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Posts Made By: Curt Renz

March 23, 2004 10:38 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

April Moon Phase Calendar Wallpaper

Posted By Curt Renz

I've created a Moon Phase Calendar for April. It displays the daily phase and apparent size. The opposition flash and Earthshine are made obvious by the coloring. It is large enough to be made into a computer desktop wallpaper. Click:

http://www.curtrenz.com/calendar2.html

March 23, 2004 10:45 AM Forum: Film Astrophotography - Imaging and Processing

Half Moon over Thunderstorm at Sunset

Posted By Curt Renz

I captured a Half Moon peering over a thunderstorm a few minutes after sunset on 2003 JUL 06 from Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Click link below to see picture:
http://www.curtrenz.com/astro3.html

March 23, 2004 03:10 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Star Maps for Beginners

Posted By Curt Renz

If you would like a simple introductory set of monthly star charts, still the best is the 1942 classic, "Star Maps for Beginners". Its clever map projection (see below) is more natural for novices as it eliminates most of the distortion seen in a planisphere or circular map. The basic star patterns will be burned into your brain and never forgotten. I got my now ragged copy in 1959 at age 13, and it served me well for many years. The "monthly" charts also work well as progressive charts for each 2-hour period during any particular night.

"Sky & Telescope" says, "The best way to learn the constellations that we have ever run across."

For information on the 50th anniversary edition and a method for obtaining a copy, click this link:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0671791877/curtrenz-20

For an enlarged view of the March map, click the link below:
http://www.curtrenz.com/starmap03.jpg

April 18, 2004 06:02 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

New Moon Spotting Contest for April

Posted By Curt Renz

Who will be the first to spot the New Moon by naked eye after its conjunction in longitude with the Sun on 2004 APR 19 at 13:21 UT (08:21 CDT)?

The contest went well last month. Daniel in Michigan spotted the Moon aged 25:37. That was only 11 minutes sooner than Tommy in Illinois. Daniel even provided a really nice photo. The April winner will likely be observing from the Eastern Hemisphere. But folks from all parts of the world are invited to participate in regional contests. No prizes - just bragging rights.

By the way, it was this first sighting of a slim crescent that was traditionally called the New Moon. The time near the actual conjunction was called Dark Moon. Modern calendar makers tend to equate the New Moon with the conjunction.

I have created a graphic showing the western sky a half hour after sunset on 2004 APR 20 as seen from Chicago's Adler Planetarium. Under those circumstances the Moon will be at Azimuth 285.3 and Altitude +8.8. The Sun will be at Azimuth 291.8 and Altitude -5.6. Note: Azimuth 270 is due west; Altitude 0 is the horizon. The Moon will be 1.9% illuminated. That means that 1.9% of the area of the Moon's apparent disk will be lit. Equivalently, it means that the thickest portion of the lunar crescent will be 1.9% of the lunar diameter.

Click link to see graphic:
http://www.curtrenz.com/astro2.html

Please report your results with time, location and description in a reply to this post. Photos would be welcome.

Good Luck to All

April 30, 2004 02:23 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

May Daily Moon Phase Calendar

Posted By Curt Renz

I have created a daily moon phase calendar that is suitable as a computer desktop background wallpaper.
Windows will adjust the size when turned into a wallpaper.

1) Click http://www.curtrenz.com/calendar1.html
2) Right click the calendar
3) Click "Set as Background"

Please reply within this forum to let me know what you think of it.
Would you like the series to be continued in future months?


April 30, 2004 08:20 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Total Lunar Eclipse - May 4/5 - See Charts

Posted By Curt Renz

A Total Lunar Eclipse will be witnessed on the night of May 4/5 by observers across much of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
I have created charts of the event as seen from London, England. Click links:

Eclipse Data:
http://www.curtrenz.com/astro1.html

9 Panel Sequence:
http://www.curtrenz.com/astro2.html

May 16, 2004 07:09 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

May New Moon Spotting Contest - See Graphic

Posted By Curt Renz

Who will be the first to spot a slender crescent Moon by naked-eye after its conjunction with the Sun on 2004 MAY 19 at 04:52 UT?

It may be tough for most North Americans, but those out west could have the best chance. If not, then perhaps someone on a Pacific island or Australia.

I have created a graphic showing the western sky shortly after sunset on Wednesday MAY 19 from Beverly Hills, California, although it should serve most North American observers. Click:
http://www.curtrenz.com/astro3.html

Please report the details of your observations (including time and zone) in replies to this thread. Photos would be most welcome. But even reports of negative results would be appreciated. Good Luck!

May 23, 2004 10:25 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Mars Passes Saturn - MON MAY 24 - See Graphic

Posted By Curt Renz

On the evening of Monday 2004 MAY 24 Mars will be seen to pass by Saturn with a separation of about 1.6 degrees while in Gemini. The actual closest geocentric approach occurs around 6 hr UT on MAY 25.

I have created a graphic that demonstrates the positions of the Moon and planets in the western sky that evening as observed from Chicago, but it should well serve most northern hemisphere observers.

Click the link below:

http://www.curtrenz.com/astro1.html

The graphic will be replaced shortly after the event occurs.

Reports of your observations are invited in this thread. Photos would be most welcome.
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May 26, 2004 09:56 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Huge Full Moon - Night of JUN 02/03

Posted By Curt Renz

On the night of JUN 02/03, not only will the Moon be Full, it will be at Perigee for its closest approach to Earth in all of 2004.

Take a look at the June daily moon phase calendar that I created. It can be made into your computer desktop background wallpaper.

1) Click the link below


http://www.curtrenz.com/calendar2.html

Note: Only do the next two steps if you want to make it your wallpaper.

2) Right click the picture (do not worry if it seems wrong size)
3) Click "Set as Background" (automatically adjusts picture to fit your screen)

Please reply to this thread to let me know what you think of it.

May 27, 2004 10:23 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Daily Moon Phase Calendar for June - Wallpaper

Posted By Curt Renz

My June daily Moon phase calendar is now available. The images take into account the Moon's distance, Earthshine and Opposition Flash. It can be made into your computer desktop background wallpaper.

1) Click the link below


http://www.curtrenz.com/calendar2.html

Note: Only do the next two steps if you really want to make it your wallpaper. Instead, you can print it using landscape mode.

2) Right click the picture (do not worry if it seems wrong size)
3) Click "Set as Background" (automatically adjusts picture to fit your screen)

Please reply to this thread with your questions or thoughts.