Solar Eclipse of August 21


   I too have written some information about the solar eclipse, aka “The Great American Eclipse”, of August 21st. It is my attempt to compare two different views of the eclipse. One will be from within the path of totality where I will be, and the other in my hometown of Lee’s Summit Missouri just south of the path of totality by a few miles. As a result residents in Lee’s Summit, unless they drive north, will only see a partial eclipse with 99.986% of the Sun covered.
   So without further ado click here to go to Eclipsed Thoughts.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Jupiter Has 2 More

   Outer planet Jupiter has probably more moons than have been counted so far. The greater majority of these satellites of Jupiter orbit in retrograde relative to the rotation direction of the planet. Satellites of any planet that orbit their ‘parent’ planet in retrograde are called irregular satellites to distinguish them from satellites that formed with the planet, and consequently would orbit in the same direction as the planet’s rotation.
   Two recently discovered satellites, bringing the known or at least suspected number to 69, are described via their respective URL with a very official looking but somewhat confusing at first glance bulletin. The links are to the MPEC (Minor Planet Electronic Circular) at the Minor Planet Center.
   Both of these satellites were discovered or co-discovered by Astronomers Scott Sheppard, David Tholen, and Chadwick Trujillo. Given the small size and challenges in imaging these satellites it is amazing that they were discovered. Read more about the discoveries at Sky & Telescope‘s web site.

    MPEC 2017-L47 : S/2017 J 1 click here
    MPEC 2017-L08 : S/2016 J 1 click here

       Take a tour around Jupiter and its many satellites. The sizes of the Galilean satellites, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto have been made larger than they would actually be given the size Jupiter used in the video.

       
       
       

    Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Moon / Saturn Conjunction and Jupiter Pauses Briefly

   Friday June 9th one of the outer planets, Jupiter, becomes stationary in its retrograde westward orbital motion around the Sun. It will now begin moving in direct motion, its orbital direction around the Sun toward the east – as we view it from the Earth. Jupiter’s retrograde motion is something that occurs to varying amounts as the Earth passes by each outer planet.
   This animated graphic is set to show the motion of Jupiter from early May through the end of June. At the start the graphic shows where Jupiter is relative to the star Spica, and then it zooms in to make the retrograde loop for Jupiter easier to see.
   The Earth passing by an outer planet is a result of the Earth having a faster orbital speed, and as the angles between Earth and an outer planet change there is the appearance of the outer planet slowing down and stopping its regular eastward motion. Then for a time ranging from a week or so to several months the outer planet appears to be moving backward or toward the west. After a time the planet resumes its eastward motion.

   On Friday the 9th the just past full Moon, a 15-day old waning gibbous Moon, will be rising about an hour after local time for sunset. Between 2-3o to the right, or west, from the Moon is the planet Saturn as this graphic shows.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Jupiter/Moon Conjunction

   Saturday evening June 3rd the 9.3-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be within 1-2o from the giant planet Jupiter. Both will very comfortably fit within the field of view of binoculars. Both rise in the east (except on Venus) at about 3 pm CDT and will be over the southern horizon a couple of hours before midnight local time.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Moon & Jupiter Had A Conjunction


   Last evening, May 7th, the waxing gibbous Moon rose near the planet Jupiter as this picture shows.
   Camera settings: Canon EOS Rebel T3i; 250mm; f16; 1/60 sec; ISO 400

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Moon – Spica Conjunction


   Monday evening May 8th watch for the 12.5-day old waxing gibbous Moon to be about 8o from the blue-white star Spica in the constellation Virgo the Harvest Maiden. Both will just barely fit within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.
   

   
   
   
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Moon – Jupiter Conjunction


   Sunday evening May 7th watch for the 11.5-day old waxing gibbous Moon to be about 2o from the planet Jupiter.
    If you are still watching the Moon will be near the star Spica on Monday evening.

   
   
   
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.