Boston

Astronomy
Welcome to the Boston Astronomy website ...

This website has been created by and is supported by a group of Boston, MA - area amateur astronomers.
It is intended to be a convenient site for access to news and information about astronomy and space-related activities
of interest to the community and the public.
     


















       

          


      

           

Next Astronomy Course:

           

Mysteries of the Universe: Black Holes, Dark Energy, and More: Fall Semester

        

Fifty years ago, humans landed on the Moon. We’ve since discovered countless planets orbiting other suns, and potentially habitable environments in our own solar system. We know how big the universe is, how old it is, and what’s it’s made of. But we also face mysteries: black holes, dark matter, and dark energy. We’ll cover everything you’ve always wanted to know but were afraid to ask. No math or science background required. You’ll also get to use a large telescope at a local observatory.

                        

Meets at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 8 Tuesdays: Sept. 17 - April 2 - Nov. 5, 2019 - 7:45 PM - 9:15 PM.

                

                                                          


                 

 September Astronomy-Related Events in the Boston Area  

                                                      

             

Saturday, September 7, 2019; 7:30 PM

Arlington Astronomy Nights

Robbins Farm Park

Arlington, MA

http://www.arlingtonastronomy.org 

  • Just one week later, the sky that was moonless before is now lit by a beautiful Moon that is now half-full and high up at sundown. Light from the Sun illuminates the peaks around the craters on the Moon, helping us to see the moon not as a flat surface, but as the heavily cratered ground that it is.
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  • Thursday, September 12, 2019, 8:00 PM

    Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston (ATMoB) Monthly Meeting

    60 Garden St.

    Cambridge, MA 02138

    http://www.atmob.org

    Topic and Speaker: "Deep Sky Imaging Using a DSLR Caamera", Al Takeda

    While the dedicated thermally electrically cooled (TEC) large sensor CCD camera is the instrument of choice for the professional and advanced astro-imager, the prices can be prohibitive for most astrophotographers. The alternative is the DSLR, which can double as a daytime and a nighttime astronomy camera. In this presentation, Al Takeda will discuss the DSLR camera’s ability to capture deep sky images. Topics will include the type of DSLR to choose, which lenses would work, adapters needed for a telescope, what targets to choose, the imaging session, and post processing of the images. 
    Al Takeda is an astrophotographer employing advanced techniques in deep sky imaging. Using small aperture telescopes such as a 180 mm hyperbolic astrograph, a 92 mm apochromatic refractor and a 203 mm Schmidt-Cassegrain he has captured hydrogen alpha gas regions, planetary nebulas and galaxies. 
    Al does branch out into meteor, comet, planetary, lunar and solar astrophotography. Most of his images are taken under light polluted suburban skies. 
    He is a member of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston and has held the position of Secretary. He is the current newsletter editor and Member at Large. Al is the Manufacturing Manager at the acoustic-audio company, Listen, Inc. 

       

       

    Thursday, September 19, 2019, 7:30 PM

    Public Observatory Night

    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    60 Garden Street

    Cambridge, MA 02138

    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/publicevents

    Topic and Speaker: "Chasing the Total Solar Eclipse at 43,000 FT",  Ed DeLuca and Jenna Samra, Center for Astrophysics

    The sun's corona is notable for its million-degree temperatures and its violent eruptions, both of which are powered by energy from its magnetic field. Measuring the coronal magnetic field is key to understanding how this energy is stored, converted to heat, and rapidly released in eruptive events. A new CfA instrument has taken a step toward making this difficult measurement by viewing the last two total solar eclipses from a high-altitude airplane. By observing infrared light emitted by the corona, the Airborne Infrared Spectrometer (AIR-Spec) measures the corona's temperature and density and paves the way for a future instrument that will measure its magnetic field. To view each eclipse, the instrument and its operators flew in the National Science Foundation's Gulfstream V aircraft at an altitude of over 43,000 feet, above the clouds and most of the infrared-absorbing gas in earth's atmosphere. Ed DeLuca and Jenna Samra will talk about the solar corona, the instrument they built, and what they learned by observing the eclipse in infrared light from an airplane.
     
       

       

    Friday, September 20, 2019 - Sunday, September 22, 2019

    Annual Starfest Starparty
    Astronomical Society of Northern New England
    Starfield Observatory, 918 Alewive Road (Rt 35)
    Kennebunk, ME 04043
    https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/event-view.cfm?Event_ID=96626

     

        

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - Sunday, September 29, 2019

Acadia Night Sky Festival
Acadia National Park, ME

http://www.acadianightskyfestival.com/

    

   

Friday, September 27, 2019 - Sunday, September 29, 2019

Connecticut Star Party
Astronomical Society of New Haven
Ashford, CT
http://www.asnh.org

    

  

 

Plus (ongoing):        

   

          

Wednesdays:

Boston University

Boston, MA.
Open Night at Coit Observatory most Wednesdays 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM. 

617-353-2630
http://www.bu.edu/astronomy/events/public-open-night-at-the-observatory/  

  

   

Fridays, 8:00 PM EDT - 10:00 PM EDT (ends October 25, 2019):

Astronomy After Hours

Museum of Science

Boston, MA.
617-589-0267

https://mos.org/drop-in-activities/astronomy-after-hours
    
 

              

                    

The Sky at a Glance: September 2019

         

The September Equinox occurs at 3:50 AM EDT on September 23. This represents the instant the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way south. By convention, it is considered the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere and of spring in the southern hemisphere.

                                                              

            Phases of the Moon:

  

First Quarter Moon

September 5

11:10 PM EDT

Full Moon

September 14

12:33 AM EDT

Last Quarter Moon

September 21

     10:41 PM EDT

New Moon

September 28

2:26 PM EDT

    

   Planet Visibility:

    

In Evening (after sunset):

    Venus, in W

    Mercury, in W

    Jupiter, in SW

    Saturn, in S

    Neptune, in SE

    Uranus, in E

            

At Midnight:

    Saturn, in SW

    Neptune, in S

    Uranus, in E 

                      

In Morning (before sunrise):

    Neptune, in W  

    Uranus, in SW

            

                   

Comets:

   
  •     There are no comets brighter than magnitude 8 currently visible.
    •   

Meteors:

       

  •     There are no major meteor showers in September
                               

                                    


       
Major Astronomical Events: September 2019
                   
    

 September 2019

    
Sept. 1 Sun.   Parker Solar Probe perihelion #3
Sept. 1 Sun. 12:30 PM EDT 40th Anniversary of first Saturn flyby (Pioneer 11, 1979)
Sept. 2 Mon. 6:42 AM EDT Mars @ solar conjunction
Sept. 2 Mon. 10:00 AM EDT Moon 7.1° NNE of Spica, 45° and 44° from Sun in evening sky
Sept. 3 Tue. 6:38 PM EDT 43rd Anniversary of Viking 2 Mars landing (Utopia Planitia)
Sept. 3 Tue. 10:00 PM EDT Mercury @superior conjunction
Sept. 5 Thhur. 7:00 PM EDT Moon 7.6° NNE of Antares, 88° and 87° from Sun in evening sky
Sept. 5 Thur. 11:10 PM EDT First Quarter Moon
Sept. 6 Fri. 3:00 AM EDT Moon 2.7° NNE of Jupiter, 92° from Sun in evening sky
Sept. 6 Fri. 8:40 AM EDT Neptune (mag. 7.8) just 13 arc-seconds from Phi Aquarii (mag. 4.2)
Sept. 7 Sat.   India's India's Vikram spacecraft soft-lands on Moon
 
Sept. 8 Sun. 9:30 AM EDT Moon 0.04° S of Saturn, 118° from Sun in evening sky
Sept. 8 Sun. 11:00 AM EDT Jupiter @ eastern quadrature
Sept. 8 Sun. 2:00 PM EDT Moon @ descending node
Sept. 8 Sun. 11:00 PM EDT Moon 0.08° N of Pluto
Sept. 9 Mon. 2:01 AM EDT Neptune closest to Earth (28.93 AU / 4.33 billion km / 2.69 billion mi)
Sept. 10 Tue. 3:00  AM EDT Neptune @ opposition
Sept. 13 Fri. 9:32 AM EDT Moon @ apogee (406,377 km / 252,511 mi)
Sept. 13 Fri. 2:00 PM EDT Moon 3.4° SE of Neptune, 174° and 176° from Sun in midnight sky
Sept. 13 Fri. 5:02 PM EDT 60th Anniversary of First Human Object reaching another world (Luna 2, 1959)
Sept. 14 Sat. 12:33 AM EDT Full Moon ("Full Harvest Moon")
 
Sept. 17 Tue. 4:00 AM EDT Moon enters Virgo
Sept. 17 Tue. 4:00 PM EDT Moon 4.2° SE of Uranus, 138° and 139° from Sun in morning sky
Sept. 19 Thur. 7:00 PM EDT Moon 7.6° SE of Pleiades, 116° from Sun in morning sky
Sept. 20 Fri. 12:00 PM EDT Moon 2.61°N of Aldebaran, 107° from Sun in morning sky
Sept. 21 Sat. 10:41 PM EDT Last Quarter Moon
 
Sept. 22 Sun. 5:00 AM EDT Moon 2° S of M35, 87° from Sun in morning sky
Sept. 23 Mon. 3:00 AM EDT Moon @ ascending node
Sept. 23 Mon. 3:50 AM EDT Autumnal Equinox
Sept. 23 Mon. 3:00 PM EDT Moon 9.5° S of Castor, 69° and 70° from Sun in morning sky
Sept. 23 Mon. 8:00 PM EDT Moon 5.9° S of Pollux, 66° and 67° from Sun in morning sky
Sept. 24 Tue. 6:00 PM EDT Moon 0.4° N of Beehive (M44), 54° from Sun in morning sky

Sept. 26

Thur.

6:35 AM EDT / 6:36 PM EDT

Equilux (day and night of equal length)

Sept. 26 Thur. 7:00 AM EDT Moon 3.2° NNE of Regulus, 33° from Sun in morning sky
Sept. 27 Fri. 10:24 PM EDT Moon @ perigee (357,802 km / 222,328 mi)
Sept. 28 Sat. 2:26 PM EDT New Moon
Sept. 28 Sat. 7:00 PM EDT Mercury 1.4° N of Spica,  19° and 18° from Sun in morning sky
 
Sept. 29 Sun. 12:00 PM EDT Moon 4° NNE of Venus, 13° and 14° from Sun in eveningg sky
Sept. 29 Sun. 6:00 PM EDT Moon 6° N of Mercury, 19° from Sun in evening sky

   


             

     An Overview of Major Astronomical Events in 2019

      

 

2019
Jan. 1 Tue. 12:33 AM EST New Horizons @ closest approach: 3,500 km (2,175 miles)

Jan. 1

Tue.

11:53 PM EST

Saturn @ superior conjunction

Jan. 3

Thur.

4:59 AM EST

Earth @ perihelion (0.98328 AU / 147,097,233 km / 91,401,983 mi)

Jan. 3

Thur.

9:28 PM EST

Quadrantid meteors peak. (Good.)

Jan. 4 Fri. 7:14 AM EST Latest sunrise of year (7:13:48 AM EST)

Jan. 5

Sat.

11:54 PM EST

Venus @ greatest elongation west (47°)

Jan. 20

Sun.

11:41 PM EST

Total lunar eclipse begins

Jan. 21 Mon. 12:44 AM EST Total lunar eclipse ends
Jan. 25 Fri.   Dust storm season on Mars ends
Feb. 18 Mon.   Hayabusa2 attempts sample collection from asteroid Ryugu.

Feb. 26

Tue.

10:00 AM EDT

Mercury @ greatest elongation east (18°)

Mar. 2 Sat.   Launch of SpaceX Demo-1 flight
Mar. 3 Sun. 11:00 AM EST 50th Anniversary of Apollo 9 launch
Mar. 4 Mon.   Hayabusa2 second attempt at sample collection

Mar. 10

Sun.

2:00 AM EST / 3:00 AM EDT

Daylight Saving Time begins

Mar. 17

Sun.

6:53 AM EDT - 6:53 PM EDT

Equilux (day and night of equal length)

Mar. 20

Wed.

5:58 PM EDT

March Equinox

Mar. 23 Sat. 7:36 AM EDT Spring Equinox, N. Hemisphere of Mars
Apr. 4 Thur.   Parker Solar Probe perihelion #2
Apr. 11 Thur. 3:42 PM EDT Mercury @ greatest elongation west (18°)
Apr. 22 Mon. 8:00 PM EDT Lyrid meteors peak

May 5

Sun.

9:12 AM EDT

Eta Aquariid meteors peak. (Good.)

May 11

Sat.

All day

Astronomy Day (Spring)

May 18 Sat. 12:49 PM EDT 50th  Anniversary of Apollo 10 launch

June 10

Sun.

11:11 AM EDT

Jupiter @ opposition

June 15

Sat.

5:07 AM EDT

Earliest sunrise

June 21

Fri.

11:54 AM EDT

June (Summer) Solstice

June 23 Sun. 7:18 PM EDT Mercury @ greatest elongation east (25.2°)

June 27

Thur.

8:25 PM EDT

Latest sunset of year (8:25:22 PM)

July 4

Thur.

6:11 PM EDT

Earth @ aphelion (1.017 AU / 152.1 milion km / 94.5 million miles)

July 9

Wed.

1:00 PM EDT

Saturn @ opposition

July 16 Tue. 9:32 AM EDT 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 launch (Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins)
July 20 Sat. 7:53 AM EDT 43rd Anniversary of first Mars landing (Viking 1, 1976)
July 20 Sat. 4:17 PM EDT 50th Anniversary of first Moon landing (Apollo 11, 1969)
July 20 Sat. 10:56 PM EDT 50th Anniversary of first step on Moon (Neil Armstrong, 1969)
July 21 Sun. 1:54 PM EDT 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 leaving lunar surface
Jul. 22 Mon. 5:22 AM EDT India's Chandrayaan-2 soft-lander / rover mission launches to Moon
       
July 24 Wed. 12:51 PM EDT 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 splashdown
Aug. 9 Fri. 7:06 PM EDT Mercury @ greatest elongation west (18°)

Aug. 13

Tue.

8:00 AM EDT

Perseid meteors peak. (Poor.)

Sept. 1 Sun.   Parker Solar Probe perihelion #3
Sept. 3 Tue. 6:38 PM EDT 43rd Anniversary of Viking 2 Mars landing
Sept. 6 Fri.   India's India's Vikram spacecraft soft-lands on Moon

Sept. 10

Tue.

2:00 PM EDT

Neptune @ opposition

Sept. 23

Mon.

3:49 AM EDT

September (Fall) Equinox

Sept. 26

Thur.

6:35 AM EDT / 6:36 PM EDT

Equilux (day and night of equal length)

Oct. 5

Sat.

All day

Astronomy Day (Fall)

Oct. 7 Mon. 9:08 PM EDT Summer Solstice, N. Hemisphere of Mars
Oct. 15 Tue.   Launch window for ESA Cheops exoplanet mission opens
Oct. 20 Sun. 12:00 AM EDT Mercury @ greatest elongation east (24.6°)

Oct. 22

Sun.

10:00 AM EDT

Orionid meteors peak. (Poor.)

Oct. 28

Mon.

3:17 AM EDT

Uranus @ opposition

Nov. 3

Sun.

1:00 AM EST / 2:00 AM EDT

Daylight Saving Time ends

Nov. 8/9   11:25 PM EST - 12:27 AM EST Beginning of Callisto eclipse series (61 eclipses)
Nov. 11 Mon. 7:36 AM EST - 1:04 PM EST Transit of Mercury

Nov. 18

Mon.

12:15 AM EST

Leonid meteors peak. (Poor.)

Nov. 24 Sun. 3:58 PM  EST 50th Anniversary of Apollo 12 Moon Landing
Nov. 29 Thur. 5:30 AM EST Mercury @ greatest elongation west (20.1°)

Dec. 9

Thur.

4:11 PM EST

Earliest sunset of year (4:11:48 PM EST)

Dec. 14

Sat.

1:25 PM EST

Geminid meteors peak. (Excellent.)

Dec. 21

Sat.

11:19 PM EST

December (Winter) Solstice

Dec. 22

Sun.

10:00 PM EST

Ursid meteors peak (poor)

Dec. 26 Thur.   Parker Solar Probe Venus flyby #2

   

     


   

    Supernova Style Science News  with Ms. Julie Seven Sage

    


                  

September 15, 2019 - 9:00 PM EDT