Jupiter at Eastern Quadrature

1apr-jupiter-east-quad   On Thursday July 6th the position of the planet Jupiter with respect to the Earth and the Sun places the solar system’s largest planet at an orbital position called eastern quadrature. Jupiter is at a 90 degree angle from the Earth as this graphic shows. Think first quarter Moon as that is a fair comparison of the relative positions. At this position Jupiter follows the Sun across the sky from east to west as the Earth is rotating, meaning that Jupiter rises after the Sun and consequently sets after the Sun.

   Where is Jupiter now? This graphic shows the sky at 10 pm CDT to include Jupiter high above the southwestern horizon and east from Leo the Lion and its bright star Regulus. Saturn is further east within a few degrees from the waxing gibbous Moon.

   This is a short 6-7 minute video I made as part of a live musical performance called “Orbit” that was performed at the Gottleib Planetarium in Kansas City Missouri in May 2011. This is a piece from the much longer tour of the solar system performance and video and shows Jupiter, Saturn and some of their moons as viewed from the Cassini spacecraft.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Uranus at East Quadrature

   Tuesday January 10th the position of the planet Uranus with respect to the Earth and the Sun places this ringed planet at what is called eastern quadrature. Uranus is at a 90 degree angle from the Earth as the banner graphic at the top of this page shows. Think first quarter Moon as that is a fair comparison of the relative positions. At this position Uranus follows the Sun across the sky from east to west as the Earth is rotating, meaning that Uranus rises after the Sun and sets after the Sun.

   Can’t find Uranus? The 7th planet from the Sun is currently within the constellation of Pisces the Fishes. Finding Uranus is somewhat of a challenge given that it has an average apparent magnitude of 6, putting it at the naked-eye limit of visibility. However the planet is visible with binoculars as a faint pale-bluish star and its location may be found by using the corners of the Square of Pegasus as ‘pointer stars’. With some planning and a good finder chart like those from the Sky Live web site an observer could make an observation perhaps once a week and follow the motion of the Uranus amongst some of the stars of Pisces.

   This is a short piece from a video I made as part of a live musical performance called “Orbit” that I was part of in May 2011. This is a piece from the much longer tour of the solar system performance and video and shows Uranus and some of its moons as viewed from the Voyager 2 spacecraft.

   
   
   

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.

Neptune at Eastern Quadrature

1dec-neptune-east-quadrature   Thursday December 1st the position of the planet Neptune with respect to the Earth and the Sun places this ringed planet at what is called Eastern Quadrature. Neptune is at a 90 degree angle from the Earth – think first quarter Moon as that is a fair comparison of the relative positions. At this position Neptune follows the Sun across the sky from east to west as the Earth is rotating, meaning that Neptune rises after the Sun and sets after the Sun.

   Where is Neptune now? The 8th planet from the Sun is currently within the constellation of Aquarius the Water Bearer and has recently completed its retrograde motion (November 20th).
   Along with Neptune the 2.5-day young waxing crescent Moon and several other planets are above the horizon at sunset and later.   And it is at time like this I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how the ecliptic may be visualized as a line that more less connects the planets as this animated graphic shows.

   
   
   
   This is a 1 minute clip from a video I made showing Neptune and some of its moons as viewed from the Voyager 2 spacecraft. This clip is from a longer video of a tour of the solar system and was part of a live musical performance called “Orbit”. The performances were done in May 2011 at the Gottleib Planetarium in Science City at Union Station in Kansas City MO.

   

   
   
   

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.

Saturn at East Quadrature – 2016

   Friday September 2nd the position of the planet Saturn with respect to the Earth and the Sun places this ringed planet at what is called eastern quadrature. Saturn is at a 90 degree angle from us as this graphic shows. Think first quarter Moon as that is a fair comparison of the relative positions. At this position Saturn follows the Sun across the sky from east to west as the Earth is rotating, meaning that Saturn rises after the Sun and sets after the Sun.

   Where is Saturn now? Saturn is west (to the right) from the planet Mars and is above the reddish star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion.
   Learn a little (or a lot) more about Saturn by visiting the Cassini at Saturn mission web site.
   
   
Click here to go to the Cassini Mission web site.
Click here to go to the Cassini Mission Flyby web page to see when the next Saturn satellite flyby will be.

   This is a short 5 minute video I made as part of a live musical performance called “Orbit” that I was part of in May 2011. This is a piece from the much longer tour of the solar system performance and video and shows Saturn and some of its moons as viewed from the Cassini spacecraft that month.

   
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or <a href

Neptune at West Quadrature

orbital-positions   On Thursday June 2nd the position of the planet Neptune with respect to the Earth and the Sun places this ringed planet at what is called western quadrature. At that orbital position Neptune, and actually any outer planet, is at a 90 degree angle from us as this graphic shows. Think third quarter Moon as that is a fair comparison of the relative positions. At this position Neptune leads the Sun across the sky from east to west as the Earth is rotating, meaning that Neptune rises before the Sun and also sets before the Sun.

   Neptune currently is within the boundaries of the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer. At around 7th magnitude Neptune is too dim to see with the naked-eye but easily seen with a telescope or binoculars. In 7×50 binoculars Neptune may be visible below the 4th magnitude Lambda Aquarii, and just below the point of a small triangle arrangement of 6th magnitude stars.

   This is a short video clip from a much longer video that I made as part of a live musical performance called “Orbit” at the Gottleib Planetarium in Kansas City Missouri during May 2011.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.