September 2009: Skies over Tanzania

User avatar
abuali
Ask Admin
Posts: 3664
Joined: 30 Sep 2004, 19:33
Location: Dar es Salaam
Contact:

September 2009: Skies over Tanzania

Postby abuali » 14 Sep 2009, 22:57

September Night Skies over Tanzania
By Dr. N. T. Jiwaji
ntjiwaji@yahoo.com

The Moon will be in many people’s mind mid this month with millions awaiting the sighting of the Moon in the western horizon at sunset. On Saturday 19th it will be necessary to seek out the slim arc of the first Moon close to an obstruction free western horizon. The picture shows a simulation of what sharp-eyed observers could see while searching for the Moon on Saturday, just past sunset. The Moon will be a very thin crescent about 8 degrees above the horizon and about 8 degrees to the left of the Sun. Hence by Pythagorean squaring it will be more than 11 degrees away from the Sun, making it sufficiently far from the glare of the atmosphere near the setting Sun. Sunset is at 6:15 pm while the Moon sets at 6:49 pm giving observers about half an hour to search for the Moon if there is a clear view of the horizon under cloudless skies. If not, then on Sunday 20th a thicker crescent will be more than 20 degrees above the horizon at sunset and will set nearly one and a half hour later.

Image

With a more than a billion dollar repair, the 19 year old famous Hubble Space Telescope got a new lease of life and upgraded it to look far deeper into space than what it already seen as witnessed by the thousands of spectacular images that it had already sent back. However the fist look by the telescope produced a result so unexpected as to be unbelievable - a butterfly shaped nebula commonly known as Bug Nebula but now named as the Butterfly Nebula after discovering its detailed shape of a butterfly.

Image
A dying star on the verge of exploding creates a cosmic "butterfly" in a new picture from Hubble's WFC3. The central star, now obscured by a dense band of dust, was once five times the mass of the sun. Over the past two thousand years the star has expelled most of its outer gas envelope to create the ghostly "wings," which together span about two light-years.


The Planets in the evening sky is mighty bright Jupiter which you can’t miss in overhead skies. The Moon will be best seen on Saturday 26th September with a half moon with dark shadows contrasting the craters when seen through a telescope. That same day, just after 7 pm you can also track the GPS 2-04 satellite which will rise in the southwest and passing overhead between the Moon and Jupiter and setting in the northeast by 7:10 pm. Look for a star-like point moving gracefully across the sky. Venus and Mars are in the morning skies in the eastern dawn.

Soon after sunset, the evening sky in September presents a scintillating star show with ten of the top twenty brightest stars in the whole sky seen simultaneously. These include: Formalhaut, Altair, Vega, Deneb, Alpha Centauri (also known as Rigil Kent) and Beta Centauri which makes a vertical pair, Antares, Arcturus and Spica. Achernar rises in the southeast by 8 p.m

Image

The Scorpio constellation can be clearly identified by its namesake the scorpion and can be seen high in the western sky. The eastern sky has two “birds”; one to the northeast, where you will see the Cygnus with its body and wings making a wide cross, while in the southeast you will see the smaller bird Grus with its head twisted sideways.

The Milky Way stretches as a band of numerous stars across the middle of the evening sky, passing through the Southern Cross in the southwest, through Sagittarius overhead, to Cygnus in the northeast. The portion of the Milky Way close to Sagittarius appears as a cloud that is not a real cloud but nebulae of dense interstellar matter that is hiding from our view a powerhouse (actually a massive blackhole) at the center of the Milky Way galaxy

Twenty second September is the day of Equinox when the length of day and night will be equal.

The International Space Station will be seen very brightly on 4th October crossing the sky from northwest to southeast. It will rise just after quarter to seven in the northwest, travel across the overhead skies and dropping down in the southeast horizon seven minutes later.
User avatar
abuali
Ask Admin
Posts: 3664
Joined: 30 Sep 2004, 19:33
Location: Dar es Salaam
Contact:

Re: September 2009: Skies over Tanzania

Postby abuali » 17 Sep 2009, 11:00

The above post has been edited.

I had posted the 2008 article instead of 2009

Return to “Astronomy Club”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests