Saturday, June 22, 2013

Big Moon, Last Week in June

The largest full Moon of 2013 rises around sunset Saturday and shines all night. Tomorrow night it's almost as full and almost as large (for the longitudes of the Americas, since the Moon is exactly full at 7:32 a.m. Sunday morning EDT.) On both nights, though, this "supermoon" is only a trace larger than an average Moon: 7% wider.

The Moon will be big and bright Sunday night! Perigee (Close) sends the large super moon to brighten our night sky! Take a look, if the clouds stay away. And use a moon filter! By the end of this week we should have darker skies to view the stars without the moon. There is an interesting binocular field around Antares. Find the dim glow of the globular cluster M4. Also Rho Ophiuchi, the fine binocular triple star in the same field! It's the top star of a loop of five including Antares. The forecast calls for Clear skies Thursday? Lets hope we can put the scope on the keystone and M13 again. After that, go to the double star Albireo in the swan and then perhaps M5, floating nearby. Scan the Tea pot for lots more clusters and nebula! Saturn is still hovering near Virgo as it moves towards the west.

Into the Night, Dark and Deep
Miles to go before I sleep……Clear Skies!

News from the Net:
Is Pluto on the Horizon?
Dust in the wind
Curious Mars Panorama
Milky Way View

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Midsummer Night….Summer Solstice

It is that time year for the Summer Solstice. It occurs early next Friday Morning. In our Texas Summer night skies we will have many targets in the Tea Pot (Sagittarius) and Scorpius. These two constellations alone should keep me busy for a while this summer. The Planet Mercury is drawing closer to Venus as it fades in the twilight. They're 3.3° apart now and will be 2° from each other at their closest on the 19th.

Sunday is the First-quarter Moon (exact at 1:24 p.m. EDT). The Moon shines under the dim head of Virgo.

Tuesday, The Moon now shines just below the line between Spica and Saturn.

Thursday, Look lower left of the Moon at dusk, by almost two fists at arm's lengths, for orange-red Antares. Between them is the three-star row of the Head of Scorpius, nearly vertical.

This is Midsummer's Night, the shortest night of the year. The summer solstice is at 12:04 a.m. on the 21st CDT......... stay up and hug a tree…….

Next Saturday, The largest full Moon of 2014 rises around sunset and shines all night. On Sunday night it'll be almost as full and almost as large for the longitudes of the Americas. (The Moon is exactly full at 7:32 a.m. Sunday morning EDT.) In both cases, however, the "supermoon" is only a trace larger than an average Moon: 7% larger in diameter.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June, Summer Stars

The first named TS, Andrea came out of the gulf this past week. She went up and across Florida. Lots of rain and power outages as she moved up the coast.

..........We continue to have cloudy nights in the forecast……..

If it is clear where you are after dark you should look southeast for the orange-red star Antares. It's one of the two great red super-giants of the naked-eye sky; the other is Betelgeuse in winter. Look around and to the upper right of Antares these are otherwhite stars of upper Scorpius.

Our New Moon was Saturday, June 8 in the early sky (exact at 3:14 a.m. EDT). It is the dark of the moon and we still do not have a clear sky forecast!!!!

The Planet Saturn (magnitude +0.4, in Libra) glows in the south during evening, with Spica 12° to its right. Look almost as far to Saturn's left or lower left for the star Alpha Librae

Next Saturday, the TPML plans to have a Moon Event. We will be one day shy of first quarter. Maybe the clouds with give us a break The Dome is gone, taken down for repair, but the pad is still there for use.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Song of June

Cloudy nights and humid days continue. No break in the weather system hanging over our sky!
It is the first week of June and the bright star Vega is coming up in the east. The Constellation Lyra, the harp, holds the “Ring Nebula” within it’s reach. These upper level lows are still causing lots of clouds for my night sky. Maybe there will be a chance to center the Hercules Cluster, Saturn and other deep sky objects in the eyepiece?

Next Saturday is the New Moon (exact at 3:14 a.m. on this date EDT). Perhaps we can catch a break in the clouds and get a clear dark night!