HONOR THE NIGHT -
It is said in the time of Galileo, the Milky Way shone brightly enough to cast a shadow. Now who can ever see the broad band of our galaxy in the night sky? We hide it with bright city lights, go inside our house and flip switches. We no longer honor the night sky.
Ancient cultures measured time by the Moon's phases, the days of each cycle counted out. They knew when the Moon would wax and wane. Who today is aware whether the Moon is crescent, full or gibbous? We no longer honor the night sky.
On a retreat with preteen students, far enough from city lights to see the cosmos, on a night when bright Venus cast a shadow, we asked them to turn off their flashlights, let their eyes adjust,
Trust their steps in starlight.
We honored the night sky.
Juliane Mc Adam, retired middle school language teacher, CA
SCAS CELEBRATES ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF ASTRONOMY
OUTREACH AND PUBLIC EDUCATION IN SOUTH FLORIDA
1922 - 2022
BILL SADOWSKI PARK IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC OBSERVATION.
HOURS ARE DUSK TO 10 PM.
THE D'AURIA OBSERVATORY IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC OBSERVATION
HOURS ARE DUSK TO 10 PM.
SEPTEMBER 2023 - Compiled by Barb Yager
Last Quarter Moon September 6th @ 6:21 pm
New Moon September 14th @ 9:40 pm
First Quarter Moon September 22nd @ 3:22 pm
Full Moon September 29th @ 5:58 am
METEOR SHOWERS THIS MONTH
No Major Meteor Showers this monrth
Open the link: News and Information about Meteor Showers
Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for meteors and fireballs during any meteor shower:
- Get out of the city to a place where the city and artificial lights do not impede your viewing
- If you are out viewing the shower during its peak, you will not need any special equipment. You should be able to see the shower with your naked eyes.
- Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you - viewing meteors, just like any other kind of stargazing is a waiting game, and you need to be comfortable. Plus, you may not want to leave until you can't see the majestic celestial fireworks anymore.
In case you missed it......
October 2022 Sky & Telescope p. 62 features photos of our two famous SCAS astronomers. The late Don Parker, M.D., renowned Mars astrophotographer, and the late Tippy D'Auria, founder of our annual Winter Star Party were in a group of professional astronomers, editors, and photographers who drove to the Florida Keys in June 2001 to hopefully capture Martian flares of light. All were members of the Assoc. of Lunar & Planetary Observers. The intriguing article begins on P. 59.
BRIGHT COMETS THIS MONTH
Discovered by a Japanese astronomer mid August, the brightening comet may be visible low in the ENE around dawn.
With daily updates, the comet is expected to be closest to Earth 9/12 at 78 million miles from Earth. The comet's perihelion will occur 9/17 at 27 million miles from the Sun. Check daily updates. Currently in the constellation Cancer the comet will zip into Leo mid-September and into Virgo late this month. On September 11th it could reach 4.9 magnitude in the sickle of Leo, Lion. About 9/15 Comet Nishimura will transition into the evening sky near Denebola, the tail of the Lion in the ENE. If the comet survives a close pass by the Sun 9/17 it will be visible in binoculars.
It could fade by early October.
-Guy Ottewell & Stellarium
05- The eastbound comet will zip 4 degrees above Algol in Perseus and enter Auriga by the 15th.
Open the link: News and information about Bright Comets
When night skies gradually improve in clarity as the Monsoon season winds down, our SCAS Observing sites will open to members and the public.
D`AURIA OBSERVATORY- 23325 SW 217 Ave. Homestead 33031 opens 7:30 -10 p.m. for astrophotography assistance and general observing.
S. CROSS OBSERVATORY, MiamiDade Bill Sadowski Park 8-10 p.m. SW 176 St./SW 79 Ave..
Palmetto Bay 33157 for equipment assistance. and grand tour of the night sky if weather permits.
In our 37th year at the Park offering successful astronomy education for the public.
No white lights, lasers, flashlights, lanterns, litter, alcohol or pets at both sites Free.
We operate by starlight !
SCAS HAM RADIO
Recently, member Dan Zuckerman replaced and upgraded his ham equipment. He was chatting with folks in Europe.
Do we have some retired, or new SCAS ham operators who would like to establish a SCAS radio dept?
It could become very convenient, or necessary in certain future conditions. Consider the astronomy information shared and maybe international SCAS members!
Contact me (Barb) if you wish to link up with Dan. firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOLAR VIEWING TEAM
We are meeting with the ZooMiami staff to schedule safe solar viewing events at their main entrance 2400 SW 152 St. later this year.
Interested to join our new solar team? Contact me: email@example.com. If you have solar equipment or want to help leave your name and phone on the email of Past President Dr. Lester Shalloway firstname.lastname@example.org so we will have a healthy group for the partial solar eclipse Saturday, October 14 and other solar events. The Sun is exploding in its very active cycle.
Radio hams are trying new methods to detect early strong solar flares.
Recently some powerful solar energy shifted the frequency of government radio stations that broadcast time by atomic clocks.
Check Spaceweather.com and open the link News and Information of Meteor Showers for latest daily NASA info and stunning images.
EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS!
IN THE SKY
In July, Vega rises in the NE early evenings and dominates our summer evening skies until late fall. It sparkles in the constellation Lyra the Harp but is the lead star in the vast Summer Triangle. A variable star, its brightness fluctuates as it rotates every 12.5 hours. Vega is the 2nd brightest summer star compared to red giant Arcturus (located below the Big Dipper). Vega is 455 million years old. About July 1st, Vega will cross the meridian at Midnight. In 210,000 years Vega will become the brightest star in the summer night sky.
Astrophotography began in 1840 when John William Draper took a daguerro-type image of the Moon. Vega was the first star photographed by astronomers at Harvard College Observatory, Boston in August 1872.
In 2005, the Spitzer space telescope revealed infra red images of a dust band around the star.
OMEGA CENTAURI NGC-5139
Aim to the south to capture the famous globular cluster that contains millions of stars. An awesome sight it's visible about 20 degrees above the southern horizon briefly early evening.
STORIES OF INTEREST
SEPTEMBER SPACE HISTORY
01- Pioneer 11 completed its first Saturn flyby in 1979.
03- Viking-2 landed on Mars 1976.
23- Neptune was discovered in 1846. The ice planet ended its first recorded solar orbit in 2011..
Mars (sets early) Saturn Jupiter Neptune (opposition) 2 comets a.m. Equinox
01- At dusk Mars lingers on the western horizon. Saturn rises in the SE by sunset. Jupiter rises in the east about 10 p.m. Fomalhaut and its star system twinkle on the SE horizon.
03- Late evening the Moon hangs 5 degrees above Jupiter in the east.
06- LAST QTR. MOON occurs at 6:21 p.m.
14- NEW MOON oiccurs 9:40 p.m.
16- Spica, in Virgo the Spring Maiden, lingers low in the SW. Mars, the Warrior planet, slides off the western horizon toward the Sun.
20- Huge Scorpius crawls across the SW. Aim equipment to the crater-covered crescent MOON and dark Earthshine. The MOON lies 4 degrees from ruddy Antares (red supergiant hundreds of times larger than our Sun). Antares is known as the red heart beating in the Scorpion's torso.
23- Tonight the MOON lies in the Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy) . The tilted Teapot pours onto the Scorpion's tail. They set early.
AUTUMNAL EQUINOX occurs. See morning segment.
26- The bright MOON and silver Saturn are 3 degrees apart. in the SE.
29- The HARVEST MOON is full in the predawn.
WINTER STARS RISE IN THE EAST LATE EVENING.
The BIG DIPPER swings into the NW. The colorful double stars twinkle from the curve in the handle. Bright ARCTURUS (red giant) sparkles low in the west.
Ruddy ANTARES glistens in huge SCORPIUS low in the SW, closely followed by the Sagittarian TEAPOT in the south. CAPRICORNUS , Sea Goat plods across the south..
Silver SATURN floats high above Fomalhaut in the SE in Aquarius. HERCULES leads VEGA and the vast SUMMER TRIANGLE overhead. The GREAT SQUARE OF PEGASUS rises ARIES, RAM jumps over the eastern horizon. The ROYAL FAMILY appears in the NE.
2 Comets Neptune opposition Eqjuinox ISS Harvest Moon
The Royal Family swings into the NW: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda and Perseus, Hero.
Aries, Ram butts its head on the western horizon. Orion, Hunter, chasses Taurus, Bull westward. Procyon, Orion's Little Dog, follows Orion.
Blue Sirius sparkles in Orion's Big Dog in the SW. The Pups trail across the south. Bright Capella guides Auriga toward the NW.
The Gemini Twins: Castor & Pollux stride overhead. The Beehive cluster shimmers in Cancer below the Twins. Leo, Lion crawls higher in the east.
Spica, in Virgo, rises in the east. The Big Dipper appears in the NE. Bright Arcturus, red giant, sparkles in the ENE.