PDA

View Full Version : Astronomy in Costa Rica?



ToSeek
2002-Feb-13, 07:36 PM
I'm off for a two-week vacation in Costa Rica, so don't have any interesting discussions while I'm gone, okay? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

And in a desperate attempt to keep this topic relevant, I'll mention that I hope to see the Southern Cross, at least one of the Magellanic clouds, and the Centauris while I'm there. (And if you can suggest anything I should be looking for - with binoculars only - please let me know.)

off ToSeek in the rainforest

Hale_Bopp
2002-Feb-13, 08:58 PM
Don't forget Eta Carinae...that would be criminal to miss! I know it is visible now since I saw it at the winter star party in the Keys last February.

Rob

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-13, 09:07 PM
In Florida, in November, I always look for red Canopus to pop over the southern horizon late at night. low over the Gulf. Someday I'm going to see it overhead. alpha Carinae.

ToSeek
2002-Feb-13, 09:32 PM
On 2002-02-13 16:07, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
In Florida, in November, I always look for red Canopus to pop over the southern horizon late at night. low over the Gulf. Someday I'm going to see it overhead. alpha Carinae.


Good thought.

I've been that far south before. The freakiest thing I remember was seeing Orion almost directly overhead - not where I expect Orion to be!.

Hale_Bopp
2002-Feb-14, 12:41 AM
I just moved back to Illinois after seven years in Florida and am amazed at how LOW Orion is!

Canopus is a good one also.

My first job out of college was on the island of St. Croix. Got to see a lot of southern sites!

Rob

Argos
2002-Feb-14, 11:53 AM
On 2002-02-13 14:36, ToSeek wrote:

And in a desperate attempt to keep this topic relevant, I'll mention that I hope to see the Southern Cross, at least one of the Magellanic clouds, and the Centauris while I'm there. (And if you can suggest anything I should be looking for - with binoculars only - please let me know.)


I don't think you'll be able to see the S. Cross. It is riding the sky by daytime right now. The same with the Centaur. They are around 14:00 R.A. Try by July.

Notwithstanding, I would suggest the delicate constellation of Lepus (the hare). It is located right south of Orion. You'll be amazed. You will quickly understand the reason of its name. It seems like a real hare displaying a frightened look at you. Two stars comprise its "staring eyes" and two make the tips of the long "ears".

South of Lepus you will find the elusive constellation of Columba (the dove). It's not a great sight but it is a beautiful (to my like) geometric composition (I would call it the F-117 constellation. It looks like the stealth fighter seen in front view).

There is also Canis Minor in great shape. It is dominating the zenith by 22:00 hours (Costa Rica time). Canis Major is there too.

Right to the East of Orion there is the Monoceros (the Unicorn) constellation, with the Socket-Shape nebula, a planetary nebula.

Looking to the west you will have a glance of the faint Eridanus (with Achernar its main star, and Epsilon Eridani, a sunlike star 3 Parsecs away), Cetus (and the famous Tau Ceti) and Sculptor, which make their farewell parade. There is also Puppis, Carina and Vela constellations.They were once parts of the constellation Argus Navis, but I'm affraid that you won't see them at the latitude of Costa Rica (at least in a suitable altitude). They are waaay down south.

Unfortunately, this time of year the sky is rather poor in the southern hemisphere, or, to say better, nothing that compares to the absolutely glorious winter Southern Sky.

Have fun in Costa Rica (a beautiful and civilized country, they say). /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-02-14 12:31 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-14, 01:31 PM
On 2002-02-14 06:53, Argos wrote:
I don't think you'll be able to see the S. Cross. It is riding the sky by daytime right now. The same with the Centaur. They are around 14:00 R.A. Try by July.
Why is that? Acrux (alpha Crucis) is 12:27 RA, and Rigel (alpha Centauri) is 14:40 RA, by SkyMap, but the Sun is 21:52 RA right now.

Hale_Bopp
2002-Feb-14, 02:07 PM
Yep...you can see the Southern Cross if you are are real night owl. Saw it last Feb at the WSP in the Florida Keys. If you want to stay up until 3 in the morning or so, it does come up.

Rob

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-14, 02:32 PM
Heaven forbid you should get up early. :)

Actually, it looks like, from Costa Rica, it might be visible by 11pm, and get as high as 17-23 degrees above the horizon by 3am. At 6am it'll still be 11-15 degrees above the horizon. Canopus will be a nice evening star, about 25 degrees up.

<font size=-1>[Added elevations]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: GrapesOfWrath on 2002-02-14 09:50 ]</font>

Russ
2002-Feb-14, 03:24 PM
I have just returned from a cruise to Key West and Couzmel. The night sky straight above the ship was a wonder to behold. Anything within about 20 degrees of the horizon was lost in haze. In short I never did get to see the S.Cross although I was up past 0330 a couple of times.

I don't know what the light pollution situation in Costa Rica is, but in the middle of the Gulf, there ain't no such thing. Wellll there are the ship lights until about 0100. But after that you'd swear you could see 8 billion LY. It actually got hard for me to pick out the constilations from the riot of stars I see so rarely. Oh, Oh, What a P r o b l e m ! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif I wish I had it all the tiime. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Argos
2002-Feb-14, 05:25 PM
On 2002-02-14 08:31, GrapesOfWrath wrote:


On 2002-02-14 06:53, Argos wrote:
I don't think you'll be able to see the S. Cross. It is riding the sky by daytime right now. The same with the Centaur. They are around 14:00 R.A. Try by July.

Why is that? Acrux (alpha Crucis) is 12:27 RA, and Rigel (alpha Centauri) is 14:40 RA, by SkyMap, but the Sun is 21:52 RA right now.


I meant that in general those features are around 14:00 R.A.(more or less - we don't have to be so rigorous with a "sport" binocular observation). I also meant that this is not the best time for one to see the Cross. The best viewing time for the Crux and Centaur starts in April.

Of course if you wait all night long , and keep up after hours, you'll be able to see the Cross very low over the horizon, just before the sun rises. I think it's worthwhile to do when you're in a Costa Rican shore. Don't forget the champagne to salute the new day! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-02-14 13:06 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-14, 05:40 PM
On 2002-02-14 12:25, Argos wrote:
I meant that in general those features are around 14:00 R.A.(more or less - we don't have to be so rigorous with a "sport" binocular observation). I also meant that this is not the best time for one to see the Cross. The best viewing time for the Crux and Centaur start in April.
I wasn't trying to nitpick those. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

It was the comment "It is riding the sky by daytime right now." My point was that the Sun is almost as far from them as you can get (note the difference in RAs). The cross is up most of the night, and sets soon after dawn. Of course, if it rose a bit before sunset, you'd see it high in the early evening sky. ToSeek may be an early riser, though. LOL

Argos
2002-Feb-14, 06:04 PM
On 2002-02-14 12:40, GrapesOfWrath wrote:

I wasn't trying to nitpick those. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

It was the comment "It is riding the sky by daytime right now." My point was that the Sun is almost as far from them as you can get (note the difference in RAs). The cross is up most of the night, and sets soon after dawn. Of course, if it rose a bit before sunset, you'd see it high in the early evening sky. ToSeek may be an early riser, though. LOL


Grapes, forget that insanity I said about Cross-rising-befor-the-sun. I confused everything. What a pudding brain am I!

Still, I would give a dollar to see the Cross tonight, at a comfortable and unpolluted angle, at the right hour (11 pm).
It is hard to behold this time of year (chiefly for me, a late riser and early sleeper) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-02-15 06:03 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-15, 09:31 AM
On 2002-02-14 13:04, Argos wrote:
Still, I would give a dollar to see the Cross tonight,
I'd give a thousand dollars. 'Course, I'd have to, or be invited to go along for free with ToSeek.

ToSeek
2002-Mar-04, 04:51 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I actually didn't get the chance to do much astronomy. Our guide got his scope out one night, and we looked at the Moon, Saturn, and the Pleiades. Odd problem was that it was a birder's scope and couldn't point close to overhead, so we couldn't look at Jupiter or the Orion Nebula.

Not much luck with the southern skies, either: it tended to be hazy on the horizon, and I never got a good look at anything except for Canopus (if that even counts.)

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Mar-04, 07:56 PM
On 2002-03-04 11:51, ToSeek wrote:
I never got a good look at anything except for Canopus (if that even counts.)

Heck yeah that counts, and welcome back. You, uh, got some work to do.

ToSeek
2002-Mar-04, 08:00 PM
On 2002-03-04 14:56, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
You, uh, got some work to do.


Hey, I told you guys not to post while I was gone! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Mar-04, 09:41 PM
No, you said not to have any interesting discussions.

O well, screwed that up too.

Wiley
2002-Mar-04, 10:05 PM
On 2002-03-04 16:41, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
No, you said not to have any interesting discussions.

O well, screwed that up too.


The most noteworthy items are that BA's book is finally out and that someone found a website that proved the moon landings were faked.

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

ToSeek
2002-Mar-05, 02:22 PM
On 2002-03-04 17:05, Wiley wrote:

...someone found a website that proved the moon landings were faked.

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


Well, as long as that's finally been settled. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

AstroMike
2002-Mar-05, 05:36 PM
On 2002-03-04 17:05, Wiley wrote:

The most noteworthy items are that BA's book is finally out and that someone found a website that proved the moon landings were faked.

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


What website? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif

If it's this one (http://www.geocities.com/nasascam/), forget it!
_________________
"The contemplation of celestial things will make man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs." -Marcus Cicero

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: AstroMike on 2002-03-05 12:42 ]</font>