Ride to the Stars *and* Planets – Mars, Saturn and the Rising Milky Way

For the StarGazer’s ride June 27 2014, Night Sky Conservation Programmers (the folks that do the Spring Astronomy Course)  offer the following description of some of the celestial objects above our local horizon at this time of year.

In the Star and Planet charts shown below for the night of June 27 at 10:30 PM, planet Mars ( recall our special lecture this Spring was at Opposition) is now setting in the West. You will notice a red star due South, and it literally ‘rivals’ the Red Planet due to its intrinsic red colour – comes from the  Greek,”anti-Ares” (“anti-Mars”),

Antares is a red supergiant. We learned in our Spring Astronomy course that colour in stars determines spectral characteristics which are key to our knowledge of stellar evolution, mass, volume, nuclear reactions, and position on our famous graph of the Hertzsprung Russell_diagram


Red supergiants (RSGs) are supergiant stars (luminosity class I) of spectral type K or M.[1] They are the largest stars in the universe in terms of volume, although they are not the most massive. Betelgeuse and Antares are the best known examples of a red supergiant.

After the hydrogen in a star’s core has fused, stars with more than about 10 solar masses become red supergiants for the duration of their helium-fusing phase – courtesy Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_supergiant

Star Charts for June 27 10:30 PM EDT – Mississippi Mills – click to enlarge image

Constellation and Planet Map – courtesy Stellarium
Later in the evening Rising of the Milky Way Plane of the Galaxy and interstellar gas and dust

Planets:    Saturn, Mars

Antares – Star – Red SuperGiant
M4 G.C.
M80 G.C. (contrast to M4)

Coma Bereneces

Melotte 111 – the star cloud – Coma Star Cluster

The Coma Star Cluster in Coma Berenices, designated Melotte 111 after its entry in the catalogue of star clusters by P. J. Melotte, is a small but nearby star cluster in our galaxy, containing about 40 brighter stars (magnitude 5 to 10) with a common proper motion.
M64  Black Eye Galaxy
Canes Venatici
alpha CVn – Double Star –  white/white double
M51 – The Whirlpool Nebula (2 interacting Galaxies)
Ursa Major
M108 Galaxy
M97 Planetary Nebula
M81,82  Pair of Galaxies in the same field of view
M13 The Great Globular Cluster
M11  The ‘Wild Duck’ Open Cluster
Sagittarius star cloud M24
M17 – The Swan Nebula
M16 – The Eagle Nebula
M8 – The Lagoon Nebula

M71 – peculiar GC
M27 – PN