Almanac for Saturday evening, April 6

If you are observing tonight with us, the Westchester Astronomers (see http://www.westchesterastronomers.org/ ), it’ll be a race to see if the high clouds get there first. But some models hold off the clouds until after midnight, so we are go for viewing tonight, unless the clouds come in ahead of schedule this afternoon.

Here’s a pdf of the star chart for this evening, from Sky and Telescope….
skychartPDF ap 06 2013

Sunset: 7:30pm
Astronomical Twilight ends (Sun 12 degrees below the horizon): 9:05pm
We should be able to get Comet PanSTARRS in our telescopes by 8:30. Bring binoculars for a good view!

Comet PanSTARRS low in the northwest about 8:30pm EDT

Comet PanSTARRS low in the northwest about 8:30pm EDT


PanSTARRS sets just after 10pm. It rises again after 2:30am, in case you want to see it in the morning sky as well 🙂

Jupiter will be high up in the sky, visible even as the sky is getting dark. Here’s a chart of where it’s four brightest moons will be as seen in a telescope….

Jupiter and its moon, as seen in a telescope

Jupiter and its moon, as seen in a telescope

Saturn will rise after 9:10pm. It may look a bit fuzzy, so low in the sky, but this chart shows its moons and rings as they might look in a telescope (at high magnification, to show details)…

Saturn and its moons, simulated at high magnification.

Saturn and its moons, simulated at high magnification.

The sky chart will be good for a week or so for evening skies from locations near latitude 40 degrees north.
Jupiter’s moons move enough to be noticeable even over several hours, so the chart with Jupiter’s moons is best for this evening and will change, as Saturn’s moons, each night. Sky and Telescope and other web sites have maps of the moons’ positions for other times.

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