Did YOU see Sputnik?
Several years ago, during the winter banquet of the Warren Astronomical Society, the keynote speaker asked the audience how many of them had seen Sputnik – half the audience raised their hand… I hadn’t even even born yet!
This gave me the idea for a panel discussion for next Thursday’s meeting of the Warren Astronomical Society – I’m going to have members talk about their memories of the early Space Race in the Apollo era. I had a couple members call me on Sunday very excited about this meeting!
Attend the online meeting of the Warren Astronomical Society on Thursday, July 21st at 7:30 PM Eastern [Link]
Morning: Venus, Uranus and Mars continue to appear in the eastern predawn sky, along with the Pleiades star cluster and the bright stars Capella and Aldebaran.
Morning: The Moon appears near Jupiter high in the southeastern predawn sky on July 19th.
Morning: The Moon appears near Mars in the eastern predawn sky on July 22nd.
Evening: Saturn rises in the southeastern sky after sunset all week.
Morning: Saturn appears high in the south-southwestern predawn sky all week.
Morning: The Moon appears near the Pleiades star cluster in the eastern predawn sky on July 23rd.
- The Moon is a Waning Gibbous – rising after sunset, visible high in the sky after midnight, and visible to the southwest after sunrise.
- The Third Quarter Moon occurs on July 20th – rising around midnight, and visible to the south after sunrise.
- After July 20th, the Moon will be a Waning Crescent – visible low to the east before sunrise.
If you click on the Moon image above, or click this link, you will go to NASA’s Moon Phase and Libration, 2022 page – it will show you what the Moon looks like right now. If you click the image on that page, you will download a high-rez TIFF image annotated with the names of prominent features – helpful for logging your lunar observations! (See below)
I time-accelerated* CAPSTONE in the Eyes orrery to see how it gets back to the Moon, and entered into its halo orbit not. The orbital mechanics is kind of crazy!
* To time-accelerate in NASA’s Eyes orrery, click on the digital time display at the top 6 times and a slider will appear. Pull the slider thumb to the right to time-accelerate forward.
The Sun has seven named sunspots, again! All of them crackling with C-class solar flares.
Spaceweather.com says: “Minor G1-class geomagnetic storms are possible on July 20th or 21st when a slow-moving CME is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. The CME was hurled into space by an unstable filament of magnetism, which erupted on July 15th.”
The Sun seen in 193 angstroms on July 11th.
No large coronal holes appear on the Sun’s face; the north pole appears to have reopened
The Sun seen in 304 angstroms on July 11th.
Very active Sun – filaments cover the Sun’s face, flares crackle everywhere, lots of prominences.
Videos courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
You can view the Sun in near real-time, in multiple frequencies here: SDO-The Sun Now.
You can create your own time-lapse movies of the Sun here: AIA/HMI Browse Data.
You can browse all the SDO images of the Sun from 2010 to the present here: Browse SDO archive.
Amateur Solar Astrophotography
Limb flare and spray prominence associated with quiescent prominence on south west limb, 16 July 2022.
Solar wind speed is 493.2 km/sec ▲ with a density of 4.86 protons/cm3 ▲ at 1146 UT.
Click here to see a near real-time animation of the corona and solar wind from the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
- Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) discovered this month: 32, this year: 1413 (+4), all time: 29,225 (+2)
- Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs): 2272 (+2 updated 2022-07-19)
- Total Minor Planets discovered (MPC): 1,207,337 (-85 updated 2022-07-19)
Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
|Asteroid||Date(UT)||Miss Distance||Velocity (km/s)||Diameter (m)|
|2017 RX2||2022-Jul-24||17.2 LD||14.2||17|
|2022 NV1||2022-Jul-24||12.9 LD||8.1||52|
|2022 ML3||2022-Jul-26||7.6 LD||1.5||13|
|2022 NU1||2022-Jul-29||12.3 LD||8.3||47|
|2016 CZ31||2022-Jul-29||7 LD||15.6||129|
|2020 PP1||2022-Aug-01||13.1 LD||3.7||17|
|2020 PN1||2022-Aug-03||9.7 LD||4.6||29|
|2015 FF||2022-Aug-12||11.2 LD||9.2||17|
|2019 AV13||2022-Aug-22||19.1 LD||8.8||135|
|2020 QW3||2022-Aug-22||14.1 LD||18.1||30|
|2015 QH3||2022-Aug-22||5.6 LD||7||14|
|2017 BU||2022-Aug-29||15.8 LD||7||32|
|2021 CQ5||2022-Sep-01||8.7 LD||13.5||7|
|2020 PT4||2022-Sep-15||19.7 LD||10.8||39|
I’ve introduced the Tunguska impact event countless times in my asteroids lecture. Some of the adults in my audiences have heard of it, but not all. Very few of the middle school students I’ve spoken to had heard of it.
On July 18, 2022, the NASA All Sky Fireball Network reported 9 fireballs!
Position of the planets & several spacecraft in the inner solar system on July 19th:
Position of the planets in the middle solar system – July 2022:
Position of the planets in the outer solar system first half of 2022:
Solar System News
HiRISE - Beautiful Mars
International Space Station
Earth-observing mission, EMIT, is on its way to the ISS
419.08 ppm #CO2
See a list of current NASA missions here: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions?mission_status=current
ex·o·plan·et /ˈeksōˌplanət/, noun: a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun.
|All Exoplanets||5060 (+6)|
|Confirmed Planets Discovered by Kepler||2711 (+2)|
|Kepler Project Candidates Yet To Be Confirmed||2056 (-1)|
|Confirmed Planets Discovered by K2||537|
|K2 Candidates Yet To Be Confirmed||969|
|Confirmed Planets Discovered by TESS||230 (+3)|
|TESS Project Candidates Integrated into Archive (2022-07-16 13:00:01)||5794 (+27)|
|Current date TESS Project Candidates at ExoFOP||5794 (+27)|
|TESS Candidates Yet To Be Confirmed||3867 (+15)|
* Confirmed Planets Discovered by TESS refers to the number planets that have been published in the refereed astronomical literature.
* TESS Project Candidates refers to the total number of transit-like events that appear to be astrophysical in origin, including false positives as identified by the TESS Project.
* TESS Project Candidates Yet To Be Confirmed refers to the number of TESS Project Candidates that have not yet been dispositioned as a Confirmed Planet or False Positive.
July 14, 2022
Seven Planets Added, One Demoted
Even with all the chatter and buzz this week about NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s Early Release Observation images, we managed to add seven planets to the archive: TOI-1272 b & c, KOI-984 b & c, TOI-5153 b, NGTS-20 b, and HIP 21152 b.
We also demoted GJ 1151 b based on a published refutation. This demotion gives us an opportunity to roll out a new archive disposition: False Positive Planet.
Objects with this new status will continue to appear on their respective System Overview pages, and their data will continue to be available through those pages. However, they will no longer appear in the Planetary Systems and Planetary Systems Composite Parameters tables.
This update clearly identifies refuted objects in the archive while allowing users to continue accessing their data.
Transit Spectroscopy for WASP-96 b!
Did you see the JWST spectrum of WASP-96 b? Check out our existing transmission spectroscopy on this target! This pre-filtered Transit Spectroscopy table links to a complementary transit spectrum at optical wavelengths acquired by the Very Large Telescope (VLT). See how it compares to the newly released JWST spectrum! – NASA
All These Worlds
A slideshow with exoplanet images I’ve created for these posts:
SpaceWeather.com Realtime Aurora Gallery: https://spaceweathergallery.com/aurora_gallery.html
Latest Aurora Oval Forecast
I have a light pollution filter for my 8″ Dob.
- Visit an International Dark Sky Park: https://www.darksky.org/our-work/conservation/idsp/parks/
- If you live in Michigan, visit the Michigan Dark Skies site: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/darkskies/
NGC 7319 (from the Webb Stephan’s Quintet image)
Messier Tour: M23
Messier 23 (M23) is a bright, large open star cluster located in the constellation Sagittarius. The cluster lies at a distance of 2,150 light years, or 659 parsecs, from Earth and has an apparent magnitude of 6.9. It has the designation NGC 6494 in the New General Catalogue.
Messier 23 has a radius of 15 to 20 light years and contains 176 confirmed members. Most stars in the cluster are between 10th and 13th magnitude, and about 100 stars are brighter than magnitude 13.5. M23 has an estimated age of at least 220 million years, which makes it one of the older known open clusters in our galaxy. – messier-objects.com
Messier 23 can easily be seen in binoculars and is best viewed in small and moderate-sized telescopes. 6-inch and 8-inch telescopes will resolve dozens of the cluster’s stars.
In binoculars, M23 appears as a hazy smudge with barely resolvable stars. Small telescopes at low magnifications will reveal the cluster’s brightest stars and HIP 87782 (HR 6679), a particularly bright, magnitude 6.52 star appearing at the northwest corner of M23. HIP 87782 is a white main sequence star only 320 light years distant from the solar system. It is not a member of M23, but merely lies in the foreground of the cluster. – messier-objects.com
Location of M23 in the Milky Way
Here’s my obligatory “What would a planet look like if it were near that Messier object” pic:
Cover Image: Messier 23. Credit: Sergio Eguivar
Messier Object List: [Link]
Software Apps used for this post:
NASA Eyes on the Solar System: an immersive 3D solar system and space mission simulator – free for the PC /MAC.
Stellarium: a free web-based planetarium app. It’s a great tool for planning observing sessions. Latest update released on July 7, 2022.
SpaceEngine – Explore the universe in 3D and VR! Latest update released on July 6, 2022.
Worldwide Telescope – operated by the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Latest update released on March 31, 2022.