Tag Archives: Stellarium

“Upstate NY Stargazing In September” Article Posted To newyorkupstate.com And syracuse.com

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

With the summer nearly over and long nights replaced by early school bus mornings, the UNY Stargazing series has returned to its regularly-scheduled monthly publishing.

The latest article in the Upstate NY Stargazing series, “Upstate NY stargazing in September: Cassini’s end and morning planet delights,” has just been posted to newyorkupstate.com and syracuse.com.

Direct Links: newyorkupstate.com and syracuse.com

The Great American Eclipse for 2017 has come and gone without major reported inconvenience to the cities that ended up hosting large groups. This is good news for Western and Upstate New York, as we will be participants in the observation of totality on April 8, 2024 and have to contend with potential crowds on top of whatever weather early April brings that year. In the meantime, if you still have your eclipse glasses, you can give others an opportunity to enjoy upcoming total eclipses in South America and Asia in 2019. Consider donating your glasses to the great outreach organization Astronomers Without Borders – see the link for all the details.

Caption:The tail end of the August 21st eclipse from Nashville, including sunspot group 2671 at center and sunspot 2672, just clipped by the moon. (Photo by John Giroux)

* It is a busy month for amateur astronomy, with Jupiter getting very close to being un-observable until December (so catch those photons now), Cassini about to take a serious plunge into Saturn, and Mercury, Venus, and Mars doing a wonderful dance in the pre-sunrise skies all month. Try to catch the days shown below (and see the article for more details)!

Caption: The prominent planetary groupings in the morning sky this month. (Image made with Stellarium)

* The constellation of the month is Draco – and with just one more circumpolar constellation to go, we’re two months away from explaining just what that means!

“Upstate NY Stargazing In May” Article Posted To newyorkupstate.com And syracuse.com

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The latest article in the Upstate NY Stargazing series, “Upstate NY Stargazing in May: A Meteor Shower and Preparations for the Solar Eclipse,” has just been posted to newyorkupstate.com and syracuse.com.

Direct Links: newyorkupstate.com and syracuse.com

* With only four articles to go before the great total solar eclipse on August 21st of this year, we’ve shifted gears in the article opener from great nighttime observing to great daytime observing. You’ll be seeing more and more from all kinds of news sources as the data approaches, and CNYO is figuring out what we plan to do for the event (besides a few scheduled eclipses lectures in the CNY area in the weeks before).

For the record, amateur astronomers reserved their rooms years and years ago in all the best places – if you’ve not figured out your flight plans around the 21st already, there is a seriously good chance that you’ll be stick driving to see the best view of totality.

Caption: The transit of Venus across the Sun on June 5/6, 2012. By NASA/SDO, AIA.

* We continue our look north with Cassiopeia, the third of six constellations that are always visible in the nighttime sky from our latitude (readers then can guess where the next three articles are headed).

* This month, we await the Eta Aquariid (or Eta Aquarid, or eta Aquarid… Halley’s Comet doesn’t care what you call it) Meteor Shower, which peaks on the early mornings of May 5/6. In doing the homework for the article, I found it interesting to note that we’re not entirely sure that this meteor shower originates from particles attributable to Halley’s Comet, the object we most associate with this shower. It is possible that Halley’s Comet is indirectly responsible for the particles by being directly responsible for the redirection of the debris from a different object in to the current Eta Aquariid path.

Caption: The Eta Aquariid radiant, complete with Venus, Saturn, the newly returned Summer Triangle, and one perfectly-placed 5 a.m. ISS flyover on the morning of May 6. Image made with Stellarium. Click for a larger view.

“Night Sky-Gazing In Upstate NY: What To Look For In July” Article Up At newyorkupstate.com And syracuse.com

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

I’m pleased to report that Central – and now Upstate – NY astronomy is about to get a little more coverage in the local media. The people at newyorkupstate.com (you’ll notice a strong similarity in template, as well as content, to syracuse.com and related) were interested in highlighting observing opportunities ‘round here, and I’m pleased to report that our first effort is up for your viewing and reviewing pleasure at:

newyorkupstate.com/weather/2016/07/
night_sky-gazing_in_upstate_ny_what_to_look_for_in_july.html

Or (if you want to show your CNY bias when you click)

www.syracuse.com/weather/2016/07/
night_sky-gazing_in_upstate_ny_what_to_look_for_in_july.html

The first post is our practice run at handing off images, formatting, and eccentric space humor – and we’re still tweaking a bit for future articles. You may see a few formatting issues and a sentence or two that seem to end rather abruptly from the editing + web-ifying process (in the interest of completeness, those missing chunks of text are below). We’ll see how the next article (and the reception of this article) goes.

night-sky-photo-1jpg-e4d3c586903bd6db

* Image caption (relevant for both):

The view looking Southwest at 10:00 p.m. on July 15th (except for the changing Moon position, this mid-month view is accurate for all of July). Image made with Stellarium. Click for a larger view.

* “Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are three of the five “superior planets” in our solar system, which means they are on the outside of Earth’s orbit with respect to the.”

Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are three of the five “Superior Planets” in our Solar System – which simply means they are on the outside of Earth’s orbit with respect to the Sun (Venus and Mercury then referred to as “Inferior Planets” – and, to temper our planet’s ego, we’re an Inferior Planet to all the Superior Planets). Uranus and Neptune, the remaining two Superior Planets, can be tough catches that require some decently dark skies (and, especially for Neptune, magnification).

If the content is relevant and readable, feel free to let feedback@newyorkupstate.com and/or feedback@syracuse.com know! I’m also happily accepting content recommendations, questions, and critiques of the content as they stand – the Contact Page is always open.

The goal of the article is to provide useful information for any observer, but to make sure that the brand new observer has as good a chance of seeing what’s up there as the experienced ones. If you send the article off to an astro-noob and they come back with more questions than observing notes, knowing that before the next one would be most helpful.