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Visiting the Grand Canyon

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#1 sid316



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Posted 04 September 2018 - 07:15 PM

  Here's a really vague question. I am a total beginner with a Polaris 130 and will be staying Saturday night at the rim of the Grand Canyon on a night with a new moon.

  Any suggestions of what to loom for, assuming I can find them?

#2 MistrBadgr


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Posted 05 September 2018 - 04:55 AM

Hello, and welcome to the forum!


I have not been there, but I understand the Grand Canyon is a great place to visit.  You should have some dark skies.


For starters, you will have a row of planets across the sky.  Jupiter will be up in the southwest early.  Saturn should be up in toward the South, and Mars toward the Southeast.  In the early evening, even Venus should be in the west southwest.  With Venus, most likely, you can only make out its phase and not really any detail.  All of these will be located along the path the Sun takes across the sky. 


Saturn will be the planet you will probably see the most detail, with Jupiter being next.  I am not sure what you will see with Mars.  For me, right now, it is a bit bright, but some darker areas can be made out a bit.


Just under Saturn, to the South, will be the constellation Sagittarius.  The main figure of stars will look like a tea kettle being tipped to the right (or west).  Look for the star that makes the top point in the lid on the tea kettle.  To the east of it, a little more than a field width, is the Globular Cluster known as M22.  There are some of the  more well known nebulas with open clusters in them to the west, but farther away from the tip of the kettle top.  I need to look them up to make sure I tell you correctly.


If you do not have star maps to go by, the Atlas that I use all the time is Sky and Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas.  I think we have some links in some posts for pdf's you can download and print off, if you want, but that pocket sky atlas is hard to beat.  You need a red flash light to look at star maps without messing up your night vision.  Most of the on-line vendors have something.


Anyone else with favorites to recommend or other suggestions? 


Have fun with your new scope!


Bill Steen

Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 Philip Pugh

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    Sir Philip Pugh, AKA Astrochav

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 12:30 PM

As I've mentioned on other forums, I recommend the Cambridge Star Atlas, even though I failed the entrance exam.

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