As Scheduled Stargazing Kauai

Kauai, Hawaii Thanks to minimal interference from city lights, Kauai is an ideal place for viewing night skies. Whether you're planning a Stargazing party, or just wish to observe our magnificent skies with a friend or two, let me be your SKYWATCH GUIDE. I'm Rozlyn Reiner, an astronomy educator, (also known as Rocket Roz), & I maintain this AstroEvents page. I'm quite familiar with our Hawaiian skies & provide exciting & informative guided sky tours. Learn your way around the night sky, as I use a powerful laser & helpful visual aides to point out stars, planets, constellations, & other celestial objects. Then gaze through the telescope and observe double stars, star clusters, distant galaxies, nebulae & other deep space phenomena. The West side of Kauai has the most consistently clear skies (Waimea, Kekaha, Polihale Beach Park), & I will host small groups at my Kekaha home, or at nearby West Kauai viewing sites. I am also available to meet with you at another site if viewing conditions are favorable there. For further info, please contact: roz@rozhome.com

November 17-18 2018 Leonid Meteor Shower Hawaiian Island Viewing THE 2018 LEONID METEOR SHOWER PEAKS ON THE NIGHT OF SATURDAY, NOV 17TH & EARLY THE FOLLOWING MORNING. Under a dark sky, we would normally expect to see 15 meteors ("shooting stars") per hour, The Leonids should demonstrate some activity from Nov. 16-19, with the peak expected at/after 3AM on Sunday morning, Nov.18th, after the gibbous Moon sets. From around 3AM thru sunrise Sunday morning, get yourself comfortably situated in the darkest area you can find. A lounge chair with blankets & a thermos with a hot beverage would be great. You DO NOT need a telescope or binoculars to see this, or any meteor shower. Just make sure you are warm & comfortable, find a dark spot, & scan the sky for streaks of light! These are fast moving meteors, striking Earth's atmosphere at 44 miles/second (160,000 miles/hour!), & appear to originate or "radiate" from the "sickle" shaped head of Leo, the Lion. Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the path of a comet. Tiny bits of debris left behind by comets, most no larger than a grain of sand, create a spectacular light show ("shooting stars") as they enter the Earth's atmosphere. The parent comet for the Leonids is 55P/Temple-Tuttle, which returns to orbit the Sun every 33 years & last visited our region of the solar system in 1997-98. As comet Temple-Tuttle nears the Sun, like any comet, it heats up and leaves a trail of debris behind it. It is these debris that the Earth intersects which produce the Leonid meteor showers. For more info visit http://meteorshowersonline.com/leonids.html

Saturday Dec 1st beginning at 6pm KEASA PUBLIC STARWATCH Kaumakani Park & Sports Pavilion The Kauai Educational Association for Science & Astronomy, KEASA, presents its monthly public STARWATCH, beginning at sunset (approx. 6PM), Saturday Dec 1st, at Kaumakani Park & Sports Pavilion, (behind Kaumakani School & Neighborhood Center). Suggest bringing a windbreaker or light jacket, as it tends to get chilly later in the evening. Bring a beach or lawn chair, PLUS a mat, towel, or blanket to sit on, and a small FLASHLIGHT for everyone in your party, if possible. For more information, including driving directions to this excellent viewing site, visit www.keasa.org (keasa.org). For further info phone 808.332-STAR(7827). Feel free to call (808)346-5796, on Saturday, at/after 5PM for weather updates affecting the Starwatch for that evening.

August 11-13, 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower Hawaiian Island Viewing The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks after midnight, in the pre-dawn sky, the mornings of Aug. 12th & 13th. The Perseid meteor shower is always good, but this year it is extra-good. The Moon will be New during the shower's peak, providing a dark backdrop for as many as 100 meteors per hour. The best time to look is during the dark hours before sunrise on Sunday, August 12th, and again on Monday, August 13th. At those times, the shower's radiant will be high in the sky, spewing meteors in all directions: Perseid meteors are typically fast & bright, & often leave persistent trains. They appear to "radiate" from the constellation Perseus, "The Hero." Activity increases during the early morning hours when Perseus is high in the northeast & the Earth spins sky-watchers into the oncoming stream of comet debris. Starting on the nights of August 11/12 and 12/13, watch for Perseid meteors to streak across the sky. Find a location with a good view of the full sky; away from distracting street lights or house lights. You do not need a telescope or binoculars to view this or any other meteor shower. Just get yourself to the darkest location you can find, relax in a comfortable recliner chair, perhaps with a blanket & hot beverage, & enjoy the show! Perseids typically produce lots of bright meteors, many leaving luminous trails visible for several seconds. These are FAST meteors, with a velocity of about 37 miles/sec or 133,000 miles/hour! Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the path of a comet. The bits of debris left behind by the comets, most no larger than a grain of sand, create a spectacular light show as they enter (& burn up in) Earth's atmosphere. The Perseids' parent comet is 109/Swift-Tuttle, which last visited our part of the Solar System in 1992. The comet has an orbital period (returns to orbit our Sun) approx. every 130 years.

April 28, 29, 30 2018 Moon & Jupiter Conjunction A SPECIAL CONJUNCTION OF THE MOON AND JUPITER: This weekend, the Moon and Jupiter are converging in the constellation Libra for a special conjunction. Jupiter is approaching Earth for a close encounter in early May, making the giant planet extra big and bright. On Sunday night, April 29th, the Moon will turn full just as it glides past the brightening gas giant. It adds up to a display of rare brilliance in the midnight sky. Visit Spaceweather.com for sky maps and more information. Note that the brilliant star Spica/Hikianalia (in Virgo) rounds out the trio, with Hokule'a (Arcturus) just to the North.

December 13/14 2017 Geminid Meteor Shower Hawaiian Islands Viewing The Geminid Meteor Shower, one of the year's strongest showers, is expected to peak before dawn on Thursday Dec. 14th. With a small crescent Moon, at around 6:00AM, we could see as many as 120 meteors ("shooting stars") per hour from a dark, clear viewing site. The meteors appear to originate or "radiate" from the constellation Gemini the Twins, near the bright star Castor. The highest rates come in the hours after midnight when Gemini appears high in the sky. Best viewing will probably be on Thursday morning, between 2 AM, (when bright Gemini twin stars, Castor & Pollux, are directly overhead), and dawn. The streaking meteors will only serve to highlight our viewing of the spectacular morning sky! Jupiter will appear just south of the Moon (at/after 5AM), with Mars to the west near Spica (the brightest star in Virgo). You DO NOT need a telescope or binoculars to see this, or any meteor shower. Just make sure you are warm & comfortable, (a lounge chair with blankets & a thermos with a hot beverage would be great), find a dark spot, & scan the sky for streaks of light! Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes thru the path of a comet. The tiny bits of debris left behind by comets, most no larger than a grain of sand, create a spectacular light show as they enter (& burn up) in Earth's atmosphere. The Geminids come from "3200 Phaethon," which many astronomers suspect is the nucleus of a dead comet (a rock-comet).

June 5th, Noon-6:45PM 2012 Transit Of Venus Hawaiian Islands Viewing When Venus passes directly between Earth and the Sun, we see the distant planet as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of the Sun. Historically, this rare alignment is how we measured the size of our solar system. The next transit of Venus occurs June 5, 2012, & can be viewed in its entirety only from Hawaii, Alaska, & parts of Australia. This will be the last transit of Venus to occur in your lifetime.? (The next one in 2117 ? 105 years from now!). Hawaii transit viewing times are from approx. noon until 6:45PM. The sun sets on Kauai at 7:20. Contact roz@rozhome.com for info on SAFE VIEWING activities on Kauai. I emphasize SAFE viewing because, to observe the transit of Venus directly, you must protect your eyes at all times with proper solar filters. However, do not let the requisite warnings scare you away from witnessing this rare spectacle. You CAN experience the transit of Venus safely, provided you use proper eye protection. At all of our venues, we will be using solar filters on our telescopes, and/or using ?indirect? viewing techniques (such as ?pinhole projectors?). We will have ?Eclipse Shades? (aka: solar shades) available for purchase as well. Please review important eye-safety warnings at the Transit of Venus website below. Visit (transitofvenus.org)

Dec 10, 2011; Totality begins 04:06 HST TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE Viewable from: Hawaiian Islands, Western North America, Austrailia, Asia There will be a total lunar eclipse, EARLY on Saturday morning, Dec. 10th, when the Full Moon passes deep into Earth's shadow. The entire eclipse sequence will be viewable from western North America & across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, Australia & Asia. As seen from the Hawaiian Islands, the Moon will be in TOTAL ECLIPSE for 45 minutes starting at 04:06AM HST (06:06AM PST). Note that you can view the eclipse, without a scope or binocs, from anywhere in the islands where you are able to see the Moon. (During the period of Totality, the Moon will be approx. 30 degrees above the western horizon). My suggestion for novice eclipse watchers is to go outside by around 3:45AM (early on SATURDAY morning). At this time, most of the Moon will be eclipsed in Earth?s shadow. If find yourself under cloud cover, then I suggest you move/drive to another location where the Moon is NOT obscured, and watch as the Moon becomes completely eclipsed in Earth?s shadow & turns RED. (TOTALITY begins at: 4:06AM. You'll have approx. 45 minutes to catch a glimpse of the eclipsed red Moon). For more details, including eclipse viewing times, visit Bishop Museum Planetarium & select the Dec. Sky Column page. www.bishopmuseum.org/planetarium (bishopmuseum.org). Also feel free to send me your email address & I will forward sky maps & other eclipse viewing data. roz@rozhome.com

Dec. 20-21, 2010 TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE Hawaiian Islands, North America, Eastern Polynesea There will be a TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE on Dec. 20-21, visible throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and throughout nearly all of North America (as well as Tahiti, Easter Island, and the Marquesas). It occurs on December 21, "universal time," which is the night of December 20th in Hawaii. This is the first lunar eclipse in three years. The full Moon will rise as the Sun sets. (Lunar eclipses only occur during a full Moon). From Hawaii, the lunar eclipse technically starts at 7:30 PM Hawaiian Standard Time (Dec. 20th), as the Moon starts to enter the faint outer shadow of the Earth (penumbra). However, you will not notice any darkening of the Moon until at least 8:30 PM HST when the Moon begins to enter the deep inner shadow of the Earth, the umbra. By 9:40 PM HST on Dec. 20th, the Moon will be entirely in the Earth's inner shadow, as the TOTALITY phase of the eclipse begins By this time, the Moon should be dramatically darker and will appear RED. This phase, TOTALITY, with the Moon completely within the Earth's umbra, will last until 10:52 PM HST. The Moon will then start to leave the umbra & begin to lighten. By midnight, the Moon will be entirely out of the dark inner shadow & will look like a regular full Moon. Technically, this eclipse ends at 1:03 AM HST on Dec. 21st, as the Moon leaves the penumbra completely. Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth comes in between the Moon and Sun. The Earth blocks most of the light coming from the Sun & stops that light from hitting the Moon. However, the longer wavelengths of red light from the Sun do make it through the Earth?s atmosphere and continue on to strike the Moon. Thus, during lunar eclipses the Moon turns an eerie shade of red. This eclipse will be total over nearly all of North America. TOTALITY, which will last 72 minutes, begins & end at the following times in these locations/time zones: PACIFIC (Seattle, San Francisco, LA) - Dec. 20th, begins at 11:40PM PST & lasts until 12:52AM PST on Dec. 21st. *** MOUNTAIN (Denver) - begins at 12:40AM MST, Dec. 21st & lasts until 1:52AM. *** Central (Chicago) ? begins at 1:40AM CST, Dec.21st, & lasts until 2:52AM. *** Eastern (New York, Miami) ? begins at 2:40AM EST, Dec. 21st, & lasts until 2:52AM. **** Courtesy of Bishop Museum Planetarium www.bishopmuseum.org/planetarium (bishopmuseum.org). For more details, feel free to contact me directly roz@rozhome.com

Peak: August 12-13, 2010 Perseid Meteor Shower Hawaiian Islands The Perseid Meteor Shower could be FANTASTIC this year, certainly the highlight of the summer meteor season. A thin crescent Moon will set in early evening, leaving a dark sky for a potentially spectacular show! From a dark, clear viewing location, observers should see an average of at least 60 meteors ("shooting stars") per hour & perhaps up to 100 per hour! This year's shower should peak on the night of August 12th and the morning of the 13th. (About half as many meteors will show up a night before & after). The best time to view the Perseids is after midnight Friday morning, Aug. 13th, and especially the 2 or 3 hours before dawn. The Perseids typically produce lots of bright meteors, many leaving luminous trails visible for several seconds. These are FAST meteors, with a velocity of about 37 miles/sec or 133,000 miles/hour! The meteors appear to "radiate" from the constellation Perseus, "The Hero." Activity increases during the early morning hours when Perseus is high in the northeast & the Earth turns sky-watchers into the oncoming stream of comet debris. You do not need a telescope or binoculars to view this or any other meteor shower. Just get yourself to the darkest location you can find, relax in a comfortable recliner chair, perhaps with a blanket & hot beverage, & enjoy the show! Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the path of a comet. The bits of debris left behind by the comets, most no larger than a grain of sand, create a spectacular light show as they enter (& burn up in) Earth's atmosphere. The Perseids' parent comet is 109/Swift-Tuttle, which last visited our part of the Solar System in 1992. The comet has an orbital period (returns to orbit our Sun) approx. every 130 years.

April 16 -25; Peak April 21 - 22 Lyrid Meteor Shower 2009 Hawaiian Island Viewing The annual Lyrid meteor shower could be quite good this year as peak activity occurs close to the New Moon. This year the Lyrids are expected to peak in a Moon-free sky, around 1AM (HST) on Wednesday morning, April 22nd. Under clear skies, from a dark viewing location, we might expect to see as many as 20 meteors (shooting stars) per hour. From around midnight, (Tuesday night) thru sunrise Wednesday morning, get yourself comfortably situated in the darkest area you can find. A lounge chair with blankets & a thermos with a hot beverage would be great. You DO NOT need a telescope or binoculars to see this, or any meteor shower. Just make sure you are warm & comfortable, find a dark spot, & scan the sky for streaks of light! Tuesday night into Wednesday morning would be an excellent time for camping under the (shooting) stars.... (While you're out there - look for Jupiter, Venus & Mars in the pre-dawn sky). These meteors will appear to ?radiate? from the constellation Lyra, near it's border with Hercules. While the peak occurs on the morning of April 22nd, the Lyrids are active from April 16-25 so you may see some Lyrid meteors anytime during this period. Lyrids meteors are bright & swift (traveling at an average speed of 30 miles per SECOND!) & often leave trails. Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes thru the path of a comet. The tiny bits of debris left behind by comets, most no larger than a grain of sand, create a spectacular light show as they enter (& burn up) in Earth's atmosphere.

Feb 28, 2009: 3:00PM - 9:00PM The Hawaiian Sky Tonight: A Starwatch Program Waimea High School & Kaumakani Ball Field Kauai Community School for Adults is offering this one night course, taught by astronomy educator Rozlyn Reiner, an opportunity to learn about & visually explore our magnificent Hawaiian skies. There will first be an exciting multimedia presentation, at Waimea High School, from 3:00 - 5:45 PM. Discover the life cycle of stars & our Sun's place in the Milky Way Galaxy. Learn to recognize the constellations as they appear in the sky. Learn to use a sky map to locate & identify stars, constellations, planets, & other celestial objects. The class will then drive to Kaumakani (10 minutes) to participate in the KEASA public starwatch (weather permitting). Enjoy a guided sky tour led by astronomy educators using sky maps, laser pointers & helpful visual aids, as well as telescopes & binoculars. Hear legends about the stars & explanations of special "events" of the solar system. Fee for the course is $18.00 plus $3 lab fee. Class size is limited & ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED, by calling KCSA at (808) 274-3390. For further info, please call (808)652-2373, or email: roz@rozhome.com

December 2007 December Skywatch Highlights Hawaiian Islands December is MARS' month to shine. The Red Planet reaches opposition on the 24th when Mars rises as the Sun sets & is visible all night. Six days earlier, on Dec. 18th, Mars will reach it's closest point to Earth (approx. 54.8 million miles away), as Earth catches up to Mars' slower, longer orbit around the Sun. While not as close as in the 2003 or 2005 approaches, Mars' disk will appear larger than it will for the next 9 years, and gleams brighter than any star, dominating the sky from dusk to dawn, in the constellation Gemini. On Dec. 23, look for the Full Moon near Mars and just Southwest of the "heads" of Gemini twins Castor & Pollux. SATURN rises by 12:30 A.M. on Dec. 1st, & 2 hours earlier by month's end. Regulus, the brightest star in Leo the Lion, rises about 40 minutes ahead of Saturn. Luminous VENUS, rises in the east around 4 A.M., 3 hours before the Sun. Hard to miss the brilliant planet, which is often mistaken for a UFO! Venus is viewable in the eastern sky through sunrise, in line with Virgo's brightest star Spica. A slim crescent Moon joins the pair on December 5th, a site well worth rising early to see. Watch for the Geminid meteor showers to peak on Dec. 14th & 15th (see notes below). December 21st marks the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, when the Sun reaches its maximum distance south of the celestial equator. For further details and a December sky map, visit Bishop Museum Planetarium www.bishopmuseum.org/planetarium(bishopmuseum.org).

Nov 08, 2006 - 9:12am Mercury Transits the Sun Hawaiian Island Viewing On Wednesday, Nov.8, Mercury will transit, or appear to pass across the face of the Sun, over a period of nearly 5 hours, & Hawaii will have an ideal view for the entire transit. The event will begin at 9:12 AM and end at 2:10 PM HST. You'll need to USE APPROVED SOLAR FILTERS, as sunlight, especially focused through a telescope or binoculars, can BLIND you! AstroDay will be presenting a video feed webcast, from the summits of Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, & Haleakala. Visit: www.astroday.net (astroday.net) This event is fairly rare, on average only 13 or 14 times a century. The last Mercury transit, in 2003, could not be seen from Hawaii, & the next one in 2016, will only be visible during the last few minutes before sunset. For further details visit the November Skywatch page at www.bishopmuseum.org/planetarium (bishopmuseum.org).

Oct 21, 2006 - 10:00pm Orionid Meteor Showers Hawaiian Island Viewing The annual ORIONID METEOR SHOWER peaks on October 21 this year, concurrent with our KEASA public Starwatch & during new Moon, which means the sky will be dark the entire night. The Orionids are a great fall shower - lots of meteors, many leaving persistent trains, & longer nights. Orionid meteors appear to originate or "radiate" from the constellation Orion, "the hunter," which will be rising (from the East) by 10:00 PM. The actual "peak" of the shower is at approx. 4 AM the morning of Oct. 21st, so you may want to start watching for meteors late night & early morning hours of the 20th as well as the 21st. We might expect to see approx. 20 meteors/hour at the peak, STREAKING at an average velocity of 41 miles per SECOND! Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the path of a comet. The bits of debris left behind by the comets, most no larger than a grain of sand, create a spectacular light show as they enter the Earth's atmosphere. It is wonderful to think, as we observe these Orionid meteors, that we are seeing pieces of debris from the famous Halley's Comet.

Apr 21, 2006 - 11:59pm Lyrid Meteor Showers Darkest location you can find! "Radiate" from Lyra, rising in the northeast. The peak of Lyrid meteor showers this year will occur the night of April 21st & into the morning of April 22nd. Best viewing after midnight. Could be substantial activity on the night of April 23rd as well. These "shooting stars" will appear to radiate from the constellation Lyra (marked by the bright star Vega), rising around 10 PM in the northeast. Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the path of a comet. The bits of debris left behind by comets, most no larger than a grain of sand, create a spectacular light show as they enter & burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.

Mar 28, 2006 - 10:00pm View the Solar Eclipse U.H. Hilo or Webcast On March 29, 2006, the new Moon will move directly between the Earth & the Sun, and a total solar eclipse will occur. The Moon's shadow will fall across the earth creating a narrow "path of totality." (It will transit across parts of: Brazil, the Atlantic, northern Africa, the Mediterranean, Turkey, central Asia & end at sunset in western Mongolia.) The eclipse will be Webcast at www.exploratorium.edu(exploratorium.edu). Or view it & celebrate at a "Midnight Solar Eclipse Party" at University of Hawaii, Hilo: www.astroday.net(astroday.net).

Oct 29, 2005 - 6:15pm Mars Approach Rising in the east, at sunset MARS closest to Earth. Not as close as it was in 2003, but the closest it will be until 2018. On Halloween night it will rise at sundown. It shines at a magnitude of -2.3 at a distance of 43 million miles. This is bright enough to be seen even from urban-lit ciies. Our RED PLANET "neighbor" rises a little before the Pleiades, or Makali'i in the east.

Sep 01, 2005 - 7:30pm Venus Jupiter Moon Conjunction Evening skies, west-southwest, just after sunset - beginning NOW (late Aug.) Our two brightest planets, Jupiter & Venus appear STRIKING as twilight falls in early September. While Venus gleams a pure white, Jupiter shines a few shades toward pale peach. Watch how their colors deepen toward orange, and even red, as they descend. Start looking during the last week of August to see Venus climbing away from the Sun, while Jupiter slides in. The planets appear closest to each other Sept.1st. On Sept. 6th, the waxing crescent Moon joins the duo to create a stunning trio! Enjoy this conjunction, as the next nice one between these two planets happens in February 2008. (From Astronomy Magazine, Sept. 2005) For more info: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/26aug_sunset.htm?list761521

Maintained by Roz Reiner - Kauai, Hawaii

 

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