Lunar eclipse webcasts September 27, 2015Posted by aquillam in Astronomy.
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As I watched the clouds slowly thicken this afternoon, I wondered if I’d be able to view the eclipse online. The answer, of course, is yes. Here are a couple places:
September 2015 Urban Observing September 1, 2015Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, Urban Observing.
Tags: lunar eclipse, Mars, Mercury, Moon, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus, urban observing, Venus
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If you happen to be in southeast Michigan on September 25 or 26, head to Kensington Metropark! Kensington Astronomy at the Beach is the biggest astronomy event in the area, and a very unique one. Amateurs and professionals alike work together to put on this event that includes everything from guided sky tours to big ‘scopes you can look through. Talks, planetarium shows, demonstrations and activities go on no matter what the weather is like. Visit GLAAC.org for more information.
September marks another lull in significant meteor shower activity. However, minor showers and the ambient meteor level are slightly higher at this time of year, so if you happen to be out late, or early, it’s worth watching for a few. As usual, it is much better to look for meteors under dark skies than the normal urban skies. Check out the weekly update form the american meteor society for week-by-week predictions.
The autumnal equinox occurs on September 23 at 8:22 UTC , which is 4:22 AM in Michigan.
A well timed total lunar eclipse occurs on September 27, starting just after sunset in Michigan. Maximum eclipse occurs in Ann Arbor and 10:47 PM, when the Moon will be high in the southeast. For timing details and more information, or information on another location, see http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/ann-arbor.
Of course if there’s a lunar eclipse there must be a solar eclipse too. In this case, it’s a partial eclipse visible from parts of Africa and the Indian Ocean.
Full: September 27. This is the closest full moon if the year.
New: September 11
Observers in the northeast may have the chance to see the Moon occult Aldebaran on September 5th. Unfortunately in southeast Michigan, it ends just before moonrise.
Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation on the 4th, so it’s visible in the evening at the start of the month, but look for it soon. The ecliptic is low to the horizon at sunset for northern hemisphere observers at this time of year, so it gets really hard really fast to spot. On the other hand,southern hemisphere observers get their best chance all year! It’ll be in conjunction on the 30th, so no one will really get to see it by the last week of the month.
Venus is the gem of the morning skies. Just passed conjunction at the start of the month, it’s so bright it’s easily mistaken for plane or other terrestrial object. A pair of binoculars should be all you need to pick out it’s crescent shape. It’s headed for maximum westward elongation at the end of October so you’ll have plenty of time to spot it. It lines up with the Moon and Mars between Regulus and Procyon on September 9. Use binoculars or a small ‘scope to pull the objects out of the morning twilight.
In a mythically appropriate pairing, Mars is near Venus all month. Unfortunately it’s not nearly as bright as Venus so it’ll be tough to spot in the morning twilight. Also look for Mars and Regulus to make a close pair on September 25.
Jupiter is just past conjunction at the start of the month. Look for it in the morning twilight after the first week.
Saturn is well up at sunset now, the only naked eye planet in the evening skies. The ring tilt is big enough to be visible with just a pair of binoculars. A small ‘scope should enable you to pull out the Cassini division. It makes a nice pair with red Antares all month, but be sure to look on the 18th & 19th when the moon joins the pair.
Rising around 9:30 at the start of the month, Uranus is not a bad target no matter what time of night you observe. It pairs with the moon on the 1st and again on the 28th.
Neptune opposition is September 1, which actually makes this the best month this year to spot this distant blue planet. It’s a bit tough though. There aren’t many landmarks to guide you. The Moon will help on September 25.
Spitzer 12 month calendar for the 12th anniversary August 21, 2015Posted by aquillam in Astronomy.
Tags: astronomy, Do Note, space telescope
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This beautiful, printable, calendar celebrates 12 years of infrared astronomy by the overachieving Spitzer space telescope.
Also, ifttt’s Do note is handy, Though it creates terrible titles for blog posts.
Tags: comet, space missions
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Can you believe it’s been a year since Rosetta arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko?? Such fantastic images, and the comet is nearing perihelion now, so there’s so much going on!
Guess I’d better put “update the comet lab” on my to-do list again!