Solar Ephemeris for Kendal
- on Wednesday the 15th of February 2023:
- sunrise occurs 07:30
- sunset occurs 17:20
- Astronomical dark begins 19:18
- Astronomical dark ends 05:30 the next morning
Kendal Ephemerides for today are on our Welcome page
Moon Phase Chart
We still have the fabulous Milky Way right over your heads. This is still a great time of year to see objects of interest in the constellations at the zenith: Auriga, Perseus and Cassiopeia.
The most obvious star cluster is The Double Cluster (NGC 884/869) situated between Cassiopeia and Perseus. In addition, there is Caroline’s Rose, NGC7789, and M103 in Cassiopeia. The area is a joy to behold in binoculars on a dark night. For wide field imaging photographic targets, what could be better than M31, The Great Andromeda Galaxy and nearby telescopic M33.
For double stars, you must look at Almach in Andromeda. This is a pretty colourful double and not too far away, roughly half way between Almach and Cassiopeia, is the planetary nebula M76, The Little Dumbbell in Perseus.
In Perseus, we have another open cluster, M34, and nearby is Algol, the prototype for a class of eclipsing variable stars. Usually magnitude 2.1, it drops to 3.4 every 2.86 days – (2 days 20 hours 49 min), a rather noticeable change. The star is eclipsed for about 2 hours. The Sky & Telescope magazine website has a useful calculator for the predicted mid-eclipse times. see The Minima of Algol.
Looking south, the most obvious telescopic and binocular target is the Great Orion Nebula, M42, in Orion. In nearby Taurus, there is The Pleiades, M45, which is easily seen as a fuzzy patch easily resolvable as stars in a pair of binoculars. This object makes a good widefield photo-op as well as a great telescopic image when misty gas becomes visible. A much more open cluster in Taurus is the vee of the Hyades with Aldebaran at one end. In addition, there is the Crab Nebula, M1, roughly midway between Capella and Betelgeuse. This fine supernova remnant, the result of the supernova recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054, is a wonderful photographic object.
For a real challenge, try and see Sirius’s faint companion Sirius B. This orbits round Sirius A every 50 years and their current separation of 12” is about as big as it gets. The difficulty is that Sirius A is magnitude -1.46 whilst Sirius B is 8.4! That’s 10 magnitudes. To see it, you’ll probably need a well-collimated 8” or above telescope and a night of good seeing – a steady atmosphere.