5/30/2024 7:13:01 AM
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A post-eclipse 2024 stargazing guide from astronomer Darrell Heath


A post-eclipse 2024 stargazing guide from astronomer Darrell Heath



Darrell Heath of the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society

With the total solar eclipse in the rearview mirror, we got curious about other phenomena for striving stargazers to seek out in the night sky this year. Fortunate for us, the modestly self-described "amateur astronomers" at the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society were there to assist us feel less unaware about it..

Initially on your list should be attending one of CAAS's month-to-month public "star celebrations" where specialists like Darrell Heath-- Barnes & & Noble employee by day, CAAS outreach planner by night-- help you decode constellations, planet arcs, the summer season Milky Way and other deep-sky delights. Discover information at caasastro.org/calendar.

The Arkansas Natural Sky Association's 3rd annual Arkansas Dark Sky Festival set for Sept. 26-28, is a three-day, family-friendly star party along Bear Creek near the Buffalo National River. Believe nature hikes by day, celestial trips of the sky after dark and talks from featured speaker Jennifer Wiseman of Mountain Home, an astrophysicist currently working on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. See darkskyarkansas.org for details.

Pregame for those occasions with a deep dive into the resources at CAAS site's "New Observers" tab, or check out the first-floor galleries at the state Capitol before Sunday, May 5, to capture "Astronomical Arkansas: Astronomy and Space Science in the Natural State," an exhibit highlighting Arkansas's connections to area science-- like Wiseman and Amber Straughn of Bee Branch [Van Buren County], deputy job researcher for the James Webb Space Telescope. "Women from Arkansas are running the space telescope service for NASA," Arkansas Natural Sky Association Chairman Bruce McMath informed us.Dark Sky FestivalDark Sky Festival.
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Heath filled us in on skygazing chances ahead..
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OK, what are we trying to find in the night sky in 2024? I comprehend the moon cycle will hinder my favorites-- the Perseids-- this year..
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Obviously, as far as nature's eyeglasses go, the eclipse is one of the most breathtaking and amazing sights you can see. However there are some other cool things to see. The meteor showers aren't totally erased. On Aug. 12, the Perseid meteor showers peak, and the moon is going to set around midnight-- which is fine, since the majority of the very best meteors are to be seen after midnight anyhow. When you see numbers listed, like, state, 100 meteors per hour, those are under perfect conditions, which couple of people ever have, however we must have the ability to see about 60 per hour after midnight..

... And when that takes place, that suggests that Saturn is going to be up all night, and it's also the closest to us it's going to be for the year. If individuals have access to a small telescope-- and we have put telescopes in the Central Arkansas Library System and other libraries in the location-- that would be an excellent time to view it. Next year, we are going to be together with Saturn in such a method that we're parallel with the equator, and the rings will totally vanish and gradually come back into view.
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And that suggests when it's at its closest method to Earth and it coincides with the full moon, we see it larger in our sky, but it's only bigger by about 10%. Now, many of us who do not see a complete moon typically don't really recognize that 10% distinction in size. If you see it as it's rising above the horizon, you'll see what's called the moon impression.

Anything else to look out for this year?
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Yeah, on Dec. 7, Jupiter's in opposition. And this year, Jupiter is going to be placed greater up in the sky than it has actually been in the past. Jupiter for the previous couple of years has actually been relatively low in opposition, and when you see it lower in the sky, the light from the item has to travel through more of the Earth's environment, so the image gets a bit distorted, but when it's higher up, the atmosphere is thinner, so you get a clearer image of it. You can see the belts, the dark and light zones that crisscross the planet's surface area, and there are apps that will tell you when the Great Red Spot [an enormous, nonstop storm on Jupiter's environment] remains in front of the planet, so we can see it with a little telescope. Even with a set of binoculars, you can see Jupiter's four largest moons orbiting around it: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

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Elwood Hill

Elwood Hill is an award-winning journalist with more than 18 years' of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, John has worked on a variety of different stories and assignments including national politics, local sports, and international business news. Elwood graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and immediately began working for Breaking Now News as lead journalist.

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