 block of Front Street, in front of Orvis Streamside,  in Traverse City to demonstrate these methods. Come between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. for demonstrations if it’s clear.

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

Addendum

Maximum eclipse in Traverse City

What the maximum eclipse would look like with proper filtering in the Grand Traverse area. Created using Stellarium.

08/11/2017 – Ephemeris – The Perseid meteors plus a star party wraps up the Port Oneida Fair tomorrow

August 11, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, August 11th. The Sun rises at 6:40. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 12 minutes, setting at 8:53. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:06 this evening.

The most famous meteor shower year in and year out is the Perseid meteor shower of August. There are more active meteor showers, but none in the warm nights of summer. The Perseids will be reaching peak tomorrow afternoon. It’s a bit early for us and the Moon will interfere after rising at 11:36 p.m. There have been some erroneous reports out there that this year’s meteor shower will be super spectacular. It will not. Besides the Moon will be up during the best morning viewing times. The meteors will appear to come from the northeastern part of the sky, but will be visible all over the sky. I like the evening meteor show, with the radiant low in the sky. The meteor trails are long as the meteoroids skim the Earth’s atmosphere.*

It’s a busy weekend for the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. Members will be on Front Street in Traverse City tonight for Friday Night Live with views of the Sun and later a look at the planet Saturn and its rings, weather permitting. On Saturday, again weather permitting members will be part of Sleeping Bear Dunes Port Oneida Fair with a Sun ‘n Star Party from 4 to 6 p.m. and from 9 to 11 p.m. , though members will still be there informally. The location for that event is the Thoreson Farm on South Thoreson Road off M22, near Port Oneida Road. On tap will be Jupiter, Saturn and some of the Perseid meteors on it’s peak night, and some of the deep sky wonders of the summer Milky Way beyond the solar system.

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

* This paragraph is really from the Thursday August 10th program, not what I posted for August 10th (yesterday) as the program transcript.  I double checked it and everything.  I may be getting too old for this.  I think I’ll have a lie down now.

 

05/12/2017 – Ephemeris – There will be a star party at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Saturday night the 13th

May 12, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, May 12th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 42 minutes, setting at 9:00, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:16.  The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 10:37 this evening.

Tomorrow night May 13th there will be, weather permitting a star party at  Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, this time the venue is Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at Stop number 3, the Dunes Overlook.  The event starts at 9 p.m., while it’s still light out and the location can be found.  Park at Picnic Mountain, which is after Stop 2, and right before stop 3, and walk over.  The planet Jupiter and all four of its bright moons and cloud bands will be featured.  Sharp eyed observers will also be able to see the Great Red Spot.  As the sky darkens there will be a twilight talk about the wonders of the spring sky.  Near the last half hour it will be dark enough to spot some of the galaxies and globular star clusters of spring.  The star party is made possible by the rangers of the park and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society.

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

Addendum

Telescopic Jupiter

Jupiter, its cloud bands, Great Red Spot and moons as it might be seen around 10 p.m. at the star party. The actual orientation will depend on the telescope used to view them. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

 

02/24/2017 – Ephemeris – Winter star party at the Sleeping Near Dunes tomorrow night

February 24, 2017 2 comments

Ephemeris for Friday, February 24th.  The Sun will rise at 7:27.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 56 minutes, setting at 6:23.  The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 6:53 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow night the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society and the Rangers of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will hold a star party at the Dune Climb parking lot from 7 to 9 p.m. but only if it is clear.  Last Saturday night it happened to be clear, so I went out there to do some photography of the heavens, and the sky was spectacular with the brilliant constellation Orion dominating the southern sky.  Its great star forming region, the Great Orion Nebula displaying its bright heart and wispy outer tendrils of gas and dust heading away from that nest of bright baby stars that are illuminating it. Venus is a shining beacon in the west until it sets into the dune.  We might even be able to spot the faint Zodiacal Light in the west.

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

Addendum

Orion

Orion in a 30 second exposure taken at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Dune Climb February, 18, 2017 by Bob Moler. Click on image to enlarge a bit.

Centered on Perseus

Area of the sky from the Hyades and Pleiades on the left to the Double Cluster on the right. While processing the image for this post I discovered two possible meteor trails on the left and below center. A 2 minute exposure taken at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Dune Climb February, 18, 2017 by Bob Moler. Click on image to enlarge and see all the deep sky goodies in it..

10/21/2016 – Ephemeris – Last star party of the year at Sleeping Bear Dunes

October 21, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, October 21st.  The Sun will rise at 8:06.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 40 minutes, setting at 6:47.  The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 11:54 this evening.

Tonight if it’s clear the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will join the rangers at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for their 46th anniversary celebration with a star party at Stop number 3, the Dunes Overlook on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, though park at Picnic Mountain, just before it.  The event will run from 8 to 10 p.m. featuring the wonders still visible among the northern summer wonders along with those appearing in the autumn skies, such as the Great Andromeda Galaxy and the famous Double Cluster.  To get a heads up on the status of the star party call 231-326-4700, extension. 5005, for a message after 4 p.m. if the weather looks doubtful.  Despite being October we’ve had pretty good luck with getting clear skies for this event.

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

Addendum

Star Party

Star Party at the Dunes Overlook. Credit: Eileen Carlisle

08/02/2016 – Ephemeris – Two events for the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society this weekend

September 2, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, September 2nd.  The Sun will rise at 7:06.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 9 minutes, setting at 8:16.  The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 9:00 this evening.

This is another busy weekend for the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society.  Tonight there will be a general meeting of the society at 8 p.m. followed by a star party at 9 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory, located on Birmley Road south of Traverse City, to which all are welcome.  The featured speaker for the meeting will be Dr. David Penney who will talk about Late Pleistocene Fauna and Extinction and its possible astronomical cause.  Saturday there will be a star party at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s Dune Climb starting at 9 p.m.  Both star parties will feature the star clusters and nebulae found in the Milky Way, and views of Saturn and Mars.  The dunes are the darkest spot around.

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

 

08/12/2016 – Ephemeris – Two events this weekend

August 12, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, August 12th.  The Sun rises at 6:42.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 10 minutes, setting at 8:52.  The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 2:12 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will close out the Port Oneida Fair which is held by and at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  It will be held at the Thoreson Farm on South Thoreson Road off M22, just west of Port Oneida road.  From 4 to 6 p.m. there will be observation of the Sun through white-light filtered telescopes and a hydrogen-alpha filtered solar telescope.  Then from 9 to 11 p.m. there will be viewing of the Moon and the bright planets including Mars and Saturn, and depending on sky condition, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury.  There may be a few bright stragglers of the Perseid Meteor Shower to be seen.  All this requires clear skies, so if in doubt check with the park at 231-326-4700, ext. 5005 for a voicemail message.

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

Addendum

Also tonight if weather permits the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will participate in Friday Night Live on Front Street in downtown Traverse City.  The society will be in its usual spot, in front of Orvis Streamside, a few stores west of the State Theater.  The event will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. where we will have exhibits and solar viewing if it’s clear.  Telescopes will be available for viewing the Moon and Saturn after 9 p.m. if skies permit.

Star party 1

Star Party at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Thoreson Farm August 2013. Credit Eileen Carlisle.

Looking at the Moon

Looking at the Moon. Friday Night Live after hours.