Tag Archives: night sky

Shooting Stars Over New Hampshire The Next Few ‘Nights’. Very Active Geminid Meteor Shower Peaking December 13 – 14, 2013.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Geminid Meteor Shower, 2012
>>Dec. 13, 2012.

>>
Bright ‘stars’ over N.H. — Dec. 5, 2013.
>> Comet Lovejoy — Dec. 6, 2013.
**** Check CATEGORY ‘Astronomy’ >>>>


Please check last year’s post on the Geminids for more detail.
Please search ‘meteor’ (>>>>) for tons of additional background on meteors and the other showers
including possible one, soon, from Comet ISON.

Where to look for the Geminids — over New Hampshire.

Jupiter is right there to help you.

Click to ENLARGE. Created by Anura Guruge just for you.

Click to ENLARGE. Created by Anura Guruge just for you.


NASA created orbital map of 39 Geminid 2013 major shooting stars
seen over the last few days.

Earth is the small blue dot at 1 o’clock.
The bigger yellow blob is the Sun.

All the debris, left behind by the asteroid,
is, of course, following the asteroid’s
orbital path around the Sun.

nasageminids2013map

The Bright ‘Stars’, Actually Planets, Over New Hampshire, December 2013 — Venus To Begin With, Then Jupiter.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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...
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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
**** Check CATEGORY ‘Astronomy’ >>>>


Click images to ENLARGE.

Underlying ‘star’ charts extracted from neave.com/planetarium/


venusdec2013II
Jupiterdec2013II
Jupiterdec2013IIW


Early on in the ‘evening’ close to the Moon, in the Southwest, is Venus
— very big and bright.

Two days ago we had the perfect ‘Moon trying to eat Venus’ conjunction
(the ‘crescent and star‘ symbol that appears on Islamic flags).

Later on at night, STARTING in the East,
it is Jupiter.

But, as we spin around, everything in the night sky moves from East to West.

So during the night Jupiter will swing from East to West —
as the two images above show.

Every night around 10:45, before starting my 3rd shift, I take the dogs out.

In the Winter I always look up, towards the East, to see Jupiter.

During the Winter, night-by-night, Jupiter will be, at the same time, say 10:45, further West.

That is because we are all going around the Sun …

Neptune, Uranus and Pluto are up there too — BUT, not naked eye visible. OK?

The Other Bright ‘Star’ In The Night Sky, Over NH, Is ‘Sirius’, Low To The East, Below Jupiter.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> That Bright Yellow ‘Star’ In The Night Sky Over New Hampshire, Is Jupiter — Dec. 3, 2012.


Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.


Jupiter, given that it is invariably higher in the sky, will most likely be the bright object that first arouses your curiosity and awe.

If it is later in the night you might see a very bright, burning WHITE star, close to the tree line, maybe even glimpsed through the trees in the East. That would be Sirius, the Dog Star — the brightest star in the night sky. It is actually brighter than Jupiter. This serious brightness of Sirius is due to two factors: it is relatively nearby and it is big — twice as big as the Sun. It is 8.6 light years away. So what we are seeing now, in December 2012, is what Sirius was doing 8 years 7 months ago.

Many never think about this. Light thought it travels fast, still has a speed limit. So if an object is far away, it does take time before light from that object gets to us. Even Sun light takes 8.3 minutes to reach us. The light from Jupiter (i.e., sunlight reflected off Jupiter’s gaseous, yellowish atmosphere) takes nearly 35 minutes to reach us. So in reality when we look up and see Jupiter, we are not actually seeing Jupiter in ‘real time’. We are seeing Jupiter as it was 34.9 minutes ago. Think about that. You can have fun pondering this. ‘Rigel‘, the bright white star that makes up the leg of Orion, is ~860 light years away. So what we are seeing is light that left Rigel 860 years ago. For all we know Rigel could have exploded — supernovaed. It would be 860 years before we would see it.

So the next time you look up at the night sky remember that much of what you are seeing is in time lapse. Light that was there sometime before.

That Bright Yellow ‘Star’ In The Night Sky Over New Hampshire, Is Jupiter.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


skyatnightdec2012

Click to ENLARGE.


If you were curious, or if the kids were asking, what you are most likely seeing is Jupiter. Other than the Moon, it is the brightest object currently in the night sky, over NH. It is hard to miss. Given its brightness it appears in the sky quite early — even at dusk. It rises in the East, moves a bit to the South but then continues across the sky, right through the night, to set in the West. Its position, at a specific time each night, say 11 pm, will change slightly — typically further to the West. This has to do with the relative orbits of us and Jupiter.

Jupiter, right now, is about as close as it ever gets to Earth. So it is atypically bright. I take out the dogs for their last little jaunt for the day around 10:45 pm each night. In the winter, if there are no clouds, I search out Jupiter. It always uplifts me.

Saturn, Venus and Mercury are also visible this month — but in the morning. So, I won’t see those.

We might also get some meteor showers this month.

If you don’t already have a favorite site for checking out the night sky, try this. It is accurate and easy enough to use. IF I ever get enough time I will do more posts on the night sky because astronomy happens to be another of my interests. More on that later. Enjoy.