SCAS – Southern Colorado Skies / March 13 – 19, 2016

Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available, and a very good program (Cartes du Ciel) is available free at http://www.ap-i.net/skychart/en/start.

THIS WEEK

This Thursday (March 17th) at our monthly membership meeting Dr. Caixa Gao will provide a lecture on gravitational waves as described in the attached graphic from our web page. Note that due to a large anticipated turnout we have changed the meeting place (this month only) to the auditorium in the CSU-Pueblo Life Sciences Building (a campus map is available at http://www.csupueblo.edu/maps/Documents/CampusMap.pdf).

March_meeting16a2-945x717

 

Monday (March 14)

Jupiter’s moons Io and Europa will cast their shadows on the surface of the gas giant from 8:22 p.m. to 10:34 p.m. MDT. In addition, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot reaches the central meridian about 10:49 p.m. MDT.

Tuesday (March 15)

First-quarter Moon at 11:03 a.m. MDT).

Thursday (March 17)

SCAS General Membership Meeting at 7:00 p.m. (see notice, above).

PLANETS

Mercury (in Aquarius)

Lost in the glare of the Sun.

Venus (in Aquarius)

Very low in the east-southeast about 20 minutes before sunrise. Binoculars may be required but be careful not to accidentally catch the Sun and fry your eyes!

Mars (in Scorpius)

Near the “head” of Scorpius). Mars rises about midnight and by early dawn it’s in the south just to the right (west) of Saturn. Mars should be big enough to show some surface details in your telescope (using at least a high-quality 3-inch scope). Mars, Saturn and Antares form an interesting sky triangle!

Jupiter (in Leo)

Near the “hind foot” of Leo and just past opposition (its closest approach during this pass). Jupiter is high in the southeast after dark and sets just before sunrise.

Saturn (in Ophiuchus)

Located in the “legs” of Ophiuchus, Saturn rises around 12:30 a.m. and is to the lower left (east) of Mars. Mars, Saturn and Antares form an interesting sky triangle!

Uranus (in Pisces) and Neptune (in Aquarius)

Both gas giants are lost in the glare of the Sun.

IRIDIUM FLARES AND INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS):

Sorry – these are too numerous to list here! If you’re serious, load the ISS DETECTOR app on your smart phone or tablet. Alternatively, refer to SCAS member Chuck Percival’s column in the Sunday Pueblo Chieftain.

Have fun!

Dave Furry, SCAS Director of Education

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