Astronomy 101 for RJers... JUPITER, VENUS TO MEET UP IN SOUTHWEST EVENING SKY....

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 03, 2008 7:52 PM GMT
    OK, I know some of you are probably saying... wtf, an astronomy lesson??

    We are about to have an interesting event occur in the evening sky as Venus (the brightest planet in the sky) will move alongside Jupiter in the next couple of months. The last time this occurred was in 1988.

    Being totally interested in astronomy as a kid, I have always focused on the position of the planets in the morning or evening sky. Venus (being closer to the Sun than the Earth) just came out of the sun's evening glow and will be climbing higher in the western sky for a time at sunset (you can see it now in the west when the sun goes down)... Jupiter is straight south at sunset. Jupiter will gradually work its way west and Venus east (for a time)
    and since they are our brightest planets, we will have a great show here during the holidays.

    The other planets visible with the naked eye, Saturn, Mercury and Mars, can be slightly more challenging to the average observer. Uranus (at +5.7 magnitude) is almost invisible and Neptune certainly is.

    Check em out right now.. I always enjoy the moon in a crescent at sunset,
    my favorite position... well, um I guess I like other "positions", but.....

    I dug this out from the last time the two planets met in 1988...
    Jack Horkheimer (he's a little weird)....




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    Oct 03, 2008 10:24 PM GMT
    Ummmm, what year was that? Jupiter and Venus already did the kiss and it must not have been this year, or last March. Jupiter is in Sagitarious all year long. It is in the South though right now. It won't be next year because I checked the almanac and nope, not then either.

    I do enjoy Jack's little astronomy lessons though. The only reason I get the "Farmer's Almanac" is to see what's going on in the sky all year.

  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Oct 03, 2008 10:26 PM GMT
    Ha ha. Ha ha. He said "Uranus."















    Sorry, but I have a weakness any time that planet is mentioned. Just can't help the low-brow humor.
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    Oct 04, 2008 12:36 AM GMT
    I used to study the solar system too. I was so fascinated by Uranus as well as Pluto. I did a thesis on the planets once - received an " A "- but more importantly, I loved the project - it was a labor of love. Venus and Jupiter aligning should be fascinating to see.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 04, 2008 12:47 AM GMT
    John43620 saidUmmmm, what year was that? Jupiter and Venus already did the kiss and it must not have been this year, or last March. Jupiter is in Sagitarious all year long. It is in the South though right now. It won't be next year because I checked the almanac and nope, not then either.

    I do enjoy Jack's little astronomy lessons though. The only reason I get the "Farmer's Almanac" is to see what's going on in the sky all year.




    It rarely occurs, the Jack youtube is from winter of 1988.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 04, 2008 12:52 AM GMT
    Jockbod48 saidI used to study the solar system too. I was so fascinated by Uranus as well as Pluto. I did a thesis on the planets once - got a A - but more important, I loved the project. It was a labor of love. Venus and Jupiter aligning should be fascinating to see.



    Gregg, what did you find fascinating about Uranus? I was always into the moons of the planets and for Uranus, it was always 5.... Ariel, Umbriel, Miranda, Titania and Oberon...

    Now days they've discovered chunks of rocks that have been classified as "moons", its kind of odd.

    For me, the most interesting thing about Uranus is it was :knocked off kilter"
    and is 98 degrees off of vertical, much more than Earth.

    Pluto is probably just an escaped moon of Neptune and now isn't even classified as a planet.
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    Oct 04, 2008 1:11 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidPluto is probably just an escaped moon of Neptune and now isn't even classified as a planet.


    The present scientific thinking is that it is unlikely to an escaped moon of
    Neptune. As you may know, the reclassification from "planet" to "Kuiper Belt Object" occured because many other bodies of comparable size to Pluto/Charon have been found in what is referred to as the Kuiper Belt at the extremities of the solar system. In fact, Planet is not a very scientific term because there is no good criterion that distinguishes a planet from other bodies that orbit a star.

    Pluto, like other Kuiper Belt Objects probably formed from left over matter from the gas cloud that preceded the solar system, and Charon probably formed by a similar impact on Pluto from another body like the one on Earth that likely formed the Moon. Have a look at this cool paper on the formation of Charon from Science or if you can't see it you're welcome to send me an email and I'll send you a copy. In fact, it is believed (due to our understanding of their composition) that some of Neptune's moons such as Triton were Kuiper Belt objects that were captured by Neptune.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 04, 2008 1:23 AM GMT
    TigerTim said
    HndsmKansan saidPluto is probably just an escaped moon of Neptune and now isn't even classified as a planet.


    The present scientific thinking is that it is unlikely to an escaped moon of
    Neptune.

    Pluto, like other Kuiper Belt Objects probably formed from left over matter from the gas cloud that preceded the solar system, and Charon probably formed by a similar impact on Pluto from another body like the one on Earth that likely formed the Moon. Have a look at this cool paper on the formation of Charon from Science or if you can't see it you're welcome to send me an email and I'll send you a copy. In fact, it is believed (due to our understanding of their composition) that some of Neptune's moons such as Triton were Kuiper Belt objects that were captured by Neptune.



    I have heard and read what your refering to, but I wouldn't say "present scientific thinking", I would say that is one possibility among several. and I've never heard the idea that Triton was captured from the Kuiper Belt. I would find that pretty hard to swallow.
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    Oct 04, 2008 1:41 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidI have heard and read what your refering to, but I wouldn't say "present scientific thinking", I would say that is one possibility among several. and I've never heard the idea that Triton was captured from the Kuiper Belt. I would find that pretty hard to swallow.


    I am conveying what I understand to be the case from friends and visitors who are professional astronomers and astrophysicists, and I do so merely hoping that it is of interest -- I certainly make no claim to be an authority, although as a professional physicist I am quite content that it is good science! Since I am equally curious, I shall ask them what evidence exists for the other possibilities and I'd be delighted to see any literature you can provide that supports alternative hypotheses! As to Triton's possible capture from the Kuiper belt, you should read this paper from Nature.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 04, 2008 1:52 AM GMT
    TigerTim said


    I am conveying what I understand to be the case from friends and visitors who are professional astronomers and astrophysicists, and I do so merely hoping that it is of interest -- I certainly make no claim to be an authority, although as a professional physicist I am quite content that it is good science! Since I am equally curious, I shall ask them what evidence exists for the other possibilities and I'd be delighted to see any literature you can provide that supports alternative hypotheses! As to Triton's possible capture from the Kuiper belt, you should read this paper from Nature.



    I will read the item you have referenced and compare the recent books I have in my library published on that subject and come to my own conclusion... which may be several ideas as to what may have happened... not a conclusion.

    I appreciate your input Tim... your name came up recently during an extended conversation that I had with my very very good friend Gregg ... Jockbod48
    hehe.

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    Oct 04, 2008 2:03 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidI will read the item you have referenced and compare the recent books I have in my library published on that subject and come to my own conclusion... which may be several ideas as to what may have happened... not a conclusion.

    I appreciate your input Tim... your name came up recently during an extended conversation that I had with very very good friend Gregg ... Jockbod48
    hehe.



    I know very well that you are good friends with JockBod48. Perhaps you or he would care to enlighten me what you both said! I imagine it was not complimentary!

    As you know, science transcends political views and friendships. Beyond the confines of science my concern is always, in every sphere of life, for intellectual rigor and consistency. That is what I call integrity.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 04, 2008 2:07 AM GMT
    Why don't you just go to your door and check out the moon, Jupiter and Venus.....LOL
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    Oct 04, 2008 2:11 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidWhy don't you just go to your door and check out the moon, Jupiter and Venus.....LOL


    Dude, it's called *wi-fi* :-P and actually I'm sitting here in our universities reflecting telescope right now!
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 04, 2008 2:17 AM GMT
    TigerTim said
    .LOL


    Dude, it's called *wi-fi* :-P and actually I'm sitting here in our universities reflecting telescope right now!


    Interesting way to spend a Friday night.
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    Oct 04, 2008 2:18 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan said
    TigerTim said
    .LOL


    Dude, it's called *wi-fi* :-P and actually I'm sitting here in our universities reflecting telescope right now!


    Interesting way to spend a Friday night.


    It is! I'm off clubbing later though. I hope you have something exciting planned!
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 04, 2008 2:26 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]SamerPhxAZ said[/cite]Guess what?! We saw alien's spaceship out here in Phoenix. icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gif OH MY GOSH! icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gif


    This thread was to be about Jupiter and Venus, not about alien spacecrafts Samer...LOL

    And I do have some good plans here Tim.. same to you...LOL
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    Oct 04, 2008 2:33 AM GMT
    I will admit that Astronomy is less fun when it's bloody cloudy. We're giving up in disgust!
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    Oct 04, 2008 2:36 AM GMT
    I didn't think to look up at the sky as I usually do whenever I bolt the door evenings,
    especially when they're crisp and windy as it is tonight, when the sky is wide open
    ---I had so many things on my mind. But, instead of Kuiper's Belt Objects, Planets
    and Moons, I spotted Elton John upon the steps of his hotel about an hour or so ago.
    That count?
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    Oct 04, 2008 3:23 AM GMT
    Great topic. Check out this amazing image of Saturn backlit by the sun, taken by the Cassini probe:

    spaceimages_2022_1545400

    Does anyone have a telescope?
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    Oct 04, 2008 3:36 AM GMT
    Two nights ago, I could stand on my porch and see Andromeda clearly, but winter seems to have arrived today with a heavy cloud layer... didn't even see the nearest star.

    6" f/8 newtonian here, and a good set of 16 x 50's.
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    Oct 04, 2008 6:03 AM GMT
    Thank's for the Info better than some of the Crap here?


    Uranus Rules (my planet)
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    Oct 04, 2008 3:20 PM GMT
    MikeOnMain saidGreat topic. Check out this amazing image of Saturn backlit by the sun, taken by the Cassini probe:

    spaceimages_2022_1545400

    Does anyone have a telescope?


    No telescope (anymore) but cool picture of Saturn. Thanks Mike. I found the hi-res version on nasa jpl, This will be my new desktop image.

    It has been too cloudy here to see anything the last two evenings.
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    Oct 04, 2008 5:01 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidd I've never heard the idea that Triton was captured from the Kuiper Belt. I would find that pretty hard to swallow.


    I think (I hope) the reason that HndsmKandan is sceptical of a Kuiper-belt origin for Triton is that it cannot happen in a two body problem as this violates conservation of angular momentum. I neglected to emphasise that the proposed capture would therefore have to be from a binary Kuiper-belt pair. These are surprisingly common, a few percent.
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Oct 05, 2008 6:29 AM GMT
    This thread reminds me of a trip I took to Vegas years ago. I went with a group of friends, one of which was married to a guy whom I really didn't think was right for her. Walking down the street one night, I pointed out that the only objects that you could see in the sky were the crescent moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter arranged in a tidy little line (it's difficult to see any stars when you're standing in the bright lights of the Strip). I mentioned that it was probably the only time in our lives we would see this configuration, and that it was sort of special. Of the five people, four stopped to think about what I was saying, and admired the alignment. However, I could barely get my friend's husband to look up.

    At that moment I decided he was a jerk. When she chose to divorce him a few months later, I encouraged her to get it over with as soon as possible.

    I guess I'm saying that there are people who stop to marvel at these celestial events like they know how precious they can be, and then there are people who can't wait to get to the next casino to play the nickel slots. It's nice to know that some of you guys are amongst the former group.
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    Oct 05, 2008 10:52 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan said[quote][cite]SamerPhxAZ said[/cite]Guess what?! We saw alien's spaceship out here in Phoenix. icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gif OH MY GOSH! icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gif


    This thread was to be about Jupiter and Venus, not about alien spacecrafts Samer...LOL


    To Professor HndsmKansan, Astronomy 101

    Ahh, too bad, I thought this was a brilliant bit of comic relief after you and TigerTim's exchange. And while I am at it, why do you want to restrict the discussion to Jupiter and Venus? I would like to ask a couple of questions about earth's moon, but now I am shaking in my boots.icon_rolleyes.gif