| Observatory |
Some observing hilights
to look forward to...
The following tips on current and upcoming astronomical events
have been gathered from magazines and other sources by Dave Gamble
with the objective of giving OC RASC members a heads-up on
special personal astro-experiences to look forward to.
Thurs. Aug. 3 – The waxing gibbous Moon will pass just north of the ringed planet Saturn in tonight’s sky.
Mon. Aug. 7 – This is Full Moon night with the perfect orange sphere rising over the eastern mountains to begin an evening survey of how the ripening Okanagan fruit crop is coming along.
Wed. Aug. 9 – Tonight the waning gibbous Moon will provide a guide to locating the blue ice giant Neptune. Look for the outer planet less than two moon widths to the north of our neighbour.
Sat. Aug. 12 – One of the main annual meteor showers, the Perseids, will peak tonight, unfortunately in the company of a waning gibbous Moon which will rise before midnight. Still, the number of Perseids will help make up for the competition which will drown out the faintest members.
Sun. Aug. 13 – Continuing on its tireless journey through the sky, tonight the ebbing Moon is prepared to introduce you to Uranus. The pale green planet will be about the width of two fingers to its north.
Sun. Aug. 13 – It was an important time in ancient Egypt when astronomers and presumably agriculturists looked for the first sign of Sirius rising in the east–southeast. In our epoch this takes place about 20 minutes before sunrise around mid August. For Egyptians it was the signal for the coming annual flood of the Nile. If you should wake early and spy the helical rising of the sky’s brightest star, it might mark the start of this year’s Okanagan apple harvest.
Mon. Aug. 14 – This is Last Quarter Moon night. The half-slice of orange will rise after midnight to brighten the early morning hours, and it will stick around to ornament the sky next morning.
Wed. Aug. 16 – The waning Moon will be located near Aldebaran in Taurus in the early morning hours. We are still very much into summer, however the appearance of the red giant star about four minutes earlier each night is a reminder that it is marching toward the evening sky where it will play its annual role late this fall.
Sat. Aug. 19 – Something for early risers to enjoy will be the pair-up of the waning crescent Moon and brilliant Venus in the pre-dawn sky.
Mon. Aug. 21 – This is the big day! The long wait for a North American total solar eclipse is over. The path of totality will begin in Oregon and stretch across the United States to South Carolina. Here at home the event will be seen as a partial eclipse. As with the total eclipse, the event will begin as the Moon’s black disk touches the solar disk at first contact which will take place in the Okanagan around 9.12am. The black crescent will continue expand until about 83% of the Sun’s disk becomes covered at around 10.24am, leaving only a thin crescent of Sun (which still requires eye protection). As the Moon’s shadow advances, things will reverse until the full solar disk is restored, ending the eclipse at around 11.41am.
Eclipse Public Viewing Events !!!!
KELOWNA - The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Okanagan Center invites the public to join them to observe the August 21 partial solar eclipse from the Kelowna Curling Club at 551 Recreation Ave. RASCOC will have approved solar eclipse glasses and a number of special solar telescopes to allow safe observing of the Sun, and to see sunspots on the Sun’s surface and bright red prominences around the edge. The group will also live-stream the total solar eclipse from the U.S. just before 10:30 am. Event time 9am to 12 noon.
PENTICTON - The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Okanagan Center also invites the public to join them to observe the August 21 partial solar eclipse from the Penticton campus of the Okanagan College. RASCOC will have approved solar eclipse glasses and a number of special solar telescopes to allow safe observing of the Sun, and to see sunspots on the Sun’s surface and bright red prominences around the edge. Event time 9am to 12 noon.
Mon. Aug. 21 – This of course is also New Moon night with our neighbour basking in the success of its eclipse while the rest of us can bask during the heart of the moonless night period for deep sky observing, sketching and imaging.
Fri. Aug. 25 – The waxing fingernail paring Moon will pass about the width of two fingers north of brilliant Jupiter which is now sinking lower into the western sky. The bright star Spica will join the group to form a triangle.
Tues. Aug. 29 – This is First Quarter Moon night, always a special time to admire the beauties of the Okanagan augmented by the perfect half sphere high in the evening sky.
Wed. Aug. 30 – You can tell we are nearing fall when word spreads that the Zodiacal Light is becoming visible in the pre-dawn sky. While the ZL is most often mentioned in the spring months when it appears in the western sky, the same applies in fall except that the triangular glow is seen in the pre-dawn eastern sky. The ghostly Zodiacal light arises when the Sun illuminates dust particles in the equatorial plane of the solar system.