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Posts Tagged ‘Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’

10/20/2017 – Ephemeris – Last star party at Sleeping Bear Dunes this year is tomorrow night

October 20, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, October 20th. The Sun will rise at 8:04. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 6:49. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 7:43 this evening.

A star party celebrating the 47th anniversary of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will be held tomorrow evening, October 21 2017, starting at 8 p.m. at the Dune Climb if it’s clear. This is a change in location from some of the earlier notifications. It will be hosted by the Park Rangers and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. The society invites all to come, especially those with telescopes willing to share the wonders of the Milky Way, which will span the skies from horizon to horizon. The park has one of the darkest skies in the Lower Peninsula, and the Milky Way is especially impressive in late summer and early autumn. Please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5005 if in doubt about weather conditions. A decision will be made by 2 hours before the event.

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

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09/22/2017 – Ephemeris – September star party at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore tomorrow night

September 22, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, September 22nd. The Sun will rise at 7:29. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 9 minutes, setting at 7:39. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 9:14 this evening.

Autumn starts at 4:02 this afternoon.

The first star party of autumn will be held at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore tomorrow evening starting at 9 p.m. at the Dune Climb if it’s clear. It will be hosted by the Park Rangers and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. The society invites all to come, especially those with telescopes willing to share the wonders of the Milky Way, which will span the skies from horizon to horizon, and the planet Saturn. The park has one of the darkest skies in the Lower Peninsula, and the Milky Way is especially impressive in late summer and early autumn.

Please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5005 if in doubt about weather conditions. A decision will be made by 2 hours before the event.

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

08/21/2017 – Ephemeris – Today’s the day of the solar eclipse!

August 21, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, August 21st. The Sun rises at 6:52. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 45 minutes, setting at 8:37. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible, except when it’s covering the Sun.

This is it! Later today, we will see, clouds willing, the Great American Solar Eclipse. 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. There will be telescopes to view the eclipse and one to project the eclipse on a screen. The first 100 or so visitors can get a pair of eclipse glasses. 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. These times are within a few minutes for other locations in northern Michigan.

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.

Pinhole projection

Pinhole projection is the simplest way to project the Sun’s image.
A long box can be used to project the image inside. The diameter of the pin hole is a compromise between sharpness and brightness of the image.
The farther the image is projected the larger it is.
The throw of the image can be increased by using a mirror masked with a quarter of a inch or larger hole and sending the image 10 or more feet away.

Binocular projection

I’m demonstrating using binoculars to project the Sun. Photo by Bea Farrell (granddaughter).

Tree provided pinholes

Let nature provide the pinholes.
Sit under in the shade.
Stay cool,
And watch the Sun’s images on the ground.

The danger at looking at the Sun without proper filter

The danger with looking at the Sun without proper filter. Credit: University of Waterloo.

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..