All posts tagged astronomy

At this point it seems that the sky maybe clear on Sunday.

Jan 21, 2019 at 12:12 am
Max View in Lawrenceville
Global Event:Total Lunar Eclipse
Local Type:Total Lunar Eclipse, in Lawrenceville
Begins:Sun, Jan 20, 2019 at 9:36 pm
Maximum: Mon, Jan 21, 2019 at 12:12 am 1.20 Magnitude
Ends: Mon, Jan 21, 2019 at 2:48 am
Duration: 5 hours, 12 minutes
Time Phase Direction Altitude
9:36 pmSun, Jan 20
Penumbral Eclipse beginsThe Earth’s penumbra start touching the Moon’s face. Map direction East96°


10:33 pmSun, Jan 20
Partial Eclipse beginsPartial moon eclipse starts – moon is getting red. Map direction East-southeast106°


11:41 pmSun, Jan 20
Total Eclipse beginsTotal moon eclipse starts – completely red moon. Map direction Southeast129°


12:12 amMon, Jan 21
Maximum EclipseMoon is closest to the center of the shadow. Map direction South-southeast148°


12:43 amMon, Jan 21
Total Eclipse endsTotal moon eclipse ends. Map direction South174°


1:50 amMon, Jan 21
Partial Eclipse endsPartial moon eclipse ends. Map direction Southwest227°


2:48 amMon, Jan 21
Penumbral Eclipse endsThe Earth’s penumbra ends. Map direction West-southwest248°


It will burn up in the atmosphere on Thursday. Mar 28th.

Watch it live 28 Mar. 2018, starting at 12:00 UTC (8pm EDT)

As Tiangong-1 makes its last few orbits of Earth before burning up in the atmosphere in a few days, you can watch the Chinese space station live online through a robotically controlled telescope at The Virtual Telescope Project.

Live coverage of the event will start Wednesday (March 28) at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT), but the organizers said the timing could change closer to the event. You can visit this page on The Virtual Telescope Project’s website to see updates.

“The Tiangong-1 Chinese space station is re-entering our atmosphere soon,” representatives for The Virtual Telescope Project wrote in a statement. “The Virtual Telescope Project and Tenagra Observatories offer you the unique chance to see it during one of its very last passages across the skies. You can join us online, via the internet, from the comfort of your home.”  [China’s Space Station Crash: Everything You Need to Know]

Tiangong-1 is the first Chinese space station; it launched in 2011 and hosted two crews of Chinese astronauts, in 2012 and 2013. It remained operational until 2016, when contact with the space station was lost. The station is now falling toward Earth and is expected to burn up in the atmosphere over Easter weekend (March 30 to April 2).


Only a  Partial Lunar Eclipse will be occurring in Lawrenceville since the moon will set about half way to it.

Time Phase Direction Altitude
5:51 amWed, Jan 31
Penumbral Eclipse beginsThe Earth’s penumbra start touching the Moon’s face. Map direction West277°


6:48 amWed, Jan 31
Partial Eclipse beginsPartial moon eclipse starts – moon is getting red.
Moon close to horizon, so make sure you have free sight to West-northwest.
Map direction West-northwest284°


7:31 amWed, Jan 31
Maximal Eclipse visible in LawrencevilleThe maximum part of the eclipse occurs when the Moon is close under the horizon. The best time to view the eclipse in Lawrenceville would be around this time.
Since the Moon is near the horizon at this time, we recommend going to a high point or finding an unobstructed area with free sight to West-northwest for the best view of the eclipse.
Map direction West-northwest290°


7:33 amWed, Jan 31 Not directly visible MoonsetBelow horizon Map direction West-northwest290°


7:51 amWed, Jan 31 Not directly visible Total Eclipse beginsBelow horizon Map direction West-northwest293°


8:29 amWed, Jan 31 Not directly visible Maximum EclipseBelow horizon Map direction West-northwest298°


9:07 amWed, Jan 31 Not directly visible Total Eclipse endsBelow horizon Map direction Northwest304°


10:11 amWed, Jan 31 Not directly visible Partial Eclipse endsBelow horizon Map direction Northwest316°


11:08 amWed, Jan 31 Not directly visible Penumbral Eclipse endsBelow horizon Map direction North-northwest328°


partly cloudycloudyUp and out in the dark, it’s a normal occurrence now. The ground was wet but dried up after the sun began to break through the clouds.

Work was a bit slow, still. Not much happening on the issue I’m working on, slow.


It’s Tuesday and the Movie Edge of Tomorrow, they oppositely renamed the movie to something like: Live, Die, Repeat. Whatever. Brian picked up the BlueRay for me.

I setup the Vixen 100mm OT and took some photos of the moon with the Df and then added the 2X converter and got a bit closer. Brian tried to give me some crap about not being able to focus on the trees about 300 yards away and then on the moon without having some sort of extra tube more than I already had.

Had a few beers and watched the movie with Brian upstairs. The sky cleared up but then about 9:30 the clouds began to roll in again.

Hoping the sky is good for the eclipse in the morning.

Stars are plotted for 2 a.m. local daylight time as seen from mid-northern latitudes. Image: Sky & Telescope.

One night only, May 23/24, the challenger — Comet 209P/LINEAR dusty debris.

Comet 209P/LINEAR

This May 17, 2014 image of Comet 209/LINEAR is the average of 5, 180-second exposures, taken remotely with the PlaneWave 17″+ Paramount ME+STL-6303E robotic unit of the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked the comet, so stars are trailing. This comet has the potential to generate an exceptional meteor shower (Camelopardalids) on May 24, 2014.

via One Night Only, a New Meteor Shower that May Be Spectacular? | The Planetary Society.

NASA / JPL / MSSS / Ed Truthan Curiosity MAHLI self-portrait, sol 177 A total of 64 frames shot by the MAHLI on the end of Curiosity's robotic arm were required for this large mosaic. On sol 177 (February 3, 2013), the rover was sitting at the "John Klein" site, preparing to drill for the first time. Zoom in at lower left and you can see two gray marks on the ground where Curiosity tested out the drill in percussion mode on sols 174 and 176.

NASA / JPL / MSSS / Ed Truthan

Curiosity MAHLI self-portrait, sol 177

A total of 64 frames shot by the MAHLI on the end of Curiosity’s robotic arm were required for this large mosaic. On sol 177 (February 3, 2013), the rover was sitting at the “John Klein” site, preparing to drill for the first time. Zoom in at lower left and you can see two gray marks on the ground where Curiosity tested out the drill in percussion mode on sols 174 and 176.

via Yes, it was once a Martian lake: Curiosity has been sent to the right place | The Planetary Society.

I’m wondering if the asteroid “could” hit the Earth at some time? does it actually pass through the same spot as the Earth’s orbit?

2012da14Photo Credit: NASA

on feb 15/16, a little chunk of rock (45 meters = 150 feet across), known as asteroid 2012 DA14, which has been orbiting around the sun for a long time on a not-quite-circular orbit, will pass close by the earth.

actually, asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass very close to the earth – only 17,200 miles (27,680 kilometers) away, which is closer than the moon’s orbit and even closer than some high-orbiting communications satellites!

but do not worry, asteroid 2012 DA14 will not hit earth.  

Screen-Shot-2013-02-10-at-11Photo Credit: NASA via Calgary Herald

the asteroid will not be visible to the naked eye, but should be visible using binoculars to many people across the planet, if you know where and when to look.  check out or to see if it will be visible where you are.

astropixie: visible asteroid 2012 DA14.


Comet ISON from Deep Impact

Deep Impact observed comet ISON on January 17 and 18, 2013, taking more than 150 photos. The comet was more than 5 AU away from Deep Impact at the time. These were the first space-based observations of comet ISON.

via Venerable Deep Impact spacecraft has photographed comet ISON | The Planetary Society.

Quadrantids meteor showerThe first major shower of 2013 is the Quadrantids meteor shower. This annual shower has one of the highest predicted hourly rates of all the major showers, and is comparable to the two of the most lively, the August Perseids and the December Geminids. This celestial event is active from December 28th through January 12th and peaks on the morning of January 3rd. In relation to meteor showers, the peak is defined as the moment of maximum activity when the most meteors can be seen by the observer.

While the plus side of this annual shower is its ability to produce fireballs, and its high hourly rates, the downside is its short peak. Quadrantids has an extremely narrow peak, occurring over just a few short hours. The Quadrantids are also well known for producing fireballs, meteors that are exceptionally bright. These meteors can also, at times, generate persistent trails (also identified as trains).

Those living in the northern hemisphere have an opportunity to experience a much better view of the Quadrantids, as the constellation Boötes never makes it above the horizon in the southern hemisphere. This is great for those living in North America, much of Europe, and the majority of Asia.

Unfortunately, those of you living in Australia and lower portions of South America will have a difficult time observing the Quadrantids. Observers in higher latitudes will have better gazing conditions, but nevertheless will need to be wary of cloud cover, as conditions are typically cloudy during this time of year.

Got to keep this in mind, in 2013 comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) will visit the sun and the earth in Nov & Dec 2013.

Editor’s note: Space blogs are abuzz about the recent discovery of comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), which has the potential to be a bright one late next year. I turned to amateur astronomer Bill Gray to ask for more details and whether I should be getting excited about this comet yet. Here’s what he told me. –Emily Lakdawalla

Comet ISON: 30% chance of awesome, 60% chance of that being wrong | The Planetary Society.

Andromeda, otherwise known as M31, is among our nearest neighbors, “only” 2.5 million light-years away. Its line-of-sight speed has been known for a long time (from Doppler measurements), but until now we didn’t know whether its actual direction of motion is more toward us or more tangential to us.

The answer: Andromeda is coming at us, and will “collide” with the Milky Way in about four billion years. I put the word “collide” in quotes because while the collision will have a dramatic effect on the appearance of both galaxies, physical encounters between stars (and the planets they contain) will be really rare, because there is so much empty space between stars. Our solar system will most likely be unaffected by the collision, and will be having greater problems at that time due to our Sun’s behavior; that’s roughly the same time it’s estimated that the Sun will expand into a red giant.

Artist's views of a night sky transformed by a galaxy merger | The Planetary Society.

Cool but not rainy this morning, very overcast before actual sunrise.

Need to turn off my alarm and just wake up normally. I’ve been turning off the alarm after waking up and just letting myself want to get up before actually doing it. It has worked ok so far, sometimes I’m later sometimes earlier.

Booo! No Visual of the Transit of Venus, all cloudy here.

Checked in all the changes up to this point I have on my project at work, didn’t get an email from Chris or Kem about the things I need to do. I guess I just need to say it’s done and let them do a build.

Got home and Nicki was here, she went and got Subway even after I told her that I think I had enough spaghetti for her too. She left soon afterward, and left her Subway trash on the couch, not good. She also called last night and earlier today about the book she needed for class, obviously there was something that was suppose to come with the Astronomy book but didn’t in the whole book.

Nicki complained about her aches and pains again, seems another part of her body hurts as soon as another stops. She said it is mostly joins and gets bad enough for her to call out of work. She has mentioned it to the Nurse Practitioner and has gotten really no response except to have an MRI. Well seems a bit overboard to her and me as well. I’ve heard of a lot of young people coming down with certain chronic ailments more often than it seemed my generation did.

I made changes to the Beer web-code that now requires a login and should make it so bad things do not happen to the database due to crawlers and robots on the web.

St. Simon lighthouse

I tried with Brian’s help to get a CVS thing on my site, instead I just found out that I really don’t have tty access to my server. It’s the only way he knows how to make it work, I’ll look around to see if there is another way, I haven’t seen one yet.

Brian and I ended up going to the Movie Stop and picking out some movies, I got the two that came out just today, Safe House with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds along with Disney’s John Carter of Mars. Then I also reserved the next Sherlock Holmes and the Avengers. Used up about half of the $100 card I got for the rebate of my contact lenses that I just received. We then stopped in at Parma and got to see Lauren and Brian had dinner and we both had beers. The sun was out finally today, it was just before sunset and we couldn’t have seen it from the house due to all the trees to the west of us. If we had forgone the trip and went right back and got the solar scope we could have seen something but didn’t feel it was that important. I don’t figure I’ll be around in 117 years when it happens again, but who knows 🙂