27th August 2010

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by R!f@@, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. R!f@@

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    This is gonna be one hell of a day.

    Are you all ready to see Mars with ur naked eyes? :D
     
  2. Markd77

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  3. Wendy

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    I keep getting that internet myth myself. I think I would have noticed Mars if it was the size of a full moon. :eek:
     
  4. R!f@@

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    we'll see .............
     
  5. Wendy

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    Been there, seen that. I am an astronomy buff among other things, and have already seen Mars, Venus, Jupiter with naked eye many times. Also have seen at least 4 moons of Jupiter with binoculars, and Saturn with a telescope. The planets have been there a long time, all you have to do is look up. Do you know where the plane of the elliptic as seen from your neighborhood?

    It is one of those hobbys I recommend for everyone.

    Did you know that before timepieces became so accurate Jupiter was used to determine the exact time for navigation?
     
  6. R!f@@

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    How can I see what you see..
    I want to see.....:(
     
  7. Markd77

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    There are a few places that tell you where to look for the planets. I use this one:
    http://www.heavens-above.com/
    You have to put your location in to use it and it is a bit technical. There are probably simpler ones. I think there is a google maps of the sky.
    I had a quick look and you should be able to see Jupiter. It should be the brightest dot if you look about straight up at midnight, but should be visible all night.

    <ed> I got a bit confused, you should actually be able to see Mars, Venus and Saturn for about an hour after sunset, fairly low down to the West </ed>
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  8. Wendy

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    Mars and Venus are the easiest planets to spot. First, figure out the plane of the elliptic from your location. It always starts due west to due east, as an arch. It is not usually straight overhead (though it can be), because the tilt of the earth on its axis causes it to vary North or South depending on the time of the year and your location. Once you have it figured out it is pretty automatic to locate it.

    All the planets (and the moon) are on this plane.

    Venus is the easiest planet to spot, because it is closer to the sun it will always be visible just before dawn or right after sunset, if it is visible at all. If it is in line between the earth and the sun then you can't see it. It is the only planet besides the moon you can see as a crescent if your eyes are good enough. I cheat and use binoculars, since it has been a long while that my eyes were that good. The crescent is a sure give away you have found Venus.

    Because the moon and Venus both wax and wane with crescents they were considered to be female by the ancients.

    Mars is a definite shade of red, which is its signature. Planets in general do not flicker like the stars, they are brighter too. If you get used to the star field you can spot them because they move day to day. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn can be anywhere on the plane of the elliptic during the night.

    Jupiter is unremarkable until you look at it with a binocular. When you look at it with magnification you should be able to see at least 3 or more moons. With better binoculars you may see more. You can actually see them slowly move in their orbits if you are patient. The pattern of the moons layout is as accurate as a clock, the Royal Astronomers of Britain published books that showed when the moons crossed at specific times, which allowed captains to set their on board time pieces. This was critical for being able to navigate the seas accurately. I think a second is equal to 10 miles or some such, though I'm not sure.

    Saturn is a prize for the serious star gazers. You have to have a telescope, and it is on the plane like the other planets. The rings are barely visible under normal circumstances.

    I had a friend invite me and the kids for some late night viewing with his high power telescope, complete with clock tracking mechanism. Without it you only get a minute or so of viewing time, at high power everything moves pretty quick, including the moon. I could see the bands of Jupiter that night, as well as get a clear view of the rings of Saturn.

    Astronomy can be a cheap hobby. Mostly it is a matter of taking the time to look up, and doing a little reading.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  9. R!f@@

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    What telescope would u recommend to see Jupiter

    I like to go :eek:
     
  10. Wendy

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    Depends. Go to an astronomy site and they will tell you how to roll your own, or you can buy a cheap beginners telescope for kids.

    If you have a decent set of binoculars there is still plenty to see, get two and you can share the experience with your sweetie.

    Some of my more fun experiences have been with family. As an experience it can be shared.
     
  11. Potato Pudding

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    I think to find out where you want to look to find something, or to identify what star it is you are looking at you want an Orrery program/ Star Map.

    Google Earth had a Star Map I think, and I remember that Homeplanet seemed reasonably good.

    I haven't reinstalled either of those since getting the new computer so I am not up to date on them
     
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  12. R!f@@

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    Took the word right out of my mouth bill :)
     
  13. Markd77

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  14. Wendy

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    2012 huh? Maybe it will be the size of a full moon, just before it smacks us!
     
  15. retched

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    That's pretty funny ;)
     
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