BSC star party July 7th
By: Steve Short
July 5, 2007 11:25PM PDT
Hello Fellow OCA club members!
This Saturday has the lucky date of all sevens 07/07/07 so surely the night
sky will be clear! Our guest host that evening will be Hassi Norlen who just
happens to be very well qualified as he holds a degree in Astronomy and is
always helping out at the OCA star parties. Since the sun will be setting
just after 8 pm, he will open the gate around 7:30 pm.
Venus (Mag -4.6) will be the brightest object in the sky (look to the West)
even though just illuminated 30% and about 44 million miles from Earth.
Saturn (Mag .6) will be just 4 degrees away from Venus and is about 930
million miles from Earth. Jupiter (Mag -2.5) will be just 372 million miles
from Earth and can be found just behind the 3 star head of the Scorpion. The
upper belt should be visible with 75X magnification but the red spot won't
transit until about 1:30 am. Jupiter's 4 Galilean moons will all be tightly
packed in the left side of my telescope view with Io & Callisto touching.
Pluto (Mag 14) will be 17 degrees left from Jupiter above Sagittarius and is
2.8 billion miles from Earth so is quite a challenge to spot.
Egg shaped Asteroid 4Vesta (Mag 6.1) has faded from naked eye brightness on
it's arc into Scorpius and the 300 mile wide rock will be headed right
towards Jupiter at the end of this month. Don McClelland wanted me to be
sure and mention that Comet C/2006 VZ13 (Mag 10.3) will be about 19 degrees
NW of Vega heading less than 10 degrees NW of Arcturus by July 25th. There
will not be any Iridium flares visible this Saturday evening nor the HST or
For deep sky objects we might consider looking in Hercules this month for
alpha double star Rasalgethi (Mag 3.5) which is a huge red giant star 400
light years away that nuzzles a Mag 5.4 white companion. Nearby is the Sudor
Oph asterism of an integral sign with a white & gold double star (Mag
5.9,6.2) easily split in even binoculars. Moving West to k Hercules is a
yellow & gold double star (Mag 5.1,6.2) easily split at low power. For
something way more challenging, look for spiral galaxy NGC 6181 (Mag 11.9)
just under Beta Hercules.
Saturday, the Silverado Canyon temperature should get to 90 F so the evening
at Black Star should not get colder than 60 F. But bring coats just in case
along with liquids to stay hydrated. Please do cart off all your trash and
empty containers as there are no trash cans on this Irvine Ranch land we are
allowed to use for star parties.
Your OCA star party host,