September 21, 2017

05.02.11: Postcards from Saturn.

Rhea and friends…(Credit: Cassini/NASA/JPL).

Ahhhh, but to be a fly aboard a Saturn-circling mission… this weekend, I want to turn your attention to some fairly amazing imagery coming from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft in orbit about Saturn. Cassini has just completed a flyby of several moons, including Enceladus, returned some first ever images of the tiny moon Helene, and on January 11th, took the close-up of Rhea pictured above. [Read more...]

12.03.10:Update: A Phobos Flyby/Martian Moons Ephemeris II.

 

(Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum).

(Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum).

 Mars Express scouts the proposed landing site(s) for Phobos-Grunt.

    The pictures are in: ESA’s Mars Express has performed two close flybys of Phobos in the past weeks and performed sensitive gravimetric as well as photographic reconnaissance passes of the bizarre moon. Of course, the data reveals more questions than it solves. Is Phobos solid rock, or just a loose rubble pile? Clearly, more is to be learned about this misshapen moon…we’ll have the pics up as soon as they’re in!

   The good news is, it not too late to try and spot these elusive beasties for yourself! Reader Ed Kotapish was good enough to provide us with an extended ephemeris for the eastern elongations of both Deimos and Phobos; note that on early Saturday, the 13th both moons are at their eastern most elongations within 20 minutes of each other! This curious event is favorable for U.S. viewers;

here are the greatest elongations for the Martian moons given in Universal Time through the rest of March;

12 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 2134 W

13 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0125 E
PHOBOS 0513 W
PHOBOS 0904 E
DEIMOS 0924 E
PHOBOS 1252 W
PHOBOS 1643 E
PHOBOS 2031 W

14 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0022 E
DEIMOS 0032 W
PHOBOS 0411 W
PHOBOS 0802 E
PHOBOS 1150 W
PHOBOS 1541 E
DEIMOS 1541 E
PHOBOS 1929 W
PHOBOS 2320 E

15 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0308 W
DEIMOS 0650 W
PHOBOS 0659 E
PHOBOS 1047 W
PHOBOS 1438 E
PHOBOS 1827 W
DEIMOS 2159 E
PHOBOS 2218 E

16 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0206 W
PHOBOS 0557 E
PHOBOS 0945 W
DEIMOS 1308 W
PHOBOS 1336 E
PHOBOS 1724 W
PHOBOS 2115 E

17 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0103 W
DEIMOS 0417 E
PHOBOS 0454 E
PHOBOS 0843 W
PHOBOS 1234 E
PHOBOS 1622 W
DEIMOS 1926 W
PHOBOS 2013 E

18 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0001 W
PHOBOS 0352 E
PHOBOS 0740 W
DEIMOS 1035 E
PHOBOS 1131 E
PHOBOS 1520 W
PHOBOS 1911 E
PHOBOS 2259 W

19 MAR 2010
DEIMOS 0143 W
PHOBOS 0250 E
PHOBOS 0638 W
PHOBOS 1029 E
PHOBOS 1417 W
DEIMOS 1652 E
PHOBOS 1808 E
PHOBOS 2156 W

20 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0147 E
PHOBOS 0536 W
DEIMOS 0801 W
PHOBOS 0927 E
PHOBOS 1315 W
PHOBOS 1706 E
PHOBOS 2054 W
DEIMOS 2310 E

21 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0045 E
PHOBOS 0433 W
PHOBOS 0824 E
PHOBOS 1213 W
DEIMOS 1419 W
PHOBOS 1604 E
PHOBOS 1952 W
PHOBOS 2343 E

22 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0331 W
DEIMOS 0528 E
PHOBOS 0722 E
PHOBOS 1110 W
PHOBOS 1501 E
PHOBOS 1849 W
DEIMOS 2037 W
PHOBOS 2240 E

23 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0229 W
PHOBOS 0620 E
PHOBOS 1008 W
DEIMOS 1145 E
PHOBOS 1359 E
PHOBOS 1747 W
PHOBOS 2138 E

24 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0126 W
DEIMOS 0254 W
PHOBOS 0517 E
PHOBOS 0905 W
PHOBOS 1257 E
PHOBOS 1645 W
DEIMOS 1803 E
PHOBOS 2036 E

25 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0024 W
PHOBOS 0415 E
PHOBOS 0803 W
DEIMOS 0912 W
PHOBOS 1154 E
PHOBOS 1542 W
PHOBOS 1933 E
PHOBOS 2322 W

26 MAR 2010
DEIMOS 0021 E
PHOBOS 0313 E
PHOBOS 0701 W
PHOBOS 1052 E
PHOBOS 1440 W
DEIMOS 1530 W
PHOBOS 1831 E
PHOBOS 2219 W

27 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0210 E
PHOBOS 0558 W
DEIMOS 0639 E
PHOBOS 0950 E
PHOBOS 1338 W
PHOBOS 1729 E
PHOBOS 2117 W
DEIMOS 2147 W

28 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0108 E
PHOBOS 0456 W
PHOBOS 0847 E
PHOBOS 1235 W
DEIMOS 1256 E
PHOBOS 1626 E
PHOBOS 2014 W

29 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0006 E
PHOBOS 0354 W
DEIMOS 0405 W
PHOBOS 0745 E
PHOBOS 1133 W
PHOBOS 1524 E
PHOBOS 1912 W
DEIMOS 1914 E
PHOBOS 2303 E

30 MAR 2010
PHOBOS 0251 W
PHOBOS 0643 E
DEIMOS 1023 W
PHOBOS 1031 W
PHOBOS 1422 E
PHOBOS 1810 W
PHOBOS 2201 E

31 MAR 2010
DEIMOS 0145 E
PHOBOS 0154 W
PHOBOS 0545 E
PHOBOS 0933 W
PHOBOS 1324 E
DEIMOS 1653 W
PHOBOS 1712 W
PHOBOS 2103 E

 Good luck, and again, we’d love to hear of any confirmed sightings!

An Ephemeris of the Martian Moons.

This is a quick posting of the best apparitions of the moon of Mars, Deimos and Phobos, as promised in the Mars opposition post. The tables run for a week after opposition, and are accurate to about 10 minutes or so. I hand crafted these in Starry Night after I found a lack of info about the web for this data. Obivously, we here at Astroguyz see a definite gap that those looking to spot these ellusive beasties are in need of. With Mars at opposition, the closest Full Moon of the year, and two back to back launches, its going to be a busy last week of January…. we’ll have a larger post out on tips to spy the Martian moons this weekend!

Deimos Date EST
     
Eastern Elongation 29 6:48
Western Elongation   21:33
Eastern Elongation 30 13:01
Western Elongation 31 4:00
Eastern Elongation   19:29
Western Elongation 1 10:42
Eastern Elongation 2 1:36
Western Elongation   16:22
Eastern Elongation 3 8:04
Western Elongation   22:30
Eastern Elongation 4 14:08
Western Elongation 5 5:31
Eastern Elongation   20:07
Western Elongation 6 11:20

 

Phobos

   
   Date  EST
Eastern Elongation 29 2:48
Western Elongation   6:46
Eastern Elongation   10:29
Western Elongation   14:19
Eastern Elongation   18:13
Western Elongation   21:48
Eastern Elongation 30 1:43
Western Elongation   5:37
Eastern Elongation   9:30
Western Elongation   13:10
Eastern Elongation   17:00
Western Elongation   20:55
Eastern Elongation 31 0:49
Western Elongation   4:41
Eastern Elongation   8:30
Western Elongation   12:04
Eastern Elongation   15:56
Western Elongation   19:45
Eastern Elongation   23:42
Western Elongation 1 3:30
Eastern Elongation   7:28
Western Elongation   11:10
Eastern Elongation   14:52
Western Elongation   18:47
Eastern Elongation   22:41
Western Elongation 2 2:34
Eastern Elongation   6:30
Western Elongation   10:19
Eastern Elongation   14:00
Western Elongation   17:45
Eastern Elongation   21:40
Western Elongation 3 1:30
Eastern Elongation   5:24
Western Elongation   9:11
Eastern Elongation   12:56
Western Elongation   16:42
Eastern Elongation   20:31
Western Elongation 4 12:29
Eastern Elongation   4:20
Western Elongation   8:08
Eastern Elongation   11:52
Western Elongation   15:41
Eastern Elongation   19:30
Western Elongation   23:10
Eastern Elongation 5 3:08
Western Elongation   6:58
Eastern Elongation   10:50
Western Elongation   14:40
Eastern Elongation   18:24
Western Elongation   22:10
Eastern Elongation 6 2:05
Western Elongation   6:01
Eastern Elongation   9:42
Western Elongation   13:42
Eastern Elongation   17:26
Western Elongation   21:08

30.9.9:Messenger; A 1st Look at the 3rd Pass.

Uncharted terrain! (Credit: NASA/JPL/Messenger).

Uncharted terrain! (Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington).

NASA’s Messenger spacecraft skimmed the barren surface of the solar systems’ inner most world Tuesday evening, revealing more of its unmapped surface. Messenger zipped 141 miles above the surface of Mercury and was occulted briefly before resuming telemetry broadcasting back to Earth. The image above was taken with the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) looking over the northern horizon at a distance of 10,100 miles and is just one of the first in what is sure to be a flood of pics released today. Tomorrow, October 1st, principal investigators will release findings of the 3rd flyby at a briefing at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory at 5PM. And don’t forget those wide field searches for any lurking “Mercurial Moons” over the next few days as Messenger recedes…now that would be news!

27.07.9: What Ails Jupiter?

Something has slapped the largest planet in our solar system as of late. A large black spot has emerged in Jupiter’s southern polar region, reminiscent of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 collision of 15 years ago. Initially discovered by Anthony Wesley of Australia utilizing a 14.5” reflector early last week, the discovery was backed up mid-week by NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Looking similar to a Galilean satellite shadow, it has all the hallmarks of an impact. Will it evolve and develop over the coming weeks and months? By the time this goes to (word)press, we hope to get a glimpse of it here at Florida Astroguyz HQ. [Read more...]