Astronomical advice please

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Renard, 7 Dec 2007.

  1. Renard

    Renard Guest

    When I'm out in the morning at the moment there is a bright star in the east which is about the last to disappear before it gets light. Does anyone know which one it is? Maybe the morning or eastern star? I suspect it might be a planet, perhaps Venus?
  2. Cycling Naturalist

    Cycling Naturalist Legendary Member

    If it's red it's Mars. If it is brighter than any star and brilliant white, then it's Venus.
  3. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

  4. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Venus. Current magnitude about -4.1. Try getting a fix on it and see if you can keep it in view with the naked eye, even after sunrise (around 8am at the moment). Most people can manage that if the skies are clear: this is the only planet for which that feat is possible.

    Incidentally Mars is prominent in evening skies at the moment, not morning. Look high in the east, you can't mistake it.
  5. radger

    radger Über Member

    sounds like it's probably Venus.

    This seems quite good for identifying stars etc, as you can set the time you were looking, and your latitude/longitude etc. And the horizon has pigs and tractors on it, which is a nice touch
  6. velocidad

    velocidad Über Member

    stellarium is a great free planetarium program if you want to know more about what's out there at any given time (available to download for most operating systems) and as others have said it is venus that you have seen.
    you don't need fancy telescopes, just some bino's opens up the sky greatly:smile:

    cheers, velocidad :tongue:
  7. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Not quite correct. Jupiter (not visible at this time of year) also becomes brighter than any star and appears white.

    In fact this is also true of Mercury, but that is a difficult planet to spot since it remains close to the sun and is never seen against a completely dark sky: I have only seen it a few times.
  8. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Quite correct: I usually advise potential astros (and that includes you, Arch :tongue:) to spend plenty of time with the binos before going over to a full-blown 'scope: a lot easier to get the hang of and very rewarding for those who just want to find out what a lot of stuff there is up there. People who buy a telescope too early often get frustrated and give up.

    True, for casual observation I would advise Stellarium, too. For my own, more serious and technical work, I use Cartes du Ciel but that is more scientific-oriented and not quite so 'pretty'. It is also a free download (it's in English) and amazing value!
  9. papercorn2000

    papercorn2000 Senior Member

    Hey, you could try following it BJB, you never know what you may find at this time of year!:tongue:

    Mind and take some gold, frankenstein or grrr!
  10. papercorn2000

    papercorn2000 Senior Member

    Sorry, my mistake, you have to be a wise man to do that!
  11. Cycling Naturalist

    Cycling Naturalist Legendary Member

    As the post used the key words "at the moment" I confined my reply to those objects that he is likely to see now.
  12. jonathan ellis

    jonathan ellis Well-Known Member

    and may I add that the ISS is fairly visable tonight
    Date Mag Starts Max. altitude Ends
    Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
    7 Dec -0.4 17:17:31 10 SSW 17:19:37 18 SE 17:20:35 16 ESE

    this is for London, i've been on night shift so havent seen the sky yet
    (I guess its cloudy!)
  13. JamesAC

    JamesAC Senior Member


    Can you get a mounting kit for your handle bars? :tongue:
  14. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    I should point out that I've recently asked Pete for aome astro help by PM, so he's not just randomly picking on me....

    I have bins, but I don't think they're very good ones, so everything is a bit shakey/fuzzy. Or it might be my eyes...
  15. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    Bear in mind it may not be a star at could be a satellite. Some people dont realise you can see it carefully. If it moves slowly..but faster than everything else..its probably a satellite.
    Guy at work asked something similar a few years ago...

    Look how bright that star is..he said.
    Nah...its a satellite..i said
    Fcuk off...he said. You cant see a satellite !!!!!!!
    Course you can i said.

    Never could convince him...hes absolutely adamant to this day i was pulling his leg :tongue::tongue:
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