Posts Tagged ‘JJ Stamm’

Many Astronomical Events Coming Up!

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

September is a busy month: besides Jupiter and Uranus reaching opposition at the same time, Mercury will reach its greatest western elongation, and the Autumnal Equinox and harvest moon will occur.

Mercury will reach its greatest western elongation on September 19. It will rise over an hour before sunrise and should be a great telescope target in the eastern sky into late September. It will appear at its highest and brightest point on the 19th.

The Autumnal Equinox occurs September 22 and the harvest moon follows September 23. The harvest moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox, called that because its rising time nearly overlaps the setting sun so farmers could continue the harvest into the night hours due to the moon’s light. Since the Autumnal Equinox, when the sun rises due east and sets due west (everywhere except at the poles), is on September 22, the full moon the following night (September 23) is the harvest moon.

Please Note: The above article is made possible by the research and writing of JJ Stamm - Thank you JJ

Double Opposition of Jupiter and Uranus, September 21, 2010

Friday, September 10th, 2010

On September 21, Jupiter and Uranus will both reach opposition, when they are closest to Earth and opposite the sun. Outer planets are best seen when at opposition, but these two together will be an amazing event.

They will be up in Pisces all night, rising as the sun sets and setting as the sun rises. The bright Jupiter will be easily visible to the naked eye, though an especially interesting view can be seen right now with binoculars or a telescope: Jupiter has currently lost its south equatorial band, making the Great Red Spot stand out very clearly. This has happened 15 times since 1919, but doesn’t occur regularly, and could ‘fix’ itself at any time, though it could just as easily take a couple of years.

At the same time, Uranus reaches its opposition, just about a degree away from Jupiter. Because of the nearly-full harvest moon around the same time, spotting Uranus with the naked eye will be nearly impossible, but it should be easily seen with binoculars.This event is an auspicious astrological event, supposedly preceding a major scientific breathrough or other drastic global change, but even if you don’t follow astrology, this will be an amazing event that you don’t want to miss. This Jupiter-Uranus double opposition won’t occur again until 2037, 27 years from now.

Jupiter and Uranus
Jupiter is in proximity to the planet Uranus all month and is a great starting point for location Uranus. By September 18th, Jupiter and Uranus are less than 0°50’ from each other and they both reach opposition on the same date, September 21st!

Please Note: The above article is made possible by the research and writing of JJ Stamm - Thank you JJ

The Perseid Meteor Shower, August 12 & 13, 2010

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

The Perseid Meteor Shower is considered one of the best known meteor showers (especially to amateurs) because of the peak rate of anywhere from 50-80 meteors an hour. The shower in 2010 will be especially good because the moon will be just after new, which means its light shouldn’t interfere with viewing the shower. The shower should be visible from mid-July (for the high northern longitudes), but the most activity should be the mornings of August 12 and 13 (though the activity will sharply decline after the peak mornings).

The shower can be seen just fine with the naked eye, especially without the moon’s interference this year. The shower radiates from the constellation Perseus, but you should be able to spot the shower even if you’re not sure where in the sky that is. In order to see it clearly, if you live near a brightly-lit area, drive northeast to a darker area (if you drive south, the light pollution may affect the sky where you’re trying to see the shower). If you can see all of the stars of the Little Dipper, it should be dark enough to see the shower.

The best way to view the shower is if you setup as if you’re watching a fireworks show: bring a reclining chair or blanket so you can lay back to watch the sky. That way you don’t have to strain your neck to watch the shower. On August 12 and 13, you should be able to see the shower from around midnight until the sun rises and, in optimal conditions, you’ll see about 1 comet a minute. Even in less-than-perfect conditions, though, you should see around 25 meteors an hour.

August 12 & 13, 2010 Perseid Meteor Shower at midnight
This is the relative position of the center of the Perseid Meteor Shower at midnight of August 13 and 13. the constellation Perseius is rising in the north east. While Meteor may appear in any portion of the sky, most Perseid Meteors will appear to radiate from this point near the constellation Perseius.

Please Note: The above article is made possible by the research and writing of JJ Stamm - Thank you JJ


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