picture, Enter linuxastronomy.org website.

Andromeda (And)
Aquila (Aql) (eagle)
Bootes (Boo) (herdsman)
Cancer (Cnc) (crab)
Canes Venatici
Canes Venatici (CVn) (hunting dogs)
Canis Major
Canis Major (CMa) (big dog)
Canis Minor
Canis Minor (CMi) (lesser dog)
Capricornus (Cap) (sea goat)
Cassiopeia (Cas)
Centaurus (Cen) (centaur)
Cepheus (Cep
Corona Borealis
Corona Borealis (CrB) (Northern Crown)
Cygnus (Cyg) (swan)
Draco (Dra) (dragon)
Hercules (Her)
Leo (Leo) (lion)
Lyra (Lyr) (Lyre)
Ophiucus (Oph) (serpent holder)
Orion (Ori)
Pegasus (Peg) (winged horse)
Perseus (Per)
Scorpius (Sco) (scorpion)
Sagitarius (Sgr) (archer)
Telescopium (Tel) (telescope)
Ursa Major
Ursa Major (Uma) (big dipper)
Ursa Minor
Ursa Minor (Umi) (little dipper)
Virgo (Vir) (virgin)
Sky Events.
August 2006 and beyond...

Future events or events in progress.
Events listed below, are mostly of general or scientific interest.
They are events people can often be part of them.
August 12 RAS Meeting (Riverside Astronomy Society, Riverside California).
August 19 ASOD Star party (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California). Location: Sawmill Trailhead.
August 25 RAS Star Party (Riverside Astronomy Society, Riverside California).
September 9 RAS Meeting (Riverside Astronomy Society, Riverside California).
September 22 RAS Star Party (Riverside Astronomy Society, Riverside California).
September 23 ASOD Star party (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California). Location: Sawmill Trailhead.
October 7 RAS Meeting (Riverside Astronomy Society, Riverside California).
October 13 ASOD Meeting (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California).
October 19-22 RAS Star Party (Riverside Astronomy Society, Riverside California). Nightfall Anza Borrego.
October 21 ASOD Star party (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California). Location: Sawmill Trailhead.
November 4 RAS Meeting (Riverside Astronomy Society, Riverside California).
November 10 ASOD Meeting (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California).
November 17 RAS Star Party (Riverside Astronomy Society, Riverside California).
November 18 ASOD Star party ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California). Location: Coachella Valley Preserve.
December 2 RAS Meeting (Riverside Astronomy Society, Riverside California).
December 8 ASOD Meeting ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California).
December 15 RAS Star Party (Riverside Astronomy Society, Riverside California).
December 16 ASOD Star party ASOD (Astronomy Society of the Desert, Coachella Valley, California). Location: Coachella Valley Preserve.

Solar system
Object: Earth Moon. Date and Time standard: PST (Pacific Standard Time). Year: 2006
Month: 1st quarter: full moon: latest quarter: new moon:
April 5 13 20 27
May 4 12 20 26
June 4 11 18 25
July 3 10 17 24
August 2 9 15 23
August 31
September 7 14 22
September 30
October 6 13 21
October 29
November 5 12 20
November 27
December 4 12 20
December 27

Date: what time: Events: Where: good chances of observation with: Should last a few days:
Naked eyes Bino
12 night Perseids (imo.net) meteors showers. Maximum will be between 23h —1h30m UT on August 12—13. Unfortunately, the moon will make this observation a challenge. . x . . x
16 evening night Moon near pleiades. South-East x x x .
18 Early morning planets alignement, Venus, Mercury and Saturn will be in a same plan, viewed from earth. East North-East x x . .
20 Early morning thin moon near Castor and Pollux. East North-East x x x .
21 early morning Mercury and Saturn get closer. East North-East x x x .
22 early morning Mercury, Saturn, Venus and the moon in conjunction. East North-East x x x .
27 early morning Moon and Saturn in a tight conjunction. East North-East x x x .
28 early morning Venus and Saturn in conjunction. East North-East x x x .
29 evening Moon and Jupiter in conjunction. South-East x x x .

Object of the month.
Description of one or more object(s) arbitrarily selected, which should be visible in the current month, or has been observed in the recent past.
Object: Constellation: Description:
NGC 6543 Draco It is a Planetary nebula, also known as the "Cat's Eye Nebula". It seems to be one of the most complex planetary nebulae ever seen. It seems to have a visual brightness (magnitude) between 8.1 (seds.org) and 8.8 (daviddarling.info ), depending the source of information.
It is so complex, some people thing it might be a double-star system (hubblesite.org), (image from 1994).
Hubble space telescope took another picture of NGC 6543 on November 12 2004, using the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). It is possible to cont eleven or more concentric rings, or shells on this image (esa.int).
Chandra X-Ray (chandra.harvard.edu) telescope view of NGC 6543.

planetary nebula has nothing to do with planet formation. NGC 6543 is no exception (seds.org).

This object has been observed by John F. and Eugene C. using John 22" Dobsonian telescope, in the night of July 1st to July 2nd, in Joshua Tree National Park, in Southern California.
Comment: we were not equipped to take any astro-photography.
Sunspots . On 2006 august 11, a nice cluster of sunspots has been visible.

the left and right sunspots in this image are the same. the left of the image was in the morning, the right in the afternoon.

Image taken using a 6" f8 homemade dobsonian with a 32 mm eyepiece. Telescope was equiped with a "mylar" style sunfilter (Kendrick), magnification was about 38x. Images were taken by holding by hand a digital camera (Olympus C-3030) in front of the eyepiece.

A sunspot (wikipedia) is a region on the Sun's surface that is marked by a lower temperature than its surroundings and intense magnetic activity, which inhibits convection, forming areas of low surface temperature.
Solar Influences Data Analysis Center - SIDC. (sidc.oma.be) research group for solar physics at the Royal Observatory of Belgium. Its operational activities include the World Data Center for the sunspot index.

The IAU has redifined the status of a planet (iau2006.org). Pluto lost its planet status. Pluto become a "dwarf planet" instead.
2006 redefinition of planet (wikipedia).
Planète naine (wikipedia, french), "dwarf planets".
Today in history. Some interesting events.
Historical events, as well as future historical events, such as spacecrafts journey.
Date: History events (sorted by year, month, day):
2006 August 16 The IAU draft definition of "planet" and "plutons" (iau2006.org). If the definition is approved by the astronomers gathered 14-25 August 2006 at the IAU General Assembly in Prague, our Solar System will include 12 planets, with more to come.
2006 redefinition of planet (wikipedia).
2006 August 24
2006 August 27 Space shuttle STS-115 launch (wikipedia.org). STS-115/ISS-12A should be launnched between August 27 and September 13 time frame. It will resume the assembly of the International Space Station. It main mission goal will be to bring and install a new module or truss, and an array of solar panel as well as batteries for the ISS.
STS-115 (nasa.gov).
2001 August 1 A team coached by Dr. Pierantonio Cinzano, published the first world map human readable of light reflection (sending light toward the sky) or light pollution, with a full report on the subject. The night sky in the World (lightpollution.it), Satellite monitoring of the artificial night sky brightness and the stellar visibility.
Light pollution (wikipedia, english) is excess or obtrusive light created by humans.
Pollution lumineuse (wikipedia, french).
IDAInternational Dark-Sky Association.
world light pollution map
2001 August 8 Space probe Genesis (wikipedia) was launched from Cape Canaveral. When it returned back home, it crashed into the desert floor of the Dugway Proving Ground in Tooele County, Utah at about 86 m/s (311 km/h; 193 mph).
Genesis mission goal was to gather atom of solar wind at the Lagrange L1 (wikipedia) point, which is an area between Sun and Earth where gravity forces from the Sun And Earth are in balance.
http://www.genesismission.org/ Genesis (Outreach) mission web site (genesismission.or).
1977 August 20 Voyager 2 (wikipedia) was lunched. On 1979 July 9th, it fly-by Jupiter at 570'000 km (350'000 miles) from it cloud top. On 1981 August 22, it flyby Saturn and pass at 101'000km from it center. On 1986 January 24 it came to its closest point with Uranus about 81'500 kn (50'600 miles). On 1989 August 25 it came closest to Neptune.
Voyager program (wikipedia).
Voyager: Living on the Edge of the Solar System (voyager.jpl.nasa.gov).
Voyager Mission Operations Status Report (voyager.jpl.nasa.gov).

Voyager 1 and 2 are similare vehicule, they are powered by a plutonium thermoelectric generator which provided about 470 Watt, 30 vdc at launch time, it seems they still produce about 80 percent of power, about 315 and 320 watt these days (2006).

As power generation decrease, equipments are powered down one after an another. Around 2010 the gyroscopic stabiliser, use to rotate the probes may be shutdown. Some scientific should be still working until around 2020, which at that time, power generation may not be sufficient to do anything.

Both Voyager space probe carry with them a golden record (wikipedia) that contains pictures and sounds of Earth, as well as other information. Carl Sagan was at the head of the selection comity. It will take about 40'000 years for the probes to be in a star vicinity, unless somebody travel toward meeting the probes. The probes are very small object in the universe and it may take several decades for somebody to decypher the message on board. Voyager 2, images of golden record
The voyager messages were more complex than the Pioneer 10 and 11 probe messages (wikipedia), (Pioneer 10 has been launched on 1972 March 02 and Pioneer 11 on 1973 April 5). After criticism about a naked man and woman images included on Pioneer probes messages, Nasa did not let Carl Sagan do it again, only silhouettes have been allowed on Voyager... Pioneer space probe message board image
1976 August 9 Luna 24 (wikipedia) was launched. It was the last spacecraft of the "Luna" serie and the third Soviet spacecraft to return Lunar soil samples, Luna 16 and Luna 20 where the others mission that brought back some soil sample. Luna 24 brought back 170 gram of soil, later, Soviets gave a part to the NASA. These samples are the last samples brought back from the Moon to Earth, no others countrys did it after that, up to these days (2006 august). Luna 24 Landed on the moon on 1976 August 18, it landed on Earth on 1976 August 22.
Luna 24 (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).
Tracking Luna 24 from Florida and Stockholm (svengrahn.pp.se).
Flight timelines of various missions (svengrahn.pp.se). Notes on the design and flight profile of the Luna 15-24 series.
The Luna Missions (lpi.usra.edu).
Virtual Space Museum (vsm.host.ru).
1972 August 21 Orbiting Astronomical ObservatoryOAO-3 (Copernicus) (wikipedia) was launched. It was part of a group of 4 satellites. Among them two failled, OAO-1 failled three days after launch, unfortunately even before its scientific equipments could be operational. OAO-B failed at launch time.
OAO-3 has been the most successful and has been operational until February 1981.
These type of satellites were the precursors of the Hubble Space Telescope. They carried telescopes and did great experiment in the UV range of frequency.
1966 August 10 Launch of space probe Lunar Orbiter 1 (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov), which had for mission to take pictures of the moon surface, it covered about 75 percent of that goal. It took 5 orbiters to get 99 percent of the moon surface.
Pictures were taken to find areas smooth enough to allow a safe moon landing, for the future Surveyor as well as Apollo missions.
Digital Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon (lpi.usra.edu).
Lunar Orbiter program (wikipedia).
1868 August 18 Evidence of Helium (wikipedia) has been detected by French astronomer Pierre Janssen (wikipedia) during a total solar eclipse in Guntur, India. He assumed the line to be Sodium. On October 20 (1868), English astronomer Norman Lockyer (plicht.de) observed a similar yellow line in the solar spectrum, He assumed it was an element unknown on our planet Earth. He and English chemist Edward Frankland named the element with the Greek word for the Sun, (helios). Helium was unknown on Earth until March 26, 1895. British chemist William Ramsay found it while thinking to find argon gaz. Norman Lockyer, was also the founder of the magazine "Nature".
Pierre Jules César Janssen (hao.ucar.edu) Biography.
(cartage.org.lb) Biography.
(1911encyclopedia.org) Biography.
Helium (education.jlab.org) details.
Joseph Norman Lockyer (www-solar.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk) Biography.
Joseph Norman Lockyer (wikipedia).
Joseph Norman Lockyer (hao.ucar.edu) (High Altitude Observatory).
The Norman Lockyer Observatory (projects.ex.ac.uk) & James Lockyer Planetarium.
Norman Lockyer (witcombe.sbc.edu) interest and study about Stonehenge (UK).
Norman Lockyer (cartage.org.lb) Bibliography.
1864 August 5 Giovanni Donati (deepimpact.eso.org) did the first spectroscopic observations of a comet (Comet Tempel).
Giovanni Donati (chabotspace.org).
Giovanni Batista Donati (encyclopedia.jrank.org).
Later Sir William Huggins (1868) used Giovanni Donati information.
Les grands astronomes (astrosurf.com), astronomers timeline (in french).
Chronologie générale (ac-nice.fr), de l'antiquité à nos jours. Excellent time line (in french).
1818 August 1 (Some source say August 11) Maria Mitchell (physicsandastronomy.vassar.edu) was born. It seems she was the first woman professor of astronomy in the US.
Short biography (pocanticohills.org).
Short biography (astr.ua.edu).
Biography (cr.nps.gov).
Longer Biography (wikipedia) As of June 19, it claim, she was born on August 11.

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To send us a message.

The latest and original of this document is available at the following address: http://www.linuxastronomy.org/lias/lias/hp/sky_data/hp/index.html Select Ephemerides.

This page as well as the whole site is Copyright© , 2001 - 2006 Eugene Clement

Astronomy picture of the day Astronomy picture of the day. NASA

Hubble picture of the day
Hubble space telescope, picture of the day (image and video).
ESA European Space Agency.

picture of the day, from Operational Significant Event Imagery
Picture from the OSEI (Operational Significant Event Imagery). These images usually represent environment change events.

Earth motion
for Coachella Valley.
seismology for Coachella Valleyseismology for Coachella Valley (Southern California).

Light pollution prevention start at home.

The night sky in the World. Satellite monitoring of the artificial night sky brightness and the stellar visibility.
IDAInternational Dark-Sky Association.

Auroral Activity Northern HemisphereAuroral Activity (Northern Hemisphere). NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) continually monitor the power flux carried by the protons and electrons that produce aurora in the atmosphere.
Auroral Activity Southern HemisphereAuroral Activity Southern Hemisphere.

GOES Solar X-ray Imager, provide full-disk images of the Sun once a minute in the 0.6-6 nm range with 5 arcsec pixels. It allow real-time prediction of solar-terrestrial disturbances.
more info.

SOHO Pick of the Week SOHO Pick of the Week. Courtesy of SOHO/EIT and SOHO/LASCO consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.
latest SOHO imageslatest SOHO images171.
latest SOHO imageslatest SOHO images284.

CosmicopiaMore about Cosmic Rays (educational).

Our Sponsor

People at Alembic have helped us in many ways, at first as sponsors, then as volunteers as well. They are so dedicated, I would not be surprised if their guitars run linux. ;-)

Alembic guitar

About the Author

I am simply a Linux enthusiast with an interest in science.

I like to build hardware projects and connect them to computers, to do data acquisitions and other things. I also like to make telescopes or make existing telescopes more convenient to use.

This page will hopefully help me to learn something. I am happy if I can share it with the reader.

I belong to the following astronomy societies: RAS. ASOD and linuxastronomy.org, which is a virtual group of linux enthusiast, experimenting with astronomy.

Suggestions or corrections with for goal to make this site better are welcome.