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August 1, 2013 at 5:37 am #142008Kol DrakeModerator
The space ‘events’ for August and September 2013…
August 6 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 21:51 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
August 11, 12 – Perseids Meteor Shower. The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24. It peaks this year on the night of August 11 and the morning of August 12. The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight leaving dark skies for what should be an excellent show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
August 21 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 01:45 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Sturgeon Moon because the large sturgeon fish of the Great Lakes and other major lakes were more easily caught at this time of year. This moon has also been known as the Green Corn Moon and the Grain Moon.
August 27 – Neptune at Opposition. The blue giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. This is the best time to view and photograph Neptune. Due to its extreme distance from Earth, it will only appear as a tiny blue dot in all but the most powerful telescopes.
September 5 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 11:36 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
September 8 – Conjunction of the Moon and Venus. The Moon will pass within about a half of a degree from the the planet Venus in the early evening sky. The thin crescent moon will be at magnitude -10.4 and Venus will be at magnitude -4.5. Look for both objects low in the western sky in the early evening. The pair will be visible in the evening sky for about 2 hours after sunset.
September 8 – Conjunction of the Venus and Saturn. The two planets 3 degrees of each other in the early evening sky. Venus will be at magnitude -4.6 and Saturn will be at magnitude -1.1. Look for both objects low in the western sky in the early evening. The pair will be visible in the evening sky for about 2 hours after sunset.
September 19 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 11:13 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Corn Moon because the corn is harvested around this time of year. This moon is also known as the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the September equinox each year.
September 22 – September Equinox. The September equinox occurs at 20:44 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.August 7, 2013 at 10:32 pm #176135Kol DrakeModerator
From NASA News — August 5, 2013 — Dr. Tony Phillips
Something big is about to happen on the sun. According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun’s vast magnetic field is about to flip.
“It looks like we’re no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal,” says solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. “This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system.”
The sun’s magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years. It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as the sun’s inner magnetic dynamo re-organizes itself. The coming reversal will mark the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24. Half of ‘Solar Max’ will be behind us, with half yet to come.
Hoeksema is the director of Stanford’s Wilcox Solar Observatory, one of the few observatories in the world that monitor the sun’s polar magnetic fields. The poles are a herald of change. Just as Earth scientists watch our planet’s polar regions for signs of climate change, solar physicists do the same thing for the sun. Magnetograms at Wilcox have been tracking the sun’s polar magnetism since 1976, and they have recorded three grand reversals—with a fourth in the offing.
Solar physicist Phil Scherrer, also at Stanford, describes what happens: “The sun’s polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero, and then emerge again with the opposite polarity. This is a regular part of the solar cycle.”
A reversal of the sun’s magnetic field is, literally, a big event. The domain of the sun’s magnetic influence (also known as the “heliosphere”) extends billions of kilometers beyond Pluto. Changes to the field’s polarity ripple all the way out to the Voyager probes, on the doorstep of interstellar space.
When solar physicists talk about solar field reversals, their conversation often centers on the “current sheet.” The current sheet is a sprawling surface jutting outward from the sun’s equator where the sun’s slowly-rotating magnetic field induces an electrical current. The current itself is small, only one ten-billionth of an amp per square meter (0.0000000001 amps/m2), but there’s a lot of it: the amperage flows through a region 10,000 km thick and billions of kilometers wide. Electrically speaking, the entire heliosphere is organized around this enormous sheet.
During field reversals, the current sheet becomes very wavy. Scherrer likens the undulations to the seams on a baseball. As Earth orbits the sun, we dip in and out of the current sheet. Transitions from one side to another can stir up stormy space weather around our planet.
Cosmic rays are also affected. These are high-energy particles accelerated to nearly light speed by supernova explosions and other violent events in the galaxy. Cosmic rays are a danger to astronauts and space probes, and some researchers say they might affect the cloudiness and climate of Earth. The current sheet acts as a barrier to cosmic rays, deflecting them as they attempt to penetrate the inner solar system. A wavy, crinkly sheet acts as a better shield against these energetic particles from deep space.
As the field reversal approaches, data from Wilcox show that the sun’s two hemispheres are out of synch.
“The sun’s north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up,” says Scherrer. “Soon, however, both poles will be reversed, and the second half of Solar Max will be underway.”
When that happens, Hoeksema and Scherrer will share the news with their colleagues and the public.
> > >
So, if you have weird things happening or feeling some odd stuff in a few months… this might be part of the reason why.
And just a reminder…
+August 8, 2013 at 3:33 am #176152JaxKeymaster
yay?September 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm #176723Kol DrakeModerator
Sun., Sept. 22, 4:44 p.m. EDT — Equinox
The sun crosses the celestial equator moving from north to south, heralding the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere.
Wed., Sept. 25, just after sunset — Mercury and Spica
Observers in the southern hemisphere will see Mercury pass close to the bright star Spica about half an hour after sunset. Venus and Saturn ride high above them.
27 September 2013 – Moon at the Apogee.
at 8:17 p.m. the Moon will reach its peak, the farthest point from Earth: 404,309 km from Earth.
03 October 2013 – Uranus in opposition..
The blue-green planet will be closest to Earth and it will be fully illuminated by the Sun. This is the best time to observe and photograph Uranus. Because of its distance, it will appear only as a small blue-green dot.
03 October 2013 – Venus at the Aphelion .
Venus reaches the farthest point from the Sun at 21:00.
05 October 2013 – New Moon.
Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase takes place at 00:34.
09 October 2013 – Mercury
at the highest elongation: 25.3°E at 12:00.
11 October 2013 – Moon at the Perigee
at 1:06 Moon reaches perigee, the closest point to Earth: 369,813 km from Earth.
15 October 2013 – Mars – Regulus:
0.9°N at 05:51.
18 October 2013 – Full Moon.
Earth is between the Sun and the Moon and so the Moon will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 23:38.
18 October 2013 – Penumbral Lunar Eclipse.
The eclipse will be visible all over the world at 1:51 pm, except in Australia and extreme eastern Siberia.
21, 22 October 2013 – Orionid meteor shower.
Orionids are a meteor shower of medium intensity, which produces about 20 meteors per hour. A good view is in any morning from October 20 to 24. The first Quarter Moon will set before midnight, leaving a dark sky. The best cardinal point to see will be to the east after midnight. Orionids originates from Comet Halley.
25 October 2013 – Moon at the Apogee.
at 4:25 p.m. the Moon will reach its peak, the farthest point from Earth: 404,561 km from Earth.
01 November 2013
Venus reaches the highest elongation: 47.1°E at 11:00
03 November 2013 – New Moon.
Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase takes place at 12:50.
06 November 2013 – Moon at the Perigee
at 11:28 Moon reaches perigee, the closest point to Earth: 365,362 km from Earth.
06 November 2013 – Saturn-Sun Conjunction
08 November 2013 – Mercury at Aphelion.
Mercury reaches the farthest point from the Sun at 02:00.
17 November 2013 – Full Moon.
Earth is between the Sun and the Moon and so the Moon will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 15:16.
17, 18 November 2013 – Leonids – meteor shower.
Leonids meteor showers are one of the best for observation. You will see about 40 meteors per hour. Leonids have a cyclic peak year every 33 years when hundreds of meteors can be seen each hour. Last time this phenomenon occurred in 2001. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Leo after midnight and the meteors originates from the tail of the Comet Temple-Tuttle.
18 November 2013 – Mercury
reaches the highest elongation: 19.5°W at 04:00.
22 November 2013 – Moon at the Apogee
at 11:50 Moon reaches apogee, the farthest point from Earth: 405,446 km from Earth.
26 November 2013 – Mercury – Saturn:
0.3° at 07:00.
03 December 2013 – New Moon.
Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase takes place at 00:22.
04 December 2013 – Moon at the Perigee
at 12:15 Moon reaches perigee, the closest point to Earth: 360,065 km from Earth.
13, 14 December 2013 – Geminid meteor shower
considered by many to be the best meteor shower on the the sky. Geminids are known to produce up to 60 multicolored meteors per hour at their peak. Most usually appear on, or around 13 by December and 14, although some meteors should be visible between 06 and 19 December. They radiate from the constellation Gemini and originates from the asteroid 3200 Phaeton. This year, New Moon will guarantee a dark sky, so it would be a wonderful show. The best observation is to the east after midnight in a dark area.
17 December 2013 – Full Moon.
Earth is between the Sun and the Moon and so the Moon will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 09:28.
20 December 2013 – Moon at the Apogee
at 1:49 Moon reaches apogee, the farthest point from Earth: 406,269 km from Earth.
21 December 2013 – The December solstice
occurs at 13:12. South Pole of the Earth will be tilted towards the Sun, and will reach the most northern position in the sky. This makes it the first day of winter (winter solstice), the northern hemisphere, and the first day of summer (summer solstice), in the southern hemisphere.
22 December 2013 – Mercury at Aphelion.
Mercury reaches the farthest point from the Sun at 02:00.
29 December 2013 – Saturn
0.9 ° N of Moon, ocultation at 03:42.December 30, 2013 at 4:07 am #177695Kol DrakeModerator
Just a little ‘heads up’ Lunacy to start 2014 —
There are five “super moon” dates in 2014, with the first coming on January 1. (a new moon — all dark)
That will be another new moon coming on January 30.
This makes January 2014 the only month with two supermoons until January 2018, according to EarthSky. And, 18 or so years since a year started with a ‘super moon’.
So what exactly is a supermoon?
It is when the moon is slightly closer to Earth in its orbit than usual, which is most noticeable when there is a full moon. Because of how close the supermoon is, it can appear “as much as 14% larger in the sky and 30% brighter to our eyes than at minimum size and brightness,” according to EarthSky.
The term supermoon came from astrologer Richard Nolle over 30 years ago, and is only now coming into popular usage, according to EarthSky. Nolle said a supermoon is “a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.”
This usually means an average of four to six supermoons per year.
The other supermoons in 2014 will be on July 12, on August 10, and on September 9. (all full moons.)
The moon will be the closest to the Earth on August 10.December 30, 2013 at 4:46 am #177696JaxKeymaster
NiceJanuary 20, 2014 at 12:29 am #177902Kol DrakeModeratorQuote:For the first time, astronomers were able to see a string of hot gas known as a filament that is thought to be part of the mysterious underlying structure that dictates the layout of all the stars and galaxies in our universe.
Scientists believe that matter in the universe is arranged into a gigantic web-like structure. This is called the cosmic web.
There are signatures of this structure in the remaining radiation from the Big Bang and in the layout of the universe itself. Without some mysterious force pulling visible matter into this web, galaxies would be randomly scattered across the universe. But they aren’t.
There is more and a couple of interesting images… well worth the ‘look see’.April 20, 2014 at 5:56 am #178683Kol DrakeModerator
OMG… GIANT ROCKS PASS WAY CLOSE TO THE EARTH !!!
(( every year :p ))
The Lyrids meteor shower is actually ongoing now, from April 16 thru April 25. Most of the sites I checked say that the peak is supposed to be the night of April 22 thru the morning of April 23, but you might catch a few shooting stars at any time during our pass through the debris left by comet Thatcher. Unfortunately, moon light may be a problem around the time of the expected peak. The Lyrid meteor shower typically produces a maximum rate of 10-20 meteors per hour, although outbursts topping over a hundred per hour have been observed on occasion.
Considered to be the oldest known meteor shower, the Lyrids are named after constellation Lyra. The radiant point of the shower – the point in the sky where the meteors seem to emerge from – lies near the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky during this time of the year.
As noted above, the Lyrids are associated with comet Thatcher, which takes about 415 years to orbit around the Sun.
If only the weather would cooperate in my area.May 1, 2014 at 2:58 am #178753Kol DrakeModerator
May 1: Comet PANSTARRS
The comet (C/2012 K1) has now brightened to 9th magnitude and should show up nicely through a 4-inch or larger telescope under a dark sky. This cosmic visitor spends late April and early May near the border between Ursa Major and Canes Venatici. Pay particular attention this evening as the comet passes 2° north of the beautiful Whirlpool Galaxy (M51).
– and MAY DAY
May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night. May Day falls half a year from November 1 – another cross-quarter day which is also associated with various northern European paganisms and the year in the Northern Hemisphere – and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations.
Also a long history by the International Workers — many who were shot and killed while demonstrating for an 8 hour work day way back when.
May 2: Space Day
Space Day is an educational event held on the first Friday in May. It’s goal is “to promote math, science, technology and engineering education by nurturing young peoples’ enthusiasm for the wonders of the universe and inspiring them to continue the stellar work of today’s space explorers” (according to spaceday.org). Space Day was created by Lockheed Martin Corporation in 1997.
The Moon passed between the Sun and Earth just three days ago, and it now appears as a beautiful crescent hanging in the western evening sky. Its 15-percent-lit disk lies in the midst of what people normally consider to be the winter constellations — above the main figures of Orion the Hunter and Taurus the Bull and below Gemini the Twins. Also notice the ashen light faintly illuminating the Moon’s dark side. This is “earthshine,” sunlight reflected by Earth that reaches the Moon and then reflects back to our eyes.
May 3: Free Comic Book Day
Okay, so it’s not a celestial event but, it does happen every year, the first Saturday in May. Comics are not ‘just for kids’ and some writers / illustrators make award winning stuff. (( not to mention how so many have been made into movies in the last 2 decades! ))
Asteroids 1 Ceres and 4 Vesta continue to track next to each other across the starry backdrop of north-central Virgo. Vesta shines at magnitude 6.0 and Vesta at magnitude 7.2, so both show up easily through binoculars and telescopes. Ceres lies 2.5° east of its sibling and just over 4° north of the 3rd-magnitude star Zeta (ζ) Virginis.
May 4: Star Wars Day
Considered a holiday by Star Wars fans to celebrate the franchise’s films series, books and culture. The date was chosen as “May the 4th” due to its sounding similar to the series’ phrase “May the Force be with you” in which fans commonly say “May the fourth be with you”. The reference was first used on May 4, 1979 when Margaret Thatcher’s political party placed an advertisement in The London Evening News following her taking office as Prime Minister that stated “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.” Since 2013, Disney Parks have celebrated the holiday with several Star Wars events and festivities. So, go forth and enjoy the day.
The waxing crescent Moon points the way to Jupiter this evening. As seen from North America, our satellite lies some 8° to the planet’s left and both appear nearly halfway to the zenith in the western sky as darkness falls. Jupiter continues to be the brightest point of light in the evening sky. The brilliant world shines at magnitude –2.0, more than 50 percent brighter than the brightest star, Sirius. When viewed through a telescope, the giant world spans 35″ and shows lots of detail in its dynamic atmosphere.
May 5: Cinco de Mayo
The holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla).
It originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War, and today the date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.
May 11: Mother’s Day (USA)
You Mothers know who you are. 😆
May 17: Armed Forces Day (USA)
President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.
May 24: A Possible Outburst of Bright Meteors
Perhaps the most dramatic sky event in 2014 could come at the start of Memorial Day weekend. In the predawn hours of Saturday, May 24, our planet is expected to sweep through a great number of dusty trails left behind in space by a small comet (known as P/209 LINEAR).
May 26: Memorial Day (USA)
A US federal holiday which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May.
Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Enjoy the month!
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