Upcoming celestial & astronomical events
Posted 24 February 2009 - 08:27 PM
Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:01 PM
Posted 24 February 2009 - 10:06 PM
Did anyone have any luck with Lulin last night? I hear that the view tonight will be comparable so I'm gonna try again. Tonight, the sky is cloudless so I'll be starting my trek towards the Kansas foothills for a better view :loveeyes:
I am about to go and try again myself.
Posted 26 February 2009 - 07:01 PM
No Lulin sitings for me! Perfectly clear skies, but there's just too much light pollution around here, and binoculars suck for looking at anything but star squiggles and tracers.
Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:20 AM
i had Saturn right in the scope...
but not dark enough here for Lulin..
and my car is still in the garage..
so i couldnt drive out to a dark site.
there will be more ;)
Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:23 AM
Pretty Sky Alert
February 26, 2009: Be careful, this sort of thing can cause an accident.
On Friday evening, Feb. 27th, the 10% crescent Moon will glide by Venus, forming a gorgeous and mesmerizing pair of lights in the sunset sky. Moon-Venus conjunctions are not unusual, but this conjunction has some special qualities:
(1) Venus is at maximum brightness: magnitude -4.6. The planet is twenty times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. It is so luminous that it can actually shine through thin clouds and cast subtle shadows on the ground.
Right: A Moon-Venus conjunction in Dec. 2008 photographed by Tamas Ladanyi of Mönichkirchen, Austria. This month's conjunction will be even tighter and brighter. [larger image]
(2) As seen from North America, the Moon-Venus separation is only a little more than 1o. Stick up your thumb and hold it out at arm's length. Venus and the Moon will fit comfortably behind the thumb-tip. Tight conjunctions like this are the most beautiful of all
(3) Not only is the Moon a crescent, but so is Venus. A small telescope pointed at the glittering planet will reveal a slender 20%-illuminated disk.
Add it all together and you've got a major distraction. Evening drivers should pull to the verge. Staring at Venus and the Moon could be riskier than texting!
Venus is a crescent because, like the Moon, it has phases. The planet can be be full, gibbous, new, or anything in between. The illuminated fraction we see on any given date depends on how much of Venus' nightside is turned toward Earth.
It might seem odd that Venus is brightest now when it is a crescent. That reverses our commonsense experience with the Moon, which is brightest when it is full. A 6-month animation of Venus created by Hong Kong astrophotographer "Wah!" solves the mystery at a glance:
The crescent phase of Venus occurs when Venus is close to Earth, very big and bright. The full phase of Venus, on the other hand, occurs when Venus is on the opposite side of the Sun, far away and relatively dim.
Crescent Venus is so bright, you can see it in broad daylight. During the day on Friday, scan the sky for the crescent Moon. Hint: Stand in the shadow of a tall building to block the glare of the Sun. At noon, the Moon will be due east of the Sun's position. Got it? Look a few thumb-widths around the Moon and—voilà!—Venus pops out of the blue. The planet is surprisingly easy to see when you know where to look.
Once daytime Venus has been located, you might feel tempted to examine the planet with binoculars or a telescope. Don't. The nearby Sun can damage your eyes if you accidentally point your optics in that direction.
Wait until the Sun sets and behold the pair framed by deepening twilight blue, first with your unaided eyes, then with a small telescope. On the Moon, you will see mountains, craters, and a vast expanse of nighttime lunar terrain gently illuminated by Earthshine. On Venus, you will see a delicate little crescent of impenetrable clouds.
It's a nice way to end the day.
Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:40 PM
Thought I saw Lulin through my binocs earlier this week. Just a blur with a greenish hue, but I might have missed my target. Damn! I want a Dobsonian...
Keep looking up!!!
Posted 03 March 2009 - 02:10 AM
March continues the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), which commemorates the 400th anniversary of Galileo turning the telescope to the heavens. Here’s what the month has in store for you:
NASA theme:Observing at night (and during the day)
Featured object in the sky:Saturn and its nearly edge-on rings
March 8: Saturn is at opposition (exactly opposite the Sun) and in the sky all night. It’s great for viewing in a telescope this month, but its rings are nearly edge-on and thus hard to see. To track Saturn’s position in your night sky, use StarDome, Astronomy.com’s interactive star chart.
March 10: The Full Moon is just south of Saturn in the southeastern sky during the evening.
March 14: Celebrate Albert Einstein’s 130th birthday. Einstein’s ideas of space and time underpin our modern view of the universe.
March 14: Add a little pie to your festivities! March 14 (3.14) is also Pi Day. This day celebrates the Greek letter π, which in math is the symbol that represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameters (3.14159…).
March 20: The spring equinox (when the Sun is located vertically above a point on the equator and day and night are the same length) marks the culmination of NASA’s Sun-Earth Day. Each year, the Sun-Earth Day recognizes NASA’s Sun-Earth Connection science, missions and cutting-edge research. This year’s theme is “Our Sun, Yours to Discover.”
March 16–28: Spend two weeks measuring the darkness of the sky and the amount of light pollution in your area with the GLOBE at Night campaign.
March 28: You can turn off your lights for one hour (between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. local time) to show your support for the Earth Hour campaign.
Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:00 PM
Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:53 PM
In fact here are some amateur astrophotgraphy images I have taken with my 5" Newtonian Reflector.
Posted 10 March 2009 - 06:08 PM
Great pics Lucid!!!
Ive got a 5 inch newtonian as well,
you should start an album in your profile with your pics like this.. then we could share easily!! lol :D Thanks! :love:
Posted 12 April 2009 - 08:17 PM
Planet Viewing in 2009
The solar system's smallest planet flits back and forth from morning sky to evening sky several times a year. It never strays far from the Sun in our sky, so it's tough to find in the glare. From the northern hemisphere, it is visible in the morning sky this year in February and early March, June, and October. The late-year appearance is the best, because the planet will stand highest above the horizon. In the evening, Mercury is best seen in April and early May, August and early September, and December. The spring appearance is best.
Venus, the dazzling morning or evening star, outshines all the other stars and planets in the night sky. It begins the year in the evening sky, well up in the west as darkness begins to fall. It will disappear from view in late March as it passes between Earth and the Sun. It will return to view as a “morning star” by early April, and remain in the morning sky until December.
Mars climbs into view as a modest orange “star” quite low in the east or southeast at sunrise in late February. As the year progresses, it will pull farther away from the Sun and be visible for more of the night. By late in the year, it will in view for more than half of the night, and will outshine all but two planets and one star. Mars will stage beautiful encounters with Venus in mid-April and again in mid-July.
The largest planet in our solar system is a commanding presence for much of the year. It looks like an intensely bright cream-colored star, shining brighter than anything else in the night sky except the Moon and Venus. It climbs into view in the pre-dawn sky in February. It rises earlier as the months go by, and moves into the evening sky in late spring. Jupiter is at opposition in mid-August, when it appears brightest for the year and remains visible all night. Late in the year it is visible only in the evening sky, dropping lower each night.
Saturn looks like a bright golden star. It spends the first eight months of the year in Leo, the lion, then moves into the neighboring constellation Virgo, the virgin. Saturn is at its best in early March, when it's closest to Earth. It disappears behind the Sun in late August, then returns to view in the morning sky in October.
Although it's the third-largest planet in the solar system, it's so far from the Sun that you need binoculars to see it. It begins the year in the constellation Aquarius, then slides into Pisces in spring. It stages its best appearance in September.
The fourth-largest planet in the solar system is so far away that you need a telescope to find it. Neptune is in the constellation Capricornus, and stages its best appearance in August.
Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:52 PM
- Ras Asad likes this
Posted 23 April 2009 - 03:01 PM