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Stargazing Astronomy events schedule

  1. Mar 17, 2003 #1


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    Hi everyone

    Use this topic for posts about ongoing/upcoming stargazing events (e.g., comets, eclipses, occultations, meteor showers, etc.).

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2003 #2
    Phobos: Do you mean ANY sky watch? There's one here in Sacramento, I think. It's supposed to be every last Friday of the month.
  4. Mar 18, 2003 #3
    My previous link didn't work.

    Try this:

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2003
  5. Mar 18, 2003 #4
    Umm, I don't think the link works, Mentat.

    Why are auroras only visible in Alaska?
  6. Mar 19, 2003 #5
    Well for news on what is happening in april....

    National Dark Sky Week starts in early April! go here

    Help reduce light pollution and observe the night sky!
  7. Mar 20, 2003 #6


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    Star parties are ok to list here too. In general, I meant things like letting everyone know about upcoming astronomical events (like, events in the sky).

    For example, you amateur astronomers might be interested to know that the asteroid Vesta will be visible (binocs, small 'scopes) later this month Peak magnitude on March 27.

    see here for more details...

    Basically, use this topic to keep everyone informed of interesting things to watch for and offer advice for best viewing, etc.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2003
  8. Mar 20, 2003 #7


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    Don't know how much advance notice you need, but in August, Mars will be closer to Earth than it has been for 73,000 years. Its apparent diameter will be larger than Saturn's planetary disk is when Saturn is at opposition.

    Get your telescopes ready now.
  9. Mar 20, 2003 #8
    Yeah well Labguy I just ran and got my telescope ready anyways

    That is quite interesting! I havent gotten to use my new telescope much this winter because it has been too darn cloudy... HOPEFULLY it wont be this spring and summer!
  10. Mar 20, 2003 #9


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    For neat and detailed stuff, you can go to JPL's calendar and click on the month of your choice.


    For instance, go to Aug. 28th to find out the Mars info I mentioned above.
  11. Mar 21, 2003 #10
    hmmm do you guys think I or Astronomer107 *looks for Astronomer107*

    or just me I guess contact them to see if they could put NDSW on tehir calender?

    By the way Astronomer107 should be rejoining PF soon she has been very busy she got web. press realeases and she has been interviewed twice and has been talking constantly to a few people at IDSA (international dark sky association)
  12. Mar 26, 2003 #11
    Excellent topic Phobos!

    I don't really have much to add at this time, other than Jupiter is pretty darn bright. Last night the sky was overcast, but Jupiter still shown through the clouds. (At least by Notre Dame.) Amazing.
    I think Jupiter is supposed to start moving West-to-East soon too.
    (Saturn and Mars are still pretty bright right now too.)
  13. Mar 27, 2003 #12
    http://www.heavens-above.com is awesome. Register free, log in coordinates and let the site give you viewing times for different events and where to look. At the moment Comet Kudo-Fujikawa is just below the front foot of Orion (Betelgeuse), this is the data. I'll have to have a look tonight. Not sure if you can see 11.1 magnitude with the naked eye from the city. Don't know enough about it.

    All data valid for local time 15:08:13, 28 Mar (UTC 04:08:13, 28 Mar)
    Geocentric Data
    Right Ascension (J2000): 5h 5m 6.8s
    Declination (J2000): -11° 54' 23"
    Constellation: Lepus
    Magnitude: 11.1
    Distance from Earth: 1.4735 AU
    Light time: 735 seconds

    Heliocentric Data
    Distance from Sun: 1.4851 AU
    Perihelion: 0.1901 AU
    Aphelion: 38,016.21 AU
    Period: 2,620,714.4 years
    Eccentricity: 0.999990
    Inclination to ecliptic: 94.151°
    Longitude of ascending node: 119.067°
    Argument of perihelion: 187.561°

  14. Mar 29, 2003 #13


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    No, you couldn't. If you were in very dark skies in a very dark spot in the western US, magnitude 6 seen naked eye is considered very good seeing. The darkest I have ever seen was one night when a magnitude 6.9 star could be seen, but this is very rare. Magnitude 11 is usually considered near the limit for a good 8 inch telescope.
  15. Mar 29, 2003 #14
    I heard from a math major who's taking the astronomy class at my school that there is a nebula or a new star forming in Orion's belt. Can anybody confirm that?
  16. Mar 29, 2003 #15


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    Yes, it is one of the largest star forming regions known.

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2003
  17. Mar 29, 2003 #16
    Thanks Labguy!

    I was just outside looking at Orion and it's just so amazing thinking of something like that going on while my eyes are on it (not literally of course).
  18. Apr 1, 2003 #17
    Some info for April skywatchers:
    Moon Phases:
    April 1 - New
    April 9 - 1st Quarter
    April 16 - Full
    April 23 - Last Quarter
    Planets Visible For April 2003: (as quoted from www.space.com)

    -Mercury, having conjuncted with the Sun in March, is back in the evening sky. This month offers an excellent chance for to catch this illusive planet. Observational circumstances improve through April 16, when Mercury is at its "greatest elongation east," and then diminish. Look for it in the west-northwest as soon as it gets dark. Among the faint stars of Pisces and Aries, it sets an hour and a half to two hours after the Sun.

    -Venus, while still in the morning sky, rises only a short while before the Sun and is not easy to see this month. If you insist, look very low in the east southeast at morning twilight.

    -Mars rises several hours before the Sun, but doesn’t get very high in the sky before dawn. (The farther South you go, the better it gets. In fact, observers in the Southern Hemisphere see it quite high in the sky before dawn.) Mars starts the month in Sagittarius and ends in Capricornus. While it is not exceptionally bright, its ruddy color makes it stand out.

    -Jupiter, having been in retrograde motion since early December, becomes stationary on April 4 and thereafter resumes normal forward (eastward) motion among the stars. It moves slowly through the faint stars of Cancer, beginning the month very near the "Beehive" star cluster (M44). Both should fit nicely into a binocular field of view, with Jupiter slightly below and to the left of the cluster in the early evening, just to the left later on.

    -Saturn is fairly well up in the early evening southestern sky, in "horns" of Taurus, the Bull. It lingers near the star Zeta Tauri, above Orion and some 7 or 8 degrees below the star cluster M35 at the feet of Gemini. But look early, Saturn sets by midnight or before.
    Sunday, 4/6
    Daylight Saving Time returns, 2 a.m.
    (Except for me, I switch time zones. Really!)
    Tuesday, 4/22
    Lyrid Meteors, 1:00 p.m.

    The timing for this meteor shower emanating from the constellation Lyra is not good. However, this shower is actually spread out quite a bit, so even if you can’t observe peak time (mid-day) you may be able to see some meteors in the hours before dawn on both Tuesday and Wednesday. If you’re an early bird, Lyra is high in the east-southeast at about 4 a.m. There will be a bright Moon in the sky at that time, too.
  19. Apr 2, 2003 #18


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    Use this from the US Naval Observatory to get about anything you need except for sky charts.

    http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  20. Apr 2, 2003 #19
  21. Apr 4, 2003 #20
  22. Apr 5, 2003 #21


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    And, Saturn is moving East again, (was retrograde) and is quite high in the western sky after sunset. Last night I got a hell of a view of Saturn and the Crab Nebula in the same field of view using a low power eyepiece in two different telescopes. I didn't check any sky program, but they appeared to be about 0.8 degrees apart. Should be moving closer in the next week or so.

    Check it out. There won't be many chances to see something like this very often.
  23. Apr 7, 2003 #22


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    Re: Jupiter near the Beehive Cluster

    thanks, Nebula
    I checked it out last night.
    M44 is usually tough for me because of light pollution around my home.
  24. Apr 25, 2003 #23
  25. May 8, 2003 #24
    Sky-Watcher Info for May 2003 (Sources: space.com, heavens-above.com)
    Moon Phases:
    -May 1 - New Moon
    -May 9 - 1st Quarter
    -May 15 - Full
    -May 22 - Last Quarter
    -May 31 - New Moon

    -May 15 - Lunar Eclipse - This Full Moon marks the first time a total lunar eclipse has been visible anywhere in North America since January 9, 2001. The full eclipse can be seen in roughly the Eastern third of the continent, while the remainder witnesses varying stages. The umbral phase of partial eclipse begins at 10:03 p.m. Totality begins at approximately 11:14 p.m., greatest eclipse is 11:40 p.m., and totality is over by 12:07 a.m. on Friday. The umbral phase of partiality is over at 1:17 a.m. (I'm not sure what time-zone, I would guess EDT.)
    -May 31 - New Moon, 12:20 a.m. (Annular Eclipse) Eclipses tend to come in pairs, so this New Moon provides the solar complement to mid-May’s total lunar eclipse. This annular eclipse of the Sun is visible throughout much of Eastern and Northern Europe, Central Asia, the Arctic, and northern parts of the Middle East. Unfortunately, most of North America except far Northwestern Canada and Alaska will miss out entirely.

    -Mars slowly but surely continues to brighten as we head toward an historically close approach in late August. Rising in Capricornus an hour or so after midnight, it is still relatively low in the southeastern sky at sunrise. Now in the negative magnitudes, Mars is brighter than any star in its vicinity of the sky.
    -Jupiter, in Cancer about half-way between Gemini and Leo, still dominates the evening sky and is impossible to miss because it is so bright. It is almost overhead around 8 p.m. but slightly toward the west at the beginning of the month. Its nightly procession of moons provides fascination in a small telescope, but only the four largest (of the 60 or so now known) can be seen. Look early, though, as Jupiter sets by roughly 1 a.m.
    -Saturn, although still bright, is low in the west at sunset, roughly between Aldebaran (Taurus) and Pollux (Gemini). Unfortunately, the Sun is rushing toward a conjunction with Saturn in late June, and the Ringed Planet is all but lost in the solar glare by the end of the month.
    -Mercury, is in the dawn skies but cannot be easily seen, laying quite low on the eastern horizon for most to of the month.
    -Venus, like Mercury, is low in the east at sunrise, but a bit higher and much brighter. Overall, however, it is still too close to the Sun to be observed easily.

    -May 7 - Mercury transits the sun
    -May 7,8 - Moon approaches Jupiter
    -May 21 - Moon approaches Mars in SouthEastern predawn sky, costellation of Capricornus. Neptune is also near, but requires telescope.
    -May 28 - Moon approaches Venus, Mercury, dawn. The hairline Crescent Moons nears Venus and Mercury about a half hour before sunrise in the eastern sky. The Moon is less than 10 degrees high, and Venus lower still to the left. Tiny Mercury is a couple of degrees from Venus, at the four-o'clock position. Caution: This is a difficult observation requiring clear skies and an unobstructed eastern horizon. (The Moon occults or eclipses Venus at about midnight, but this cannot be seen in North America. Observers in the Indian Ocean area and the Far East are well-placed, however.)

    -Comet NEAT (C/2002 V1): In Constellation Eridanus, Magnitude 13.0. http://heavens-above.com/comet.asp?cid=C%2F2002+V1&Session=kebgcgpjkoioofaijpeopjdp [Broken]
    -Comet Kudo-Fujikawa (C/2002 X5): Near the border of Orion (top) and Tarus (left), Magnitude 14.0. (Saturn might be in the way at the moment, give it a day or three.) http://heavens-above.com/comet.asp?cid=C%2F2002+X5&Session=kebgcgpjkoioofaijpeopjdp [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  26. May 11, 2003 #25


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    tidbit from CNN about this week's lunar eclipse...
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/05/11/lunar.eclipse.ap/index.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
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