Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll http://bayweekly.com/articles/feed/regulars/sky-watch-by-j.-alex-knoll en It’s a Gas http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/it%E2%80%99s-gas <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>A gas giant, that isIt&rsquo;s a Gas</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>Jupiter is brilliant from dusk to dawn, rising in the east at twilight, at its highest due south around midnight and low in the west at dawn. The gaseous giant is at its closest, and Tuesday marks its opposition, when it is directly opposite the sun in relation to earth. The planet is at its best for viewing, and even a modest telescope will reveal its colored bands and its four largest moons.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/it%E2%80%99s-gas" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/it%E2%80%99s-gas#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Fri, 04 Mar 2016 18:50:31 +0000 bayweekly_master 31911 at http://bayweekly.com Keeping Our Calendar Straight http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/keeping-our-calendar-straight <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>11 minutes a year can really add up</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>The moon wanes through late-night and early-morning skies this week, reaching last quarter Tuesday. The moon rises Thursday around 9pm, with the bright star Spica trailing about 10 degrees behind. Far to the west of the moon is Jupiter, the next-brightest object. Friday night Spica rises ahead of the moon, but now the two are less than five degrees apart.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The moon rises just before midnight Sunday followed only minutes later by the red planet Mars, roughly five degrees to the southeast. As sunrise approaches Monday you&rsquo;ll find them high in the south.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/keeping-our-calendar-straight" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/sky-030116.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="99" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/keeping-our-calendar-straight" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/keeping-our-calendar-straight#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 25 Feb 2016 16:12:58 +0000 bayweekly_master 31785 at http://bayweekly.com The Moon and Jupiter Close In http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/moon-and-jupiter-close <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>Look for them together from dusk Tuesday to dawn Wednesday</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>Sunset Thursday and Friday finds the waxing moon high overhead in the company of Gemini&rsquo;s Castor and Pollux above, Canis Minor&rsquo;s Procyon below and Orion&rsquo;s Betelgeuse off to the west. Come Saturday the moon is in the constellation Cancer, too faint to compete against lunar glare.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/moon-and-jupiter-close" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/night_sky_022316.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="105" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/moon-and-jupiter-close" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/moon-and-jupiter-close#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 18 Feb 2016 22:04:20 +0000 bayweekly_master 31704 at http://bayweekly.com A Changing of the Guard http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/changing-guard <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>Winters&rsquo; luminaries are giving way to those of spring</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>As dusk gives way to darkness around 6:30, the sky comes alive with the constellations of winter and some of the brightest stars in the sky. High in the south stands Orion, facing west toward the bull Taurus. Behind the hunter come his hounds, Canis Major and Minor. Above Orion are the stick-like figures of the Gemini twins, and to their east is a loop of stars forming Auriga the charioteer. The luminaries of these constellations themselves loosely form the Great Winter Circle, in which the waxing gibbous moon sits right in the middle Wednesday the 17th.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/changing-guard" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/night_sky_021516.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="61" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/changing-guard" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/changing-guard#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:00:56 +0000 bayweekly_master 31637 at http://bayweekly.com All Lined Up Along the Ecliptic http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/all-lined-along-ecliptic <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>Five planets shine at dawn</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>Sirius the Dog Star, blazes high in the south by 10pm. The brightest star, Sirius is easy to spot, but if you have any trouble, follow the three belt stars of familiar Orion down and to the left.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Last week we traveled the Great Winter Circle, which encompasses Sirius. The Dog Star also anchors another asterism, the Winter Triangle. The other two points are Betelgeuse, marking Orion&rsquo;s upper shoulder, and Procyon, the Little Dog in Canis Minor, which together with Sirius, the lowest of the three, form a near-perfect equilateral triangle.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/all-lined-along-ecliptic" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/night-sky-012816.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="34" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/all-lined-along-ecliptic" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/all-lined-along-ecliptic#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 28 Jan 2016 21:19:19 +0000 bayweekly_master 31568 at http://bayweekly.com Round We Go http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/round-we-go <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>The Great Winter Circle beckons</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>The cold crisp air that might otherwise keep you inside provides some of the clearest and darkest skies of the year, so even with this week&rsquo;s bright moon, some major stars and constellations stand out against its glare.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Sunset Thursday finds the near-full moon high in the east, between Betelgeuse, the shoulder of Orion, below, and the twins of Gemini, Pollux and Castor, above. From these two stars wends the stars the Great Winter Circle, more aptly called the Great Winter Hexagon, which contains seven of the 23 brightest stars.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/round-we-go" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/greatwintercircle-012316.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="77" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/round-we-go" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/round-we-go#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Mon, 25 Jan 2016 17:11:38 +0000 bayweekly_master 31517 at http://bayweekly.com Right In the Bull’s Eye http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/right-bull%E2%80%99s-eye <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>Watch the moon occult Aldebaran</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>As the sun sets, the hourglass shape of the great hunter Orion is already well positioned in the southeast. His foot, blue-white Rigel, is to the lower right, while his shoulder, red-orange Betelgeuse, is at the opposite corner to the upper left. The three stars of Orion&rsquo;s belt point almost straight up from the horizon, and following them up and to the right leads you to Taurus the bull.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/right-bull%E2%80%99s-eye" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/occultation-011916.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="58" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/right-bull%E2%80%99s-eye" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/right-bull%E2%80%99s-eye#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 14 Jan 2016 20:38:21 +0000 bayweekly_master 31451 at http://bayweekly.com When the Sun Stands Still http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/when-sun-stands-still <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>Believe it or not, winter&rsquo;s here</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>As the sun sets, look in its wake for Mercury just above the southwest horizon. Binoculars will help. Mercury is on its way up to a fine showing through Christmas and New Year&rsquo;s.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Before dawn, Venus, Mars and Jupiter stretch above the horizon in the southeast. A little below Mars is Spica. Saturn rises just before the sun and is far to the lower left of Venus, so low that you may need binoculars to spot it.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/when-sun-stands-still" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/changing-sun-121715.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="55" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/when-sun-stands-still" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/when-sun-stands-still#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Mon, 21 Dec 2015 20:13:20 +0000 bayweekly_master 31242 at http://bayweekly.com The Year’s Best Meteor Shower http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/year%E2%80%99s-best-meteor-shower <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>The Geminids can really deliver</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>Dropping temperatures and long nights &mdash; combined with this week&rsquo;s new moon &mdash; make for some of the best sky-watching. The sun still sets well before 5pm, and within another 90 minutes the sky is truly dark. Coupled with the darkness, the cold weather knocks any humidity from the air, providing crisp, undistorted views of the stars and planets.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/year%E2%80%99s-best-meteor-shower" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/geminid_meteor_shower-121015.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="110" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/year%E2%80%99s-best-meteor-shower" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/year%E2%80%99s-best-meteor-shower#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Wed, 09 Dec 2015 21:26:36 +0000 bayweekly_master 31172 at http://bayweekly.com Following the Moon http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/following-moon <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>The pre-dawn display in the east continues this week, with the waning crescent moon joining the show. Early Friday the moon trails Jupiter by just two degrees, with Mars, Spica and Venus stretching down to their left. Saturday, the moon is between Jupiter and Mars, while Sunday the moon hangs almost equally between Mars and Spica. Then Monday the moon shines barely one degree to the right of Venus, easily within the field of view of binoculars, a modest telescope or a camera. Tuesday you&rsquo;ll be hard-pressed to spot the last of this thin crescent, now a dozen degrees below Venus.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/following-moon" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/night_sky-120715.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="98" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/following-moon" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/following-moon#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:15:53 +0000 bayweekly_master 30975 at http://bayweekly.com