Friday, September 4, 2009

The Ellensburg sky for the week of 9/5/09

Saturday: Geometry review: part 2. School starts this week so it is time to continue our little geometry review from last week. (What? You forgot last week’s lesson? Well, go to the litter box, dig out last Saturday’s paper and review it.) Go outside at 10 p.m. tonight with notebook in hand. Ready? A square is a quadrilateral with four sides of equal length and four right angle corners. A good example in the sky is the Great Square, an asterism (group of stars) consisting of three stars from the constellation Pegasus and one star from the constellation Andromeda. At 9 p.m., the bottom of the Great Square is two fists held upright and at arm’s length above due east.

Sunday: Jupiter is two and a half fists above the south-southeast horizon at 10 p.m.

Monday: Fomalhaut, the brightest star in the constellation Piscis Austrinus, is one fist above the south-southeast horizon at 11 pm. It is the southernmost bright star visible from Ellensburg.

Tuesday: Venus is two fists above due east and Mars is five fists above the east-southeast horizon at 6 a.m.

Wednesday: The moon is spending a fun-filled Friday night with seven sisters. (Don’t tell Mrs. Moon.) At 11 p.m., the open star cluster called the Pleiades, or the seven sisters, is less than one fist to the lower left of the moon. They get closer as the night goes on. By sunrise, they are less than pinky width apart. Expect the moon to sleep on the couch tomorrow night.

Thursday: The calendar says summer is nearing an end. School starting tomorrow says summer is nearing an end. The summer triangle in the sky begs to differ as it is still high in the sky. Vega, the brightest star in the triangle, is a little bit west of straight overhead. Deneb is a little bit east of straight overhead and Altair is five fists above the south horizon.

Friday: Tonight’s last quarter moon is in the constellation Taurus the bull.

The positional information in this column about stars and planets is typically accurate for the entire week.


Monique said...

Hello -

Can you tell me what VERY bright object/star I might be seeing at 5:30 AM in the eastern sky? I am very myopic but was able to see it without my glasses - obviously very clearly with my glasses on. :-) I am guess it was less than halfway from the horizon to directly overhead. It appeared just over a very large doug fir across our suburban (Corvallis, OR)street.

Sorry for the less than technical lingo. Thanks in advance for your time and consideration. I woke all of my children up to see it. We are hoping to make a home school lesson out of this.
MoniqueWS at gmail dot com

Bruce Palmquist said...

You are seeing Venus. It is the brightest planet.