Saturday, November 17, 2018

Weekly Outlook for Week of 11-17-18

This week on the 23rd, the Moon will be full. Although this will make some deep sky objects such as
galaxies and nebulae harder to see, objects such as open clusters (and the Moon!) will still be readily
available. In fact, each night the Pleiades and Hyades star cluster become more prominent. Because
both clusters are large and bright, they are typically better seen with binoculars than a telescope.
Here are your planet rise/set times thanks to the US Navy!


Mercury:
2018 Nov 18 (Sun)        08:18 123 12:46 24S        17:15 237
2018 Nov 19 (Mon)        08:12 122 12:41 24S        17:10 238
2018 Nov 20 (Tue)        08:04 122 12:35 25S        17:06 238
2018 Nov 21 (Wed)        07:56 121 12:28 25S        17:00 239
2018 Nov 22 (Thu)        07:47 121 12:20 25S        16:55 240
2018 Nov 23 (Fri)        07:37 120 12:12 26S        16:49 240
2018 Nov 24 (Sat)        07:26 119 12:03 26S        16:42 241


Venus:
2018 Nov 18 (Sun)        04:09 104 09:33 38S        14:57 256
2018 Nov 19 (Mon)        04:05 104 09:30 38S        14:54 256
2018 Nov 20 (Tue)        04:02 103 09:27 38S        14:52 257
2018 Nov 21 (Wed)        03:58 103 09:24 38S        14:49 257
2018 Nov 22 (Thu)        03:55 103 09:21 38S        14:47 257
2018 Nov 23 (Fri)        03:52 103 09:18 38S        14:44 257
2018 Nov 24 (Sat)        03:49 103 09:16 38S        14:42 257   


Mars:
2018 Nov 18 (Sun)        12:59 106 18:17 36S        23:35 254
2018 Nov 19 (Mon)        12:56 106 18:15 36S        23:34 254
2018 Nov 20 (Tue)        12:54 105 18:13 36S        23:34 255
2018 Nov 21 (Wed)        12:51 105 18:12 37S        23:33 255
2018 Nov 22 (Thu)        12:49 105 18:10 37S        23:32 255
2018 Nov 23 (Fri)        12:46 104 18:09 37S        23:32 256
2018 Nov 24 (Sat)        12:43 104 18:07 37S        23:31 256   
Jupiter:
2018 Nov 18 (Sun)        07:14 117 12:01 28S        16:48 243
2018 Nov 19 (Mon)        07:11 117 11:58 28S        16:45 243
2018 Nov 20 (Tue)        07:08 117 11:55 28S        16:42 243
2018 Nov 21 (Wed)        07:06 117 11:52 28S        16:38 243
2018 Nov 22 (Thu)        07:03 117 11:49 28S        16:35 243
2018 Nov 23 (Fri)        07:00 117 11:46 28S        16:32 243
2018 Nov 24 (Sat)        06:57 117 11:43 28S        16:29 243


Saturn:
2018 Nov 18 (Sun)        09:53 121 14:28 25S        19:03 239
2018 Nov 19 (Mon)        09:50 121 14:24 25S        18:59 239
2018 Nov 20 (Tue)        09:46 121 14:21 25S        18:56 239
2018 Nov 21 (Wed)        09:43 121 14:17 25S        18:52 239
2018 Nov 22 (Thu)        09:39 121 14:14 25S        18:49 239
2018 Nov 23 (Fri)        09:36 121 14:10 25S        18:45 239
2018 Nov 24 (Sat)        09:32 121 14:07 25S        18:42 239


Uranus:
2018 Nov 18 (Sun)        15:08 75 21:49 59S        04:34 285
2018 Nov 19 (Mon)        15:04 75 21:45 59S        04:30 285
2018 Nov 20 (Tue)        15:00 75 21:41 59S        04:26 285
2018 Nov 21 (Wed)        14:56 75 21:37 59S        04:22 285
2018 Nov 22 (Thu)        14:51 75 21:33 59S        04:18 285
2018 Nov 23 (Fri)        14:47 75 21:29 59S        04:14 285
2018 Nov 24 (Sat)        14:43 75 21:25 59S        04:10 285


Neptune:
2018 Nov 18 (Sun)        13:24 99 19:00 41S        00:40 261
2018 Nov 19 (Mon)        13:20 99 18:56 41S        00:36 261
2018 Nov 20 (Tue)        13:17 99 18:52 41S        00:32 261
2018 Nov 21 (Wed)        13:13 99 18:48 41S        00:28 261
2018 Nov 22 (Thu)        13:09 99 18:44 41S        00:24 261
2018 Nov 23 (Fri)        13:05 99 18:40 41S        00:20 261
2018 Nov 24 (Sat)        13:01 99 18:37 41S        00:16 261


1-M45_Robert_Terry_LRGB
Image Credit: Robert Fields and Terry Hancock The Pleiades (M45): The Pleiades (pronounced play-dees) star cluster is perhaps one of the brightest and most noticeable star clusters. Even under a full moon, this impressive cluster still appears as a rather bright smudge with the naked eye. When the moon isn’t there you can see the seven sisters in their full glory, illuminated from the back by a bright smudge. The Pleiades formed together in the same cloud of molecular hydrogen. As the hydrogen collapsed, stars were ignited and fusion began. As more stars formed, more hydrogen was used. Today, only a small amount of gas and dust remains. The stars travel through space together but are not gravitationally bound, which means that they are slowly drifting apart. Because of this, the cluster will slowly break apart. WIth a telescope at low power or binoculars you will find that this cluster is composed of hundreds of stars. Due to the size of this cluster it is recommended to have a wide field of view, making binoculars the most ideal choice for viewing the Pleiades. To locate the sisters trace a straight line right from Orion’s Belt, through Taurus the bull until you see a fuzzy patch on the sky.

     

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Weekly Outlook for Week of 11-4-18

This week on the morning of the 6th, the Taurids meteor shower will peak. Under dark skies, 5-10
meteors per hour can be seen radiating from the constellation Taurus. Then on the 6th, Mercury will
reach its greatest Eastern elongation from the Sun, meaning that from our perspective, Mercury will
be at its farthest East from the Sun. This will make easier to view during the evening. And finally, on
the 7th, it will be the New Moon. With the Moon’s glare out of the way, viewing deep sky objects will
be unhampered by the Moon’s glow. Here are your planet rise/set times thanks to the US Navy!


Mercury:
2018 Nov 04 (Sun)        08:36 122 13:07 24S        17:37 238
2018 Nov 05 (Mon)        08:38 123 13:07 24S        17:36 237
2018 Nov 06 (Tue)        08:39 123 13:08 24S        17:36 237
2018 Nov 07 (Wed)        08:40 123 13:08 24S        17:35 237
2018 Nov 08 (Thu)        08:41 123 13:08 24S        17:35 237
2018 Nov 09 (Fri)        08:41 123 13:08 23S        17:34 236
2018 Nov 10 (Sat)        08:41 124 13:07 23S        17:33 236


Venus:
2018 Nov 04 (Sun)        05:26 110 10:33 33S        15:41 251
2018 Nov 05 (Mon)        05:19 109 10:28 34S        15:37 251
2018 Nov 06 (Tue)        05:12 108 10:23 34S        15:34 252
2018 Nov 07 (Wed)        05:06 108 10:18 35S        15:30 252
2018 Nov 08 (Thu)        05:00 107 10:13 35S        15:27 253
2018 Nov 09 (Fri)        04:54 107 10:08 35S        15:23 253
2018 Nov 10 (Sat)        04:48 107 10:04 36S        15:20 254      


Mars:
2018 Nov 04 (Sun)        13:36 111 18:40 32S        23:45 249
2018 Nov 05 (Mon)        13:33 111 18:38 33S        23:44 250
2018 Nov 06 (Tue)        13:30 110 18:37 33S        23:43 250
2018 Nov 07 (Wed)        13:28 110 18:35 33S        23:43 250
2018 Nov 08 (Thu)        13:25 110 18:33 33S        23:42 251
2018 Nov 09 (Fri)        13:22 109 18:32 34S        23:41 251
2018 Nov 10 (Sat)        13:20 109 18:30 34S        23:40 251       


Jupiter:
2018 Nov 04 (Sun)        07:54 116 12:43 29S        17:33 244
2018 Nov 05 (Mon)        07:51 116 12:40 29S        17:30 244
2018 Nov 06 (Tue)        07:48 116 12:37 29S        17:27 244
2018 Nov 07 (Wed)        07:45 116 12:34 29S        17:23 244
2018 Nov 08 (Thu)        07:42 116 12:31 29S        17:20 244
2018 Nov 09 (Fri)        07:40 116 12:28 29S        17:17 244
2018 Nov 10 (Sat)        07:37 116 12:25 29S        17:14 244                 


Saturn:
2018 Nov 04 (Sun)        10:43 121 15:17 25S        19:52 239
2018 Nov 05 (Mon)        10:39 121 15:14 25S        19:48 239
2018 Nov 06 (Tue)        10:36 121 15:10 25S        19:45 239
2018 Nov 07 (Wed)        10:32 121 15:07 25S        19:41 239
2018 Nov 08 (Thu)        10:28 121 15:03 25S        19:38 239
2018 Nov 09 (Fri)        10:25 121 15:00 25S        19:34 239
2018 Nov 10 (Sat)        10:21 121 14:56 25S        19:31 239


Uranus:
2018 Nov 04 (Sun)        16:04 75 22:46 59S        05:32 285
2018 Nov 05 (Mon)        16:00 75 22:42 59S        05:28 285
2018 Nov 06 (Tue)        15:56 75 22:38 59S        05:24 285
2018 Nov 07 (Wed)        15:52 75 22:34 59S        05:20 285
2018 Nov 08 (Thu)        15:48 75 22:30 59S        05:16 285
2018 Nov 09 (Fri)        15:44 75 22:26 59S        05:11 285
2018 Nov 10 (Sat)        15:40 75 22:21 59S        05:07 285  


Neptune:
2018 Nov 04 (Sun)        14:20 99 19:56 41S        01:35 261
2018 Nov 05 (Mon)        14:16 99 19:52 41S        01:31 261
2018 Nov 06 (Tue)        14:12 99 19:48 41S        01:27 261
2018 Nov 07 (Wed)        14:08 99 19:44 41S        01:23 261
2018 Nov 08 (Thu)        14:04 99 19:40 41S        01:19 261
2018 Nov 09 (Fri)        14:00 99 19:36 41S        01:15 261
2018 Nov 10 (Sat)        13:56 99 19:32 41S        01:12 261           


Mercury Elongations: As Mercury is much closer to the sun than Earth, it has a much faster orbit too.
As Mercury swings through its orbit, it reaches points where it appears to be at a greater distance
from the sun than other times (1 and 3.) This creates an Eastern or Western elongation.
Since Mercury is so close to the Sun, it typically gets lost in its glare. Because of this, elongations
provide us with our best chance of catching Mercury during the dawn or evening.  Another effect of
Mercury’s innermost orbit is sometimes it appears to pass in front of the Sun, resulting in a rare
eclipse (2.) In short, Mercury's orbit makes it appear as if it is swinging back and forth while it is
actually moving in an elliptical orbit around the Sun.
Image Credit: Calvin J. Hamilton



Saturday, October 27, 2018

Weekly Outlook for Week of 10-28-18

This week, the Moon will begin to wane and rise later every night. As the week progresses, this will
give objects such as M31, M33, and the Perseus double cluster their chance to shine. In fact, the
Winter constellations such as Andromeda are becoming more prominent every night while the
Summer triangle is becoming low in the Western sky. Even Auriga, with its many open clusters, is
prominent in the sky by midnight. Here are your planet rise/set times thanks to the US Navy!


Mercury:
2018 Oct 28 (Sun)        09:19 119 13:59 26S        18:38 241
2018 Oct 29 (Mon)        09:22 120 14:00 26S        18:38 240
2018 Oct 30 (Tue)        09:25 120 14:01 26S        18:38 240
2018 Oct 31 (Wed)        09:27 121 14:03 25S        18:38 239
2018 Nov 01 (Thu)        09:30 121 14:04 25S        18:37 239
2018 Nov 02 (Fri)        09:32 122 14:05 25S        18:37 238
2018 Nov 03 (Sat)        09:34 122 14:06 25S        18:37 238    


Venus:
2018 Oct 28 (Sun)        07:17 113 12:13 31S        17:09 247
2018 Oct 29 (Mon)        07:09 113 12:07 31S        17:05 247
2018 Oct 30 (Tue)        07:02 112 12:01 31S        17:01 248
2018 Oct 31 (Wed)        06:55 112 11:55 32S        16:57 248
2018 Nov 01 (Thu)        06:47 111 11:50 32S        16:53 249
2018 Nov 02 (Fri)        06:40 111 11:44 33S        16:49 250
2018 Nov 03 (Sat)        06:33 110 11:38 33S        16:45 250


Mars:
2018 Oct 28 (Sun)        14:54 113 19:52 31S        00:52 247
2018 Oct 29 (Mon)        14:52 113 19:51 31S        00:51 247
2018 Oct 30 (Tue)        14:49 112 19:49 31S        00:50 247
2018 Oct 31 (Wed)        14:46 112 19:47 32S        00:49 248
2018 Nov 01 (Thu)        14:44 112 19:45 32S        00:48 248
2018 Nov 02 (Fri)        14:41 111 19:44 32S        00:47 248
2018 Nov 03 (Sat)        14:38 111 19:42 32S        00:46 249


Jupiter:
2018 Oct 28 (Sun)        09:14 115 14:05 29S        18:56 245
2018 Oct 29 (Mon)        09:11 115 14:02 29S        18:53 245
2018 Oct 30 (Tue)        09:08 115 13:59 29S        18:49 245
2018 Oct 31 (Wed)        09:05 115 13:56 29S        18:46 244
2018 Nov 01 (Thu)        09:02 116 13:53 29S        18:43 244
2018 Nov 02 (Fri)        08:59 116 13:49 29S        18:40 244
2018 Nov 03 (Sat)        08:57 116 13:46 29S        18:36 244


Saturn:
2018 Oct 28 (Sun)        12:08 121 16:42 25S        21:17 239
2018 Oct 29 (Mon)        12:04 121 16:39 25S        21:13 239
2018 Oct 30 (Tue)        12:01 121 16:35 25S        21:10 239
2018 Oct 31 (Wed)        11:57 121 16:32 25S        21:06 239
2018 Nov 01 (Thu)        11:53 121 16:28 25S        21:03 239
2018 Nov 02 (Fri)        11:50 121 16:24 25S        20:59 239
2018 Nov 03 (Sat)        11:46 121 16:21 25S        20:55 239


Uranus:
2018 Oct 28 (Sun)        17:32 75 00:19 59S        07:01 285
2018 Oct 29 (Mon)        17:28 75 00:15 59S        06:57 285
2018 Oct 30 (Tue)        17:24 75 00:10 59S        06:53 285
2018 Oct 31 (Wed)        17:20 75 00:06 59S        06:49 285
2018 Nov 01 (Thu)        17:16 75 00:02 59S        06:44 285
2018 Nov 02 (Fri)        17:12 75 23:54 59S        06:40 285
2018 Nov 03 (Sat)        17:08 75 23:50 59S        06:36 285


Neptune:
2018 Oct 28 (Sun)        15:47 99 21:23 41S        03:03 261
2018 Oct 29 (Mon)        15:43 99 21:19 41S        02:59 261
2018 Oct 30 (Tue)        15:40 99 21:15 41S        02:55 261
2018 Oct 31 (Wed)        15:36 99 21:11 41S        02:51 261
2018 Nov 01 (Thu)        15:32 99 21:07 41S        02:47 261
2018 Nov 02 (Fri)        15:28 99 21:04 41S        02:43 261
2018 Nov 03 (Sat)        15:24 99 21:00 41S        02:39 261    

NGC 7662 in X-ray and Visible Light. Image Credit: NASA
NGC 7662, Snowball Nebula: Located in the constellation of Andromeda, NGC 7662 is a bright
planetary nebula between .35 and .70 light years in diameter. This uncertainty in size is due to the
fact that its distance is also relatively unknown, with estimates ranging 2000 light years. (1800-4000
light years) Like other planetary nebulae, the snowball is the result of a sun like star near the end of
its lifetime shedding away its skin of outer gasses. Though the nebula is bright, it is very small, and
requires a telescope to distinguish it from a star. However, a medium sized telescope will reveal some
of its structural detail. NGC 7662 is best seen in mid to late Fall and early Winter when Andromeda is
high in the sky. In addition to this, the crisp Autumn air is great for seeing conditions, especially for
such a small object.