Astronomy at the Beach 2022 This weekend!
Michigan’s largest FREE astronomy event – our 26th year! There should be a LOT of telescopes out on the field this year.
I will not be attending the live event – come join me for some Zoom sessions I will be hosting during the event:
- A Tour of the Solar System – I’ll visit all the usual places, and several unusual ones in the solar system and beyond using SpaceEngine. Note: I want to give this presentation to a LOT of classrooms this year!
[Friday Sept. 16 6:00 PM EST] [Saturday Sept. 17 6:00 PM EST]
- A Mission to Mars – I’ll design, build, launch, fly and land a probe to Mars (Er, Duna) in Kerbal Space Program. Along the way, I’ll show some basic orbital mechanics. Hilarity is a given.
[Friday Sept. 16 7:00 PM EST] [Saturday Sept. 17 7:00 PM EST]
Morning: Venus appears low above the Eastern Horizon at sunrise – appearing a bit lower, and a bit more eastward each morning.
Evening: Jupiter rises in the east after sunset, and Saturn appears high above the southeastern horizon.
Early Morning: Jupiter appears high in the southern sky after midnight, and Saturn appears above the southwestern horizon.
Morning: Jupiter fades into the dawn above the western horizon.
Evening: Mars rises to the east-northeast shortly before midnight.
Early morning: Mars appears near the star Aldebaran a few hours before sunrise, both of them appearing high above the east-southeastern horizon
Early morning: The Moon appears near Mars, Aldebaran and the Pleiades high in the southern sky before sunrise on Sept. 16th
Predawn: The Moon will have moved between Mars and the star Elnath in the predawn sky on Sept. 17t
Predawn: The Moon will appear near the star Pollux in the predawn sky on Sept. 20th.
- 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 September 17th – rising around midnight, and visible to the south after sunrise.
- After September 17th, 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)
The Sun has eight named sunspots, again – AR3101 is VERY active, and rotating out of view.!
Spaceweather.com says: “IT’S BAAAACK: Active sunspot AR3088 has returned after a two-week trip around the farside of the sun. In August, Earth dodged a fusillade of CMEs from the explosive spot, So it hammered Venus instead. The returning sunspot seems to have decayed since we last saw it, but it may still pose a threat for strong flares.”
The Sun seen in 193 angstroms on September 12th.
An seething active region is rotating out of view on the Sun’s limb – one right behind it is also blowing flares like crazy! An active region with enormous coronal loops is rotating into view, and there’s one large coronal hole appears in the northern hemisphere. Wow!
The Sun seen in 304 angstroms on September 12th.
Crackle crackle go the active regions! An impressive filament is rotating out of view in the southern hemisphere. The thing rotating into view in the southern hemisphere has HUGE loops, and seems to be sucking plasma into it!
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
“On the morning of this Saturday, September 10, I was able to photograph in detail this huge filament, which is approaching the solar limb, and which for a week has been accompanying sunspot AR3092 on its journey across the surface of our star.
Undoubtedly, it is giving us a great show during these days where no large sunspots or prominences were observed.
To take this picture I used a Sky Watcher Evostar 150ED telescope, a Baader energy rejection filter, a Quark Chromosphere filter, and a Player One Apollo-M Max camera.”
Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau
Solar wind speed is 309.6 km/sec ▼ with a density of 1.35 protons/cm3 ▼▼ at 0514 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: 66, this year: 1835, all time: 29,660 (+178)
- Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs): 2284 (+3 updated 2022-09-13)
- Total Minor Planets discovered: 1,217,302 (-83 updated 2022-09-13)
Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
|Asteroid||Date(UT)||Miss Distance||Velocity (km/s)||Diameter (m)|
|2022 RQ||2022-Sep-13||9.8 LD||13.8||27|
|2020 UR1||2022-Sep-14||19.7 LD||6.2||27|
|2022 RJ1||2022-Sep-15||19.7 LD||3.3||19|
|2020 PT4||2022-Sep-15||18.8 LD||10.8||39|
|2022 QD1||2022-Sep-16||19.5 LD||9.5||77|
|2005 RX3||2022-Sep-18||12.4 LD||17.5||123|
|2022 QB37||2022-Sep-18||17.2 LD||9.2||57|
|2022 QJ50||2022-Sep-19||11 LD||10.2||34|
|2022 QH8||2022-Sep-22||10.6 LD||15.3||54|
|2022 QK36||2022-Sep-23||18.7 LD||3.7||22|
|2022 RM||2022-Sep-25||14.2 LD||10||32|
|2016 HF2||2022-Sep-29||19.2 LD||5.6||21|
|2018 ER1||2022-Oct-02||14.7 LD||4||27|
|2018 VG||2022-Oct-05||18.5 LD||6.7||12|
|2021 TJ10||2022-Oct-06||19.6 LD||8.1||6|
|2006 SG7||2022-Oct-07||16.7 LD||18.4||93|
|2013 TJ6||2022-Oct-07||11.7 LD||14.4||32|
|2013 SL20||2022-Oct-14||6.2 LD||12.1||45|
|2020 TO2||2022-Oct-15||1.4 LD||12.6||18|
|2020 BD||2022-Oct-16||12.1 LD||11.4||20|
|2022 QM6||2022-Oct-17||19.8 LD||4.2||69|
|2016 TH94||2022-Oct-25||19.1 LD||13.5||43|
|2019 AN5||2022-Oct-27||20 LD||6.8||213|
|2004 UT1||2022-Oct-29||4 LD||6.3||17|
|2021 VH||2022-Nov-01||5.9 LD||5.3||4|
|2020 WD||2022-Nov-08||3 LD||6||8|
|2019 XS||2022-Nov-10||16.7 LD||11.9||60|
DART impact watch party, anyone?
On September 12, 2022, the NASA All Sky Fireball Network reported 37 fireballs!
If you see a bright meteor or a fireball, please REPORT IT to the American Meteor Society and the International Meteor Organization!
I’ve started using NASA’s 3D interactive web-based Solar System Exploration site to generate images for this section: https://eyes.nasa.gov/apps/solar-system/
Position of the planets & several spacecraft in the inner solar system on Sept. 13th:
Position of the planets in the middle solar system – Sept. 13th:
Position of the planets in the outer solar system – Sept. 13th:
Solar System News
JWST images the Orion Nebula
#Artemis1 launch delayed till Sept. 27 at earliest
Voyager 2 returns to 160bits/sec science/engineering telemetry rate
Mars Insight trudges on
HiRISE - Beautiful Mars
See the MRO mission on NASA’s Solar System Exploration site
International Space Station space-to-Earth calls
Click to see the ISS on NASA’s Solar System Exploration site
CAPSTONE is in safe mode
416.00 ppm #CO2 – up 2.92 ppm from 413.08 a year ago
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||5084 (+13)|
|Confirmed Planets Discovered by Kepler||2708 (-3)|
|Kepler Project Candidates Yet To Be Confirmed||2056|
|Confirmed Planets Discovered by K2||537|
|K2 Candidates Yet To Be Confirmed||969|
|Confirmed Planets Discovered by TESS||249 (+15)|
|TESS Project Candidates Integrated into Archive||5845 (+37)|
|Current date TESS Project Candidates at ExoFOP||5887 (+42)|
|TESS Candidates Yet To Be Confirmed||3937 (+38)|
* 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.
All These Worlds
An ever-growing 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
Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area is located in a valley of the Snake River, 26 miles southwest of Valentine, Nebraska.
- 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/
International Explore the Moon Night
Messier Tour: M28
Messier 28 (M28) is a class IV globular star cluster located in the constellation Sagittarius. The cluster has an apparent magnitude of 7.66 and lies at a distance of 17,900 light years, or 5,500 parsecs, from Earth. Its designation in the New General Catalogue is NGC 6626.
Messier 28 is quite easy to find in the sky as it lies less than a degree northwest of Kaus Borealis, one of the bright stars forming the Teapot asterism in Sagittarius. However, as M28 is not particularly bright, it is invisible to the naked eye and only appears as a faint patch of light in binoculars.
Small telescopes will show a nebulous object occupying an area of 11.2 arc minutes in apparent diameter, while medium-sized and larger telescopes will reveal the cluster’s bright core and resolve the stars.
Individual stars can only be seen in 4-inch and larger instruments. – messier-objects.com
Messier 28 is considerably smaller than the neighbouring Messier 22. It is a class IV globular cluster, which means that it has intermediate rich concentrations of stars and that the stellar density at the core region is visible, but slightly spread out.
Messier 28 was the first globular cluster discovered to contain a millisecond pulsar, a pulsating, highly magnetized rotating neutron star emitting a beam of electromagnetic radiation with a rotational period between 1 and 10 milliseconds.
The pulsar, catalogued as PSR B1821–24, was discovered in 1986 using the Lovell Telescope, a radio telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, England.
Researchers later discovered 11 more millisecond pulsars in the same area, which makes M28 a cluster with the third largest population of pulsars, after the globular clusters Terzan 5, also located in Sagittarius, and 47 Tucanae in Tucana constellation. – messier-objects.com
Location of M28 in the Milky Way
M28 is above the above the galactic disk, and close to the galactic bulge.
Here’s my obligatory “What would a planet look like if it were near that Messier object” pic:
Cover Image: Messier 28. Credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/CADC/NRC/CSA
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.
What I was listening to while I was writing this post:
I was thrilled to see that Bear McCreary did the music for the new LOTR series!