Bob Moler's Ephemeris Transcripts

Program Transcripts

Starting January 2011 this page will be discontinued and you will be redirected to for the transcripts.

The times given in these transcripts are for the Grand Traverse region of Michigan.

Evening Ephemeris programs are no longer aired.

Times given here are Eastern Time, daylight or standard.  text in brackets [.....] have been removed from the audio programs due to time constraints.

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Current Programs

December 27. This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Monday, December 27th. The sun will rise at 8:18. It'll be up for 8 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 5:08. The moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 1:06 tomorrow morning. | At 9 in the evening the constellation Orion will appear in the southeast with its seven brightest stars brighter than those of the Big Dipper. Orion's upright rectangle of stars will lean to the left before midnight, when it will be upright. In the morning hours it will lean to the right. The rectangle is the torso of this mythical hunter. Inside the rectangle is a line of three stars, his belt, and an easy way for find him, because it is the only line of three bright stars in the sky. Below the belt appear another three stars, though fainter, in a line, his sword. Binoculars will reveal more than three stars and a bit of haze around the small group that appear as the middle star. Telescopes will reveal much more. This is the Great Orion Nebula where stars even now are bring born.

December 28. This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Tuesday, December 28th. The sun will rise at 8:18. It'll be up for 8 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 5:09. The moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 2:20 tomorrow morning. | The great winter constellation or star group Orion the Hunter, is located in the southeastern sky at 9 p.m. His elongated rectangle of a torso is almost vertical. In the center of the rectangle are three stars in a line that make his belt. As a hunter, especially one of old, he has two hunting dogs. The larger, Canis Major can be found by following the three belt stars of Orion down and to the left. There lies the brilliant star called Sirius, also known as the Dog Star. It’s in the heart of a stick figure dog facing Orion that appears to be begging. The smaller dog can be found by extending a line through Orion's shoulder stars to the left. We find a bright star called Procyon. It and one other star make up the hot-dog shaped constellation of Canis Minor, the little dog.

December 29. This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 29th. The sun will rise at 8:19. It'll be up for 8 hours and 51 minutes, setting at 5:10. The moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:34 tomorrow morning. | Lets take a look at the bright planets for the last time this year. Mars is very low and lost in the evening twilight. The planet Jupiter is up in the south southwestern sky in the early evening. It is a spectacular sight in a telescope with its four satellites, shifting their positions from night to night, and the cloud bands running in the directions of the satellites. Jupiter is the brightest starlight object in the evening. It's located below the Circlet in Pisces now and will set at 11:49 p.m. The ringed planet Saturn will rise at 1:27 a.m. in the east southeast. It's located in the constellation Virgo this year. It's rings are opening nicely for telescopic observers. Venus is brilliant in the morning sky and will rise at 4:27 a.m. in the east southeast.

December 30. This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Thursday, December 30th. The sun will rise at 8:19. It'll be up for 8 hours and 51 minutes, setting at 5:11. The moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 4:46 tomorrow morning. | Visible in the east southeast above and left of Sirius the brightest night time star which is low in the southeast at 9 p.m. tonight is the bright star Procyon in the constellation Canis Minor, or lesser dog. Only one other star can be found in Canis Minor. Perhaps it's a hot dog. If Sirius is the Dog Star then Procyon should be the Little Dog Star. Procyon is an interesting name. It means "Before the dog", which is an allusion to the fact that Procyon, though east of Sirius actually rises before it. This is due to Procyon's more northerly position. This effect doesn't work south of the equator, however. Procyon is a star much like Sirius but farther away. It's 11.41 to Sirius' 8.6 light years away. And like Sirius it even has a small white dwarf star in its system.

December 31. This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for New Years Eve, Friday, December 31st. The sun will rise at 8:19. It'll be up for 8 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 5:11. The moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 5:54 tomorrow morning. | The year 2011 will be a great one for exploration of the solar system. Three NASA spacecraft will reach their targets. On Valentine's Day the Stardust spacecraft will pass close to Comet Tempel 1, to see the changes in that comet in the 5 and a half years since the Deep Impact spacecraft hit that comet with a 600 pound chunk of copper. On March 18th, the MESSENGER spacecraft will attempt to enter orbit around Mercury after a seven year long journey. On July 16th the ion powered Dawn spacecraft will gently assume orbit of the asteroid Vesta. Vesta is one of the bigger asteroids, being second most massive and the brightest. It will orbit Vesta for a year before leaving for the dwarf planet Ceres.

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