The Sky Tonight:
||“Why CANDLES?” objected Daisy, frowning.
She snapped them out with her fingers.
“In two weeks it’ll be the longest day in the year.”
She looked at us all radiantly.
“Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it?
I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it.”
—F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940),
(1925), Chapter 1
||Looking overhead he saw that the stars had come out,
but why should he seem to see Andromeda, Cepheus, and Cassiopeia?
What had become of the constellations of midsummer?
He began to cry.
—John Cheever (1912–1982),
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Before capturing, set
to correct date and hour,
and turn on Celestia stars:
Celestia → Preferences… → Faintest Stars:
- Sun in ♉
- Moon in ♊
- Meridian in ♍
at 9:00 p.m. EDT
- Messier 101:
RA 14h 3m,
Dec +54° 21′,
27 million lightyears
midi from Henrik Ibsen and Edvard Grieg’s
Dion and the Belmonts:
lowercase z and a in Explorer instead of arrows
U.S. Naval Observatory
- New moon,
Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 8:11 a.m. EDT
- ☽ First quarter, Saturday May 30, 2009 at 11:22 p.m. EDT
- Full moon,
Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 2:12 p.m. EDT
- ☾ Third quarter, Friday, June 15, 2009 at 6:15 p.m. EDT
- New moon,
Friday, June 22, 2009 at 3:35 p.m. EDT
and perigee of the
- Perigee, Monday, May 25, 2009 at 11:45 p.m. EDT
- Apogee, Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 12:05 p.m. EDT
- Perigee, Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 6:49 a.m. EDT
- Apogee, Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 5:50 p.m. EDT
- Ascending and descending
of the moon in EDT:
- descending: Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 5:19 a.m. EDT
- ascending: Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 5:15 a.m. EDT
- descending: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 12:24 p.m. EDT
- ascending: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 10:24 a.m. EDT
Apr May Jun
S M Tu W Th F S S M Tu W Th F S S M Tu W Th F S
1 2 3 4 1 2 1 2 3 4 5 6
5 6 7 8 9 10 11 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
26 27 28 29 30 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 28 29 30
starts on Friday, March 20, 2009 at 7:44 a.m. EDT.
starts on Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 1:15 a.m. EDT.
starts on Tusday, September 22, 2009 at 4:18 p.m. EDT.
starts on Monday, December 21, 2009 at 12:47 p.m. EDT.
Monday, August 24, 2009: 27.4° E.
flyby, September 29, 2009.
STS-125 to Hubble,
Tuesday, May 12, 2009.
- Total lunar
Wednesday, February 20, 2008.
Umbral phase begins at 8:47 p.m. EST.
started second Sunday in March:
Sunday, March 8, 2009.
Ends first Sunday in November, to keep us on DST for Hallowe’en:
Sunday, November 1, 2009.
- Earth at perihelion, Sunday, January 4, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. EST.
Aphelion will be Saturday, July 3, 2009 at 10:00 p.m. EDT.
April 18–19, 2009
- Phoenix Mars Lander
landed on Mars,
Sunday, May 25, 2008.
The seasonal programs change at the equinoxes and solstices.
June 30: still dark blue at 9:00 p.m. EDT.
December: Dark enough to see
at 4:59 p.m.
face south, sun highest at noon.
- Analog watch: which way is south?
- See how much ground we will gain as we go to
Should sun move to lower left or lower right?
If we’s facing south, point west.
The chair you’re sitting in is moving to the left (east).
Objects in sky are getting left behind to the lower right (west).
- Celestial sphere
Everything moves from left to right for same reason as sun:
- Looks like a turning globe, the
Must be a
Convenient to mark it with hours;
time is speeded up.
Equator attached to stars;
attached to ground.
- If there’s an equator,
there must also be a
North star special for three reasons:
- Shows which way is
28.9° right of geographical north.
- Fixed point around which sky turns counterclockwise
- Shows your north
the Fifth Avenue of the sky.)
At latitude of
north star is 41° up from horizon,
celestial equator is 41° down from
arms horizontal in exuberance.
- 40° 56′ N
- 41° 42′ N
- 42° 40′ N
- 45° N
top of Vermont
- 90° N
- 19° 34′ N
19° 11′ N).
- 17° 40′ S
16° 43′ S).
spells “DOC” each month.
Greatest elongation east: Monday, August 24, 2009.
counterclockwise vs. back and forth.
Spinning blob flattens out.
- Another reference line: the
marked with dates.
Hard Science vs. Harry Hairspray Science:
use Zeiss annual motion to find greatest
east, Monday, August 24, 2009.
- Equator vs.
high in summer.
to find dates of equinoxes and solstices.
Twilight is brief in these latitudes.
- Something else changes each season:
a new quadrant of the sky comes into view.
The stars of winter.
23 hours, 56 minutes.
Zuben el Genubi
Zuben e Schamali
at latitude of
equator at 49°, Arcturus at 68°.
at latitude of
11.4 light years, 1838.
- Great Square of
- Branch out from Orion
has Tacky Planet
the Goat Star
- Edge-on vs. overhead.
Spinning blob flattens out.
- 1919: center in
(direction and distance to)
- 1927: direction and speed of rotation; total mass of galaxy
found the arms.
- 1980’s: bar
- 2000’s: black hole in center
- arm pitch 12°.
- Pace of discovery will quicken because
will be better than the
- Local Group:
(M31, nearer edge 50,000 light years closer),
Satellites of Andromeda and Milky Way:
(appears closer to nucleus)
- Center of Virgo Supercluster
near direction of travel through
- Olber’s paradox.
- Sound board:
volume up for output,
(to –30 for Peer Gynt midi);
down for all others.
not used in Mark’s version.
- Video projector:
monitor select line 2, input select line 2,
brightness and contrast up to set up
Not used in Mark’s version.
- XP computer:
monitor select line 1, input select line 1,
to enable XP.
must be plugged into into LINE-IN 1 of
Open windows for Summer triangle,
Set up zoom and position of image on dome.
on standby so it doesn’t interfere with
Hubble telescope DVD has good animations;
kept to left of
background music you can easily talk over.
Tracks 2–5 on
And the Stars go With You
is cheesy but seems to work.
white and blue lights on.
- Spice Computer:
The only difference bteween
is that an additional slide appears
as part of the opening credits,
which says “Fujifilm Free Friday Star Nights.”
- Unplug side stage spots (LoCate 9 STEP: A).
Remember to plug them back in after the show.
- Audience entry
Dead air is as bad in the planetarium as it is on the radio.
Actually, it’s worse,
because people usually listen to the radio as they are driving or working.
Having music playing helps.
In general, you want sound, motion, something going on all the time.
If you’re trying to figure something out,
blather on while figuring it out.
So what’s the brightest star in the sky?
Have you ever seen X?
Get people thinking about what they’re seeing.
Slow and steady.
Move volume up and down slowly.
Dim lights up or down slowly.
Fast darkness is startling;
fast illumination is painful.
Move the Zeiss slowly so people don’t get dizzy.
Talk about what you know.
If you don’t know astrophysics, tell stories.
for Nixon on Venus.
- Tonight gateway.
- Source code for earlier versions of slide show:
- 20 × 20
- Large image
October 3, 2005, one for each season
- November, 2006:
There are a few interesting (at least useful) presentations in the
one which compares the relative sizes of objects in the
one which breaks the
and the rest into families
and gives examples of the complexity of the
and another which compares the orbit of
β Geminorum B,
the planet around the star
to the orbits of the planets in the
is up late at night,
you might want to mention that.
Stuff to Read
- 50 Years
- 55 Cancri
planets, at least.
- Japanese spacecraft
orbiting the Moon: (three of them, one big, two little).
(Realtime, Marc thinks) from same.
orbiting the Moon.
- Now the
are thinking about it too.
- We can send robots to the Moon,
why can’t we land people on Mars? Why,
crash and die!
- The future we thought we would have: