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Astronmomy Update September

Discussion in 'Astronomy & Astrophotography' started by Skywatcher, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    Astronomy Update September

    Not much of any significance this month, so we will do some basic stuff if you like

    Moon

    New moon (no moon visible) was on the First and Full moon will be on the 15th - If you are planning on looking at the moon during a clear spell in the weather the best time is not at full moon as it is so bright all you will be able to pick out are the dark bits (seas) - the best part of the moon to look at is the terminator ( no not Arnie) - this refers to the part of the moon where The sun is either rising or falling and it sends the craters into stark contrast. The lovely thing about the moon is that each night you get a new show as a differnt part of the moon is put on display - If you are watching through a telescope over a few hours you can actually see the shadows of the mountains change as the sun comes up/down.

    [​IMG]

    The Seas of the Moon

    Each of the lava flooded plains of the moon is given a name - here is a quick resume for you

    [​IMG]

    Traditionally people in the west see a Face in the moon ( man in the moon) whilst Eastern cultures see a Rabbit ( bottom right)

    [​IMG]

    The phases of the moon

    Some people get confused by this - clearly the moon is always there and you are just seeing a different amount of the moon illuminated directly by the sun. Waxing - bright bit getting bigger /waning bright bit getting smaller :D

    For example if you were to look up a few days after a new moon you might see
    [​IMG]

    where the right side of the moon is lit by the setting sun to the right of the picture.

    However let your eyes get dark adapted and you will see the rest of the moon Illuminated by light reflecting from the Earth

    [​IMG].
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  2. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    A rabbit! I didn't know that! Thanks for the lesson! :yes:
  3. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    Lunar Features

    There are many lunar features - Seas , impact craters,rilles, ridges, mountains and volcanic faults

    [​IMG]

    This is a geological fault line called the 'Straight wall'

    This is my fav crater called Plato -again showing the sun creeping over the mountains

    [​IMG]

    Once you get to know your way around the moon you can start wl the aid on an online map to know your way around and start to pick out features

    [​IMG]

    And is you get really really in to it you can spend days of your life stitchng together photos of the terminator to make a picture that is about 10ft long ( this has been shrunk)

    [​IMG]

    So get out there with a pair of binoculars or a camera and have a go it is a beautiful sight and there is always something different going on :D

    Any questions please fire away :D
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  4. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    I love this stuff thanks Skywatcher :D
  5. Watchinherskip
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    Watchinherskip Better known as "That Guy"

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    Great job Chris, awesome.
  6. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    Absolutely incredible stuff. We need a smilie that depicts awe...
  7. Dorothy
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    Dorothy Smiley Herder

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    Chris did you take all of those pictures? They are amazing :yes:
  8. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    Tell me again why the moon is not a planet. I had the explanation in high school science, but you'll trust me when I say that was just a little while ago and the explanation has since sieved out of my memory files.
  9. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    There are a whole lot of criteria for being a planet and they keep changing them - poor little Pluto.

    Please let me know if any of this stuff bores you - I will keep going until told otherwise or the threads die on their backside :lol:
  10. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    What happened to Pluto??!!! :lipwobble:
  11. lisaw
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    lisaw Serious Forum Regular

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    I didn't know that about the rabbit either, one of those handy pieces of trivia to store away :thumbs_up:
  12. Watchinherskip
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    Watchinherskip Better known as "That Guy"

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    We are featuring the moon in our October show at the planetarium. It is called Moon Witch (as you might be able to make out a witch's face in the moon). One part mentions that the Indians of Mexico saw a three toed frog in the moon.

    Attached Files:

  13. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    it missed out on one criteria of being "a planet" so it's no longer a planet! poor thing got demoted :( officially a dwarf planet I believe
  14. Watchinherskip
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    Watchinherskip Better known as "That Guy"

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    Yeah, got the pink slip. Several objects were found beyond Pluto which were larger in size. They drew a line in the sand and these objects are usually considered TNO (Trans Neptunian Objects). Pluto is more or less like a comet nucleus rather than like other planets (terrestrial or jovian)
  15. ukwdwnut
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    ukwdwnut Director of Recruitment Forum Host

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    great stuff chris and dan

    bored of this chris are you mad man, its really very interesting and awesome photo's

    thx for taking the time to post it :D
  16. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    The Frog looks really obvious now you pointed it out - thanks Dan
  17. Watchinherskip
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    Watchinherskip Better known as "That Guy"

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    The September sky is a fascinating one. The summer triangle is high up in the sky by mid evening (brightest stars of three constellations - Vega in Lyra, Altair in Aquila the Eagle and Deneg in Cygnus the Swan). I think it is neat to think of how the ancients tried to make sense of the changing sky over the seasons and make it relevant to their daily life. The native peoples of North America had some neat insights into the cycle of the changing sky. One of my favorite stories involves the story of the celestial bear. We know a part of it as the Big Dipper and I believe that my UK friends may know it as the plow. The story goes about the bear leaving his cave in the spring (appears to be rising out of the northen horizon on spring nights) and heading back into his or her cave during fall (as evening falls the "bear" is heading down into the northern horizon). It is the movement across the sky that they were interested in. They even danced around their camp fires to keep the natrual rhythem and movement of the cycle.

    In the following story the bear is followed by seven birds (stars that make the handle of the big dipper) Robin, Chickadee, Moosebird (a gray jay about the size of a blue jay, but with a smooth head), then Pigeon, Blue Jay, Owl, and finally little Saw-Whet Owl. The three main stars are Robin, Chickadee (with his cooking pot), and Moosebird (He who comes late). THis is a story from the Mic Mac tribe of Nova Scotia.

    Read the short story here. Fascinating to think they had an explanation for the changing seasons, and the changing leaves.


    Here is the link to the story:
    http://www.katedudding.com/celestial_bear.shtml

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  18. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    This is just brilliant stuff! Really enjoying this thread
  19. ukwdwnut
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    ukwdwnut Director of Recruitment Forum Host

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    absolutely fascinating thanks guys :D
  20. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    It is a shame the weather is so bad or I would post more - we have had 1 solitary clear evening all month with no real prospect of any at least in the next week.

    managed to lok at the Andromeda galaxy with my binos last night but it clouded over within 5 minutes

    Will do something on constel;a$ltions to look out for when we have a clear spell looming

    For thos who have not yet seen Jupiter it is very close to the moon - low in the south over the next 2 nights - try and see it if you can

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