PostHeaderIcon Crew Dragon Splashdown: Sunday August 2, 11:15am Pacific

I will be hosting live commentary over Zoom during the Splashdown of Crew Dragon (the return to Earth of NASA’s #LaunchAmerica: the first launch of crew to orbit in a commercial spacecraft).

When: Sunday, August 2, 2020 11:15am Pacific Time

Where: Register in advance for this meeting (because it is public): https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYkfuqvrz8tHtF1InWLMWB77rwAopWZc8cl

I will probably be livestreaming the splashdown via https://www.nasa.gov/live within the commentary. I will be commentating directly with you, and will attempt not to be talking over the NASA and SpaceX official commentators, but explaining some terms they use and answering your direct questions.

To watch the livestream of the launch on your own go to https://www.nasa.gov/live to get the best links from NASA.

Here’s my Twitter summary of why the launch was historic, and hence the return-to-Earth as well:

This is going to be a very big step. If I’m checking my history correctly, this will be the first crewed orbital flight of a truly-new design of spacecraft since the Space Shuttles first orbited in ~1981. I’m not dismissing SpaceShipTwo’s accomplishment of suborbital human spaceflight in 2018, but orbital is definitely different.

I am also not dismissing 神舟(Shenzhou) in 2003, though you have to admit that 神舟 is very, very, very similar to Сою́з(Soyuz). In trying to capture the significance of this upcoming crewed Dragon launch, the technology of 神舟 didn’t *feel* as new.

I guess I’m trying to say this *feels* very different and very new. As we’re living in a time of heightened anxiety with the pandemic, things that *feel* like risky new technology can *feel* even newer or riskier. Let us not mistake *feelings* for quantitative and scientifically-conducted risk assessment in any of our scientific endeavors right now, be they human spaceflight, quarantine advice, or the accelerated development of massive SARS-Cov-2 testing and vaccines.

See you in the morning!

-Alice

 

PostHeaderIcon Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) from West Seattle

This comet is visible a couple hours before sunrise for the next few days (July 9, 10, 11) and shortly after sunset after July 12 or so. All dates and times I mention are for West Seattle, Washington, USA. We’re in Pacific Time and at latitude 47.5°. Most of the times will be approximately true for your local time if you’re between 30-50° latitude in the Northern Hemisphere.

The problem with Comet NEOWISE is, even though it is fairly bright for a comet, it is still very close to the Sun from our point of view. When the Sun is in the sky, or even not in the sky but near the horizon, the sky itself is bright, washing out dimmer stars and sky objects. So you have to find the balance point between the peak of the comet’s brightness (which seems to be today July 9) and its distance from the Sun in the sky. Starting July 12 it will get farther and farther from the Sun in our sky, and be visible later and later after sunset.

NEOWISE is currently approximately visual magnitude 2 (smaller numbers are brighter), which is easily visible in a semi-dark sky. You can use these star charts to estimate whether or not a magnitude 2 object will be visible where you are. If you can see as many stars as are in the magnitude 3 chart, or more, then the comet will be visible. If you’re reading this after July 10, check the current magnitude of the comet, and look for the chart for stars dimmer than that.

an image of 8 different sky maps showing different numbers of stars. Magnitude 0 shows only one star, Magnitude 1 shows a few. Magnitude 7 is very dense with stars.

Image from Globe at Night

Morning Sky

Your best chance for July 10 and July 11, 2020 will be around 3-3:40 am looking towards the Northeastern horizon.

a Seattle horizon view from Stellarium here for July 10th at 3am. It will show a small marker next to the Northeast horizon between the constellations of Auriga to the right/North and Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) to the left/South. The marker is about 1/4 of the from Auriga to Ursa Major, it is much closer to Auriga.

Image from Stellarium

The Northeast horizon is our worst horizon in West Seattle, because that’s directly over Seattle proper. Lots of light pollution. If you want to see this comet, you’ll have to go to the other side of the city. Consider the peninsula or the East side of the Cascades. Wherever you choose, please wear a mask and stay more than 6 feet away from stargazers who aren’t part of your household.

Evening Sky

In a few days, after July 12, it will start to be visible after the Sun sets. You’re welcome to try for it before July 12, but since it sets just an hour after sunset, the odds aren’t good. You’ll be looking north of the Northwest horizon.

a Seattle horizon view from Stellarium here for July 11 at 10pm. It will show a small marker next to the Northwest horizon between the constellations of Auriga to the right/North, Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) above, and Leo to the left/South. The marker is about an eighth of the from Auriga to Leo, it is much closer to Leo. It is about a quarter of the way from Auriga to Ursa Major, closer to Auriga

Image from Stellarium

This is a much better horizon from West Seattle, you can view it from most place on the West side of West Seattle. I recommend trying for this one starting July 12 or so, and watch the news to see if other Northern Hemisphere folks have sighted it in their evening skies yet. Wherever you choose, please wear a mask and stay more than 6 feet away from stargazers who aren’t part of your household.

Binoculars

STOP! READ THIS!

If you use binoculars to see this, you must promise me you’ll put them down about 20 minutes before sunrise is predicted to happen. Please. This object is too close to the Sun for me to risk your eyes. Similarly, don’t begin looking for it until at least 5 minutes after you see the Sun finally set below the horizon.

This comet is going to be much more spectacular in binoculars or if you take a long-exposure photograph. A number of phones have “night sight” settings in the camera now, that will also bring out a little more detail, but you’ll need to hold the phone still: rest it on a stable surface.

Any old binoculars will work, they don’t need to be specific to astronomy.

Some useful sources:

  • Sky and Telescope has a map of NEOWISE’s positions over the course of July, and some photos by amateur astronomers.
  • Globe at Night has some reference star charts so you know how bright the stars are that you’re able to see.
  • Earth and Sky has tips on comet viewing, and the picture from Alexander Krivenyshev in Guttenberg, New Jersey is the most like what you’ll see.
  • Aerith.net by Seiichi Yoshida is full of detailed information about this comet, along with its most recent brightness.

Keep Looking Up!

-Alice

PostHeaderIcon Seasonal Sunset Watches!

It’s time for the seasonal sunset watch, every solstice and equinox sunset at Solstice Park in West Seattle. Here are the details for the next several events:

 

#

Date

Event Time

Actual
Sunset Time

Official
Sunset Time

Equinox/Solstice Moment Time

41 Summer Solstice
Friday, June 21, 2019
8:30 pm – 9:30 pm 9:00 pm 9:11 pm 8:54 am
42 Fall Equinox
Monday, September 23, 2019
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm 6:55 pm 7:05 pm 12:50 am
43 Winter Solstice
Saturday, December 21, 2019
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm 4:05 pm 4:20 pm 8:19 pm
44 Spring Equinox
Thursday, March 19, 2020WEBCAST VIA ZOOM: https://zoom.us/j/141055635
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

VIA ZOOM: https://zoom.us/j/141055635

7:00 pm 7:22  pm 8:50 pm
45 Summer Solstice
June 20, 2020

VIA ZOOM, register in advance for this meeting:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/
tJYrdu2hrTwoGtInHlDhi8Nqtp5CbhoLEP_9

8:45 pm – 9:15 pm

VIA ZOOM, register in advance for this meeting:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/
tJYrdu2hrTwoGtInHlDhi8Nqtp5CbhoLEP_9

9:00 pm 9:11 pm 2:44 pm
46 Fall Equinox
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm 6:55 pm 7:05 pm 6:31 am
47 Winter Solstice
Monday, December 21, 2020
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm 4:05 pm 4:20 pm 2:02 am
  • When:
    • We have noticed that the Sun sets about 15 minutes earlier than the USNO‘s official prediction says, because of the horizon altitude.
    • The moment of the solstice/equinox doesn’t usually happen during this event, but I leave it here for you to know.
  • Where: I will host Summer 2020’s Solstice Sunset watch via webcast through zoom.us: VIA ZOOM, register in advance for this meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYrdu2hrTwoGtInHlDhi8Nqtp5CbhoLEP_9
    • I want to support folks in continued social distancing to protect our most vulnerable from SARS-Cov-2/coronavirus. I recommend you find a nice outdoor space to watch the sunset from, and tune in to the participatory webcast for some social interaction and celebration of the turning of the seasons.
    • While you’re waiting for the link, go to zoom.us to download the Zoom webconference software, find a webcam (or use your phone), and locate a headset with a microphone.
  • Where: Solstice Park – all the way up the hill from the tennis courts (or, if you’re not in Seattle, wherever you have a view of the western horizon!)
  • Who: Everyone welcome, as usual. (Please do leash your dogs as we usually have a good number of people, kids, and other dogs around.)
Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto

Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto, skyseeker

Come watch the sunset at Solstice Park in West Seattle. I’ll be there even if it is cloudy because sometimes the Sun peeks through just as it begins to set, but if it is driving rain or a thunderstorm I’m staying home with some tea!

If you’re interested – here’s the timing of various celestial events  from Seattle, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department.

This event is my part of the NASA’s Solar System Ambassador program, and thanks to West Seattle Blog for publicizing all of them!

Everyone is welcome, see you there!

~ A l i c e !

PostHeaderIcon Aurora Viewing from Seattle — Basic Tips

Aurora viewing from Seattle, basic info, tips, locations and resources.
Summary: ALWAYS LOOK NORTH, and expect it to be dim.

 

Forecasts for minute-to-minute updates:

The Ovation Model – a prediction: bright green, yellow or red overlapping Seattle means go outside and look.

Soft Serve News – a prediction: Kp over 5 means possible aurora for Seattle, but the higher the better. If it hits 6 go outside.

Current Activity, Estimated Kp,  – a measurement: Kp over 5 is good news. Remember the date/time along the bottom are in Universal Time so subtract 7 or 8 hours depending on daylight savings.

Advanced Solar Wind Charge/Direction – a measurement: scroll down. On the left under “Real Time Solar Wind” is a little speedometer thing labeled “Bz.” When this is pointed towards S/-50/Red we have better auroras in the Northern Hemisphere. When it is pointed the other way, the Southern Hemisphere has better aurora.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center – LOTS of info in one place.

 

Cloudcover prediction for tonight at 11pm:

This image should have today’s date on it. If it does not, click on the image and choose “Sky Cover, 11pm” from the table on the left.

Cloudcover information from NOAA

 

Basics:

What: Possible aurora. Slight greenish tinge, perhaps brighter columns or curtains in the sky, or a diffuse red glow. Do not be tricked by the normal red/yellow glow from downtown Seattle.

When: Use Timeanddate.com to convert aurora prediction times from UTC to Pacific Daylight or Standard Time.

Where: Always look North for aurorae. When clouds are predicted over Puget Sound, so I recommend viewing from Lake Kachess just past Snoqualmie Pass, or even further East. There may also be chances from Sequim or north of Everett.

How: A digital camera with a long exposure will be better at detecting the slightest glow than your eye, but once it gets bright enough you won’t need the camera anymore.

 

Tips (from my Twitter stream):

  • Alice’s Aurora Tip #1: Be patient, keep an eye on the data (see links below) until you see something. Then turn off the data and enjoy.
  • Alice’s Aurora Tip #2: Look North. Be in a dark place.
  • Alice’s Aurora Tip #3: Bring a digital camera or phone with a long-exposure setting. Long-exposure images gather more light than your eye with long exposures you may see the aurora first in a viewfinder, and with your eye as it brightens.
  • Alice’s Aurora Tip #4: It is usually hard to see from Seattle, even when visible. Give your eyes a chance to adapt. Enjoy the stars too.

 

Advanced:

When Kp levels surpass 5 it is worth starting to check in. In Seattle, we hope for Kp levels of 6 or greater for the best chance to see the aurora. I explained Kp over here.

 

 

*NEW* Recommended Viewing Locations:

My general stargazing location recommendations.

PostHeaderIcon Where Should You Go for Stargazing or to watch the Perseids?

See the tab above that says “Seattle Stargazing“? That’s my most recent list of ideas for you.

The map can be found over on Google Maps as well.

My Perseids news coverage 2015

-Full article at West Seattle Blog.

-Interview on KUOW’s The Record for 8/12/2015.

-365 Days of Astronomy What’s Up Tonight, Southern Skies Edition August 2015 (includes tips on astrophotography)

Alan Boyle’s article at GeekWire about Seattle stargazing spots

~ A l i c e !

PostHeaderIcon Make Your Own Pluto Globe (MAPS as of 7-16-2015!)

Pluto-Foldable-Globe-2015-07-16

This thumbnail links to the latest globe activity PDF

My dad has been hard at work on a project for my Plutopalooza New Horizons Phone Home event tomorrow. I promised you crafts, and for those of our who cannot attend the event in person, I’m posting this one here.

This is currently a globe of the very latest map available of Pluto from Björn Jónsson. We will be posting one update tomorrow (July 14, 2015) morning, and possibly one more tomorrow evening. Check back on this post for the final update.

Pluto Foldable Globe 2015-07-13 (First post)

Pluto Foldable Globe 2015-07-14 (Second post — updated 10am Pacific Time Tuesday 7-14-2015)

Pluto Foldable Globe 2015-07-16 (Third post — updated 7-16-2015 with better Charon, probably the last post for several months. I hope to do one more when there’s a high-res map available.)

~ A l i c e !

PostHeaderIcon Where to Find AstroInfo?

What’s become of me? Like many other vaguely-successful authors, you can now find my work in more places and less often back here at home. This is great news for me, tough news for trying to follow me. I’m not gone for good, but check these locations for more recent articles:

Thanks for keeping up!

-Alice

PostHeaderIcon #LaunchAmerica Live Commentary: SpaceX Demo-2 test flight of Crew Dragon

I will be hosting live commentary over Zoom during NASA’s #LaunchAmerica: the first launch of crew to orbit in a commercial spacecraft. The launch is currently targeted for Wednesday, May 27, at 1:33pm Pacific time. I will start my commentary at 1:00pm Pacific Time. This will all be rescheduled if the launch gets rescheduled.

When: Wednesday, May 27, 1:00pm Pacific Time

Where: Register in advance for this meeting (because it is public):
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0rdu6rqTwiGtThxCfYc7rK-UgGcvDTj6qY

I will probably not be livestreaming the launch within the commentary. It’ll be better quality if you open the Zoom link up in one tab, and the launch livestream in another. I will be commentating directly with you, and will attempt not to be talking over the NASA official commentators, but explaining some terms they use and answering your direct questions. If it does seem to work better, then I will try livestreaming the launch also. We’ll see. Technology, yo.

To watch the livestream of the launch go to https://www.nasa.gov/beourguest and register to get the best links from NASA. I will also post more links here and in the Zoom chat once we’re rolling tomorrow.

Here’s my Twitter summary of why this is historic:

This is going to be a very big step. If I’m checking my history correctly, this will be the first crewed orbital flight of a truly-new design of spacecraft since the Space Shuttles first orbited in ~1981. I’m not dismissing SpaceShipTwo’s accomplishment of suborbital human spaceflight in 2018, but orbital is definitely different.

I am also not dismissing 神舟(Shenzhou) in 2003, though you have to admit that 神舟 is very, very, very similar to Сою́з(Soyuz). In trying to capture the significance of this upcoming crewed Dragon launch, the technology of 神舟 didn’t *feel* as new.

I guess I’m trying to say this *feels* very different and very new. As we’re living in a time of heightened anxiety with the pandemic, things that *feel* like risky new technology can *feel* even newer or riskier. Let us not mistake *feelings* for quantitative and scientifically-conducted risk assessment in any of our scientific endeavors right now, be they human spaceflight, quarantine advice, or the accelerated development of massive SARS-Cov-2 testing and vaccines.

See you tomorrow!

 

PostHeaderIcon March 20 Spring Equinox Sunset Watch — 2019

It’s time for the 40th seasonal sunset watch!

40!!!

  • When: Wednesday, March 20, 7:00pm (so come at 6:30pm)
    • Actual sunset is supposed to be at 7:22pm, but we have noticed that the Sun sets about 15 minutes earlier than the USNO says, because of the horizon altitude.
    • The equinox moment is Wednesday, March 20, 2:58pm
  • Where: Solstice Park – all the way up the hill from the tennis courts (or, if you’re not in Seattle, wherever you have a view of the western horizon!)
  • Who: Everyone welcome, as usual. (Please do leash your dogs as we usually have a good number of people, kids, and other dogs around.)
Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto

Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto, skyseeker

Come watch the sunset at Solstice Park in West Seattle. I’ll be there even if it is cloudy because sometimes the Sun peeks through just as it begins to set, but if it is driving rain or a thunderstorm I’m staying home with some tea!

If you’re interested – here’s the timing of various celestial events  from Seattle, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department:

Sun and Moon Data for One Day

U.S. Naval Observatory
Astronomical Applications Department
Seattle, King County, WA (Longitude W122° 20′, Latitude N47° 38′)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 Pacific Daylight Time
Sun
Begin civil twilight 6:42 a.m.
Sunrise 7:12 a.m.
Sun transit 1:17 p.m.
Sunset 7:22 p.m.
End civil twilight 7:53 p.m.
Moon
Moonrise 5:47 p.m. on preceding day
Moon transit 12:45 a.m.
Moonset 7:28 a.m.
Moonrise 7:08 p.m.
Phase of the Moon on March 20, 2019: Full Moon at 6:43 p.m. (local daylight time)

This event is my part of the NASA’s Solar System Ambassador program, and thanks to West Seattle Blog for publicizing all of them!

Everyone is welcome, see you there!

~ A l i c e !

PostHeaderIcon December 21 Winter Solstice Sunset Watch — 2018

It’s time for the 39th seasonal sunset watch!

  • When: Friday, December 21, 4:05pm (so come at 3:45pm)
    • Actual sunset is supposed to be at 4:20pm, but we have noticed that the Sun sets about 15 minutes earlier than the USNO says, because of the horizon altitude.
    • The equinox moment is Friday, December 21, 2:23pm
  • Where: Solstice Park – all the way up the hill from the tennis courts (or, if you’re not in Seattle, wherever you have a view of the western horizon!)
  • Who: Everyone welcome, as usual. (Please do leash your dogs as we usually have a good number of people, kids, and other dogs around.)
Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto

Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto, skyseeker

Come watch the sunset at Solstice Park in West Seattle. I’ll be there even if it is cloudy because sometimes the Sun peeks through just as it begins to set, but if it is driving rain or a thunderstorm I’m staying home with some tea!

If you’re interested – here’s the timing of various celestial events  from Seattle, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department:

Sun and Moon Data for One Day

U.S. Naval Observatory
Astronomical Applications Department
Seattle, King County, WA (Longitude W122° 20′, Latitude N47° 38′)

Friday, December 21, 2018 Pacific Standard Time
Sun
Begin civil twilight 7:19 a.m.
Sunrise 7:55 a.m.
Sun transit 12:08 p.m.
Sunset 4:20 p.m.
End civil twilight 4:56 p.m.
Moon
Moonset 6:30 a.m.
Moonrise 3:52 p.m.
Moon transit 11:43 p.m.
Moonset 7:41 a.m. on following day
Closest Primary Moon Phase: Full Moon on December 22, 2018 at 9:49 a.m. (local standard time)

Phase of the Moon on December 21, 2018: Waxing Gibbous with 99% of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated.

This event is my part of the NASA’s Solar System Ambassador program, and thanks to West Seattle Blog for publicizing all of them!

Everyone is welcome, see you there!

~ A l i c e !

PostHeaderIcon September 19 Fall Equinox Sunset Watch — 2018

It’s time for the 38th seasonal sunset watch!

  • When: Wednesday September 19, 6:55pm (so come at 6:30pm)
    • Actual sunset is supposed to be at 7:13pm, but we have noticed that the Sun sets about 10 minutes earlier than the USNO says, because of the horizon altitude.
    • The equinox moment is Saturday, September 22, 6:54pm 
  • Where: Solstice Park – all the way up the hill from the tennis courts (or, if you’re not in Seattle, wherever you have a view of the western horizon!)
  • Who: Everyone welcome, as usual. (Please do leash your dogs as we usually have a good number of people, kids, and other dogs around.)
Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto

Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto, skyseeker

Come watch the sunset at Solstice Park in West Seattle. I’ll be there even if it is cloudy because sometimes the Sun peeks through just as it begins to set, but if it is driving rain or a thunderstorm I’m staying home with some tea!

If you’re interested – here’s the timing of various celestial events  from Seattle, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department:

Sun and Moon Data for One Day

U.S. Naval Observatory
Astronomical Applications Department
Seattle, King County, WA (Longitude W122° 20′, Latitude N47° 38′)

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Pacific Daylight Time
Sun
Begin civil twilight 6:21 a.m.
Sunrise 6:52 a.m.
Sun transit 1:03 p.m.
Sunset 7:13 p.m.
End civil twilight 7:44 p.m.
Moon
Moonset 1:15 a.m.
Moonrise 4:56 p.m.
Moon transit 9:31 p.m.
Moonset 2:10 a.m. on following day
Closest Primary Moon Phase: First Quarter on September 16, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. (local daylight time)

Phase of the Moon on September 19, 2018: Waxing Gibbous with 76% of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated.

Sun and Moon Data for One Day
U.S. Naval Observatory
Astronomical Applications Department
Seattle, King County, WA (Longitude W122° 20′, Latitude N47° 38′)

Saturday, September 22, 2018 Pacific Daylight Time
Sun
Begin civil twilight 6:25 a.m.
Sunrise 6:56 a.m.
Sun transit 1:02 p.m.
Sunset 7:07 p.m.
End civil twilight 7:37 p.m.
Moon
Moonset 4:11 a.m.
Moonrise 6:32 p.m.
Moon transit 11:49 p.m.
Moonset 5:14 a.m. on following day
Closest Primary Moon Phase: Full Moon on September 24, 2018 at 7:52 p.m. (local daylight time)

Phase of the Moon on September 22, 2018: Waxing Gibbous with 95% of the Moon’s visible disk.

This event is my part of the NASA’s Solar System Ambassador program, and thanks to West Seattle Blog for publicizing all of them!

Everyone is welcome, see you there!

~ A l i c e !

PostHeaderIcon June 16 Summer Solstice Sunset Watch — 2018

It’s time for the 37th seasonal sunset watch!

  • When: Saturday, June 16 at 8:50pm (so come at 8:30pm)
    • Actual sunset is supposed to be at 9:09pm, but we have noticed that the Sun sets about 10 minutes earlier than the USNO says, because of the horizon altitude.
    • The solstice moment is Thursday, June 21 at 3:07am 
  • Where: Solstice Park – all the way up the hill from the tennis courts (or, if you’re not in Seattle, wherever you have a view of the western horizon!)
  • Who: Everyone welcome, as usual. (Please do leash your dogs as we usually have a good number of people, kids, and other dogs around.)
Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto

Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto, skyseeker

Come watch the sunset at Solstice Park in West Seattle. I’ll be there even if it is cloudy because sometimes the Sun peeks through just as it begins to set, but if it is driving rain or a thunderstorm I’m staying home with some tea!

If you’re interested – here’s the timing of various celestial events  from Seattle, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department:

Sun and Moon Data for One Day

Sun and Moon Data for One Day
U.S. Naval Observatory
Seattle, King County, WA (Longitude W122° 20′, Latitude N47° 38′)
Saturday, June 16, 2018 Pacific Daylight Time
Sun
Begin civil twilight 4:30 a.m.
Sunrise 5:11 a.m.
Sun transit 1:10 p.m.
Sunset 9:09 p.m.
End civil twilight 9:50 p.m.
Moon
Moonrise 8:33 a.m.
Moon transit 4:18 p.m.
Moonset 11:54 p.m.
Closest Primary Moon Phase: New Moon on June 13, 2018 at 12:43 p.m. (local daylight time)
Phase of the Moon on June 16, 2018: Waxing Crescent with 13% of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated.

Sun and Moon Data for One Day
U.S. Naval Observatory
Astronomical Applications Department
Seattle, King County, WA (Longitude W122° 20′, Latitude N47° 38′)

Thursday, June 21, 2018 Pacific Daylight Time
Sun
Begin civil twilight 4:31 a.m.
Sunrise 5:11 a.m.
Sun transit 1:11 p.m.
Sunset 9:11 p.m.
End civil twilight 9:52 p.m.
Moon
Moonset 1:59 a.m.
Moonrise 2:37 p.m.
Moon transit 8:36 p.m.
Moonset 2:24 a.m. on following day
Closest Primary Moon Phase: First Quarter on June 20, 2018 at 3:51 a.m. (local daylight time)

Phase of the Moon on June 21, 2018: Waxing Gibbous with 64% of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated.

This event is my part of the NASA’s Solar System Ambassador program, and thanks to West Seattle Blog for publicizing all of them!

Everyone is welcome, see you there!

~ A l i c e !

PostHeaderIcon March 20 Spring Equinox Sunset Watch — 2018

It’s time for the 36th seasonal sunset watch! (It’s our NINE year anniversary!)

I can’t wait to see you for a reasonably-timed sunset.

  • When: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 7:10pm (so come at 6:30/6:45pm)
    • Actual sunset is supposed to be at 7:22pm, but we have noticed that the Sun sets about 10 minutes earlier than the USNO says, because of the horizon altitude.
    • The equinox moment is Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:15am 
  • Where: Solstice Park – all the way up the hill from the tennis courts (or, if you’re not in Seattle, wherever you have a view of the western horizon!)
  • Who: Everyone welcome, as usual. (Please do leash your dogs as we usually have a good number of people, kids, and other dogs around.)
Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto

Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto, skyseeker

Come watch the sunset at Solstice Park in West Seattle. I’ll be there even if it is cloudy because sometimes the Sun peeks through just as it begins to set, but if it is driving rain or a thunderstorm I’m staying home with some tea!

If you’re interested – here’s the timing of various celestial events  from Seattle, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department:

Sun and Moon Data for One Day

U.S. Naval Observatory
Astronomical Applications Department

Seattle, King County, WA (Longitude W122° 20′, Latitude N47° 38′)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Pacific Daylight Time
Sun
Begin civil twilight 6:41 a.m.
Sunrise 7:12 a.m.
Sun transit 1:17 p.m.
Sunset 7:22 p.m.
End civil twilight 7:53 p.m.

Moon
Moonrise 9:07 a.m.
Moon transit 4:02 p.m.
Moonset 11:09 p.m.
Closest Primary Moon Phase: New Moon on March 17, 2018 at 6:12 a.m. (local daylight time)

Phase of the Moon on March 20, 2018: Waxing Crescent with 12% of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated.

This event is my part of the NASA’s Solar System Ambassador program, and thanks to West Seattle Blog for publicizing all of them!

Everyone is welcome, see you there!

~ A l i c e !

PostHeaderIcon December 21 Winter Solstice Sunset Watch–2017

It’s time for the 35th seasonal sunset watch!

I can’t wait to see you for a chilly winter sunset. We’ll also watch for the fingernail-crescent of the Moon just after sunset.

  • When: Thursday, December 21 at 4:05pm (so come at 3:45pm)
    • Actual sunset is supposed to be at 4:20pm, but we have noticed that the Sun sets about 10 minutes earlier than the USNO says, because of the horizon altitude.
    • The equinox moment is Thursday, December 21 at 8:28am 
  • Where: Solstice Park – all the way up the hill from the tennis courts (or, if you’re not in Seattle, wherever you have a view of the western horizon!)
  • Who: Everyone welcome, as usual. (Please do leash your dogs as we usually have a good number of people, kids, and other dogs around.)
Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto

Parent and Child at Sunset by Kazuhiko Teramoto, skyseeker

Come watch the sunset at Solstice Park in West Seattle. I’ll be there even if it is cloudy because sometimes the Sun peeks through just as it begins to set, but if it is driving rain or a thunderstorm I’m staying home with some tea!

If you’re interested – here’s the timing of various celestial events  from Seattle, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department:

Sun and Moon Data for One Day

U.S. Naval Observatory
Astronomical Applications Department

Seattle, King County, WA (Longitude W122° 20′, Latitude N47° 38′)

Thursday, December 21, 2017 Pacific Standard Time
Sun
Begin civil twilight 7:19 a.m.
Sunrise 7:55 a.m.
Sun transit 12:08 p.m.
Sunset 4:20 p.m.
End civil twilight 4:56 p.m.
Moon
Moonrise 10:09 a.m.
Moon transit 2:56 p.m.
Moonset 7:48 p.m.
Closest Primary Moon Phase: New Moon on December 17, 2017 at 10:30 p.m. (local standard time)

Phase of the Moon on December 21, 2017: Waxing Crescent with 11% of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated.

This event is my part of the NASA’s Solar System Ambassador program, and thanks to West Seattle Blog for publicizing all of them!

Everyone is welcome, see you there!

~ A l i c e !

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