ISS This Morning

   This morning the International Space Station, ISS, made a short but sweet appearance when it popped into view just west from the ‘Little Dog’ star Procyon. It’s 3-minute path carried past Procyon and then down toward the southeastern horizon passing the star Alphard in the constellation Hydra the Snake. The last quarter Moon was near the star Regulus in Leo the Lion, and as an added there was an Iridium Satellite rising up from the southern horizon.
   This is a composite of 39 pictures stacked together. Camera was set to ISO 1600; F5.6; 3.2 seconds; 18mm.

   
   
   

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 At Our Feet!

   On a regular basis the Moon, at some point in its cycle of phases, passes above Orion’s head on its way to a traverse of the Gemini constellation. Often the Moon’s orbit takes it past the feet of the Gemini twins and sometimes near the open star cluster, M-35. This is a group of several hundred stars with an apparent magnitude between 5 and 6 that is fairly easily seen as a fuzzy patch of light – like an out-of-focus star.
   However with the light from the nearby first quarter Moon brightening this part of the sky seeing M-35 will be very difficult.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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 Passes Uranus


   In the hour or so before sunrise look southeast for the 22-day old 3rd quarter Moon to be within about 3o from Uranus. Both will fit within the field of view of binoculars however the big difference in apparent magnitudes (Moon: -12.0; Uranus: 6.0) and the closeness of the two will make seeing Uranus nearly impossible.

Mars at West Quadrature

orbital-positions   Sunday February 7th the position of the planet Mars, with respect to the Earth and the Sun, places this planet at what is called western quadrature. At that orbital position Mars, and actually any outer planet at their respective quadrature, is at a 90 degree angle from the Earth as this graphic shows, and the banner graphic at the top of the page shows. Think last quarter Moon as that is a fair comparison of the relative positions of Earth, Sun, and Mars. At this position Mars leads the Sun across the sky from east to west as the Earth is rotating, meaning that Mars rises before the Sun.
   Sunday morning finds Mars and the other visible planets spread across the morning skies from east to west.
   This is a short video clip about Mars 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.

   
   
   

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Uranus at West Quadrature – 2015

orbital-positions   Monday July 13th the position of the planet Uranus, with respect to the Earth and the Sun, places this ringed planet at what is called western quadrature. At that orbital position Uranus, and actually any outer planet, is at a 90 degree angle from the Earth as this graphic shows, and the banner graphic at the top of the page shows. Think third quarter Moon as that is a fair comparison of the relative positions of Earth, Sun, and Uranus.

    At western quadrature Uranus leads the Sun across the sky from east to west as the Earth is rotating, meaning that Uranus rises before the Sun and also sets before the Sun.

   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.

   
   
   
   

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Saturn at West Quadrature

saturn-west-quadrature   Monday February 23rd, the position of the planet Saturn with respect to the Earth and the Sun places this ringed planet at what is called western quadrature. Saturn 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 Saturn leads the Sun across the sky from east to west as the Earth is rotating, meaning that Saturn rises before the Sun and also sets before the Sun.
   Saturn currently is within the constellation of Scorpius the Scorpion as this graphic shows. From the northern hemisphere, looking toward the southern horizon, you can find Saturn above the reddish star Antares. Saturn shines with an apparent magnitude of around 0.5 compared with the 1st magnitude Antares.

Learn a little (or a lot) 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.

   
   
   
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Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.