In the Sky This Week – August 22, 2017
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5:30 AM Aug. 23, 2017 -East

Eastern predawn sky, Aug. 23, 2017. Credit: Stellarium / Bob Trembley.

Sirius, the "Dog Star," accompanies Venus low in the eastern predawn sky.

10:00 PM Aug. 23, 2017 - Southwest

Southwestern sky after sunset, Aug. 23, 2017. Credit: Stellarium / Bob Trembley.

Jupiter sets shortly after dusk and will vanish from view entirely in a early September. Saturn is high in the southern sky, and with the planet's northern hemisphere tilted towards us at about 26°, Saturn is just a spectacular observing target.

Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter - 9:00 PM Aug 24 & 25, 2017 - West

Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter, 9:00 PM Aug. 24 & 25, 2017. Credit: Stellarium / Bob Trembley.

The Moon, fresh from the eclipse, will be in conjunction with Jupiter in the west at dusk on August 24th and 25th.

10:00 PM Aug. 28, 2017 Southwest

Southwestern sky after sunset, Aug. 28, 2017. Credit: Stellarium / Bob Trembley.

The Moon will be a waxing crescent in the west at dusk, growing larger each evening until it is at first quarter on August 28th; the later part of this week will be excellent nights for star parties.

The Sky Overhead - Aug. 23, 2017 11:00 PM

The sky overhead after sunset, Aug. 23, 2017. Credit: Stellarium / Bob Trembley.

The Sky Overhead - Aug. 23, 2017 5:30 AM

The sky overhead before sunrise, Aug. 23, 2017. Credit: Stellarium / Bob Trembley.

The Solar System - Aug. 22, 2017

The Solar System - Aug. 22, 2017. Credit: NASA Eyes on the Solar System / Bob Trembley.

Sirius compared to the Sun

Sirius compared to the Sun. Credit: Universe Sandbox ² / Bob Trembley.

Sirius, the brightest star in Earth's sky, is a binary star system about 8.6 light years away. Sirius A is a bright and hot main sequence star, with a faint white dwarf companion: Sirius B. Sirius A is class A0 star about twice the mass of the Sun, 25 times as luminous as the Sun, and with a much higher surface temperature than the Sun.


I am STILL coming down from the eclipse; my wife and I set up at Chesterfield Michigan's Brandenburg park -
we set up our telescopes with a couple tents next to them, where my wife laid out my meteorites. The view of the bay was just beautiful.

I gave two presentations about the Sun in the clubhouse nearby, and my daughter and son-in-law helped with our telescopes - which had a 50 foot line the entire eclipse! As soon as my wife was set up she was set upon by hordes of people, and stayed that way continuously; she didn't get to see the eclipse until about 2:30 PM - when the eclipse was at maximum for us. About 80% of the Sun was covered at maximum for us; several people in line for the 'scopes mentioned that it appeared dimmer.

We got scores of "Oh WOWs" from people looking through our telescopes; there were some great sunspot groups too - they showed up really well in my 8 inch Dobsonian telescope. It was a party atmosphere, and from what I've been hearing, it was like that around the country: an event that unified the country for a day. We're happy to have been a part of it!

A picture of my telescope made the Macomb Daily newspaper and website: http://www.macombdaily.com/general-news/20170821/eclipse-descends-on-macomb-county 🙂

The Voice News posted this series of pictures: http://media.voicenews.com/2017/08/21/photos-solar-eclipse-viewing-party-in-chesterfield-township/#17

My wife posted this set of pics:

Apps used for this post:

Stellarium: a free open source planetarium app for PC/MAC/Linux.
Universe Sandbox ²: a physics-based 3D space simulator.
NASA Eyes on the Solar System: an immersive 3D solar system and space mission app - free for the PC /MAC.


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