Astronomical Calendar 2018 is born

Click on the new tab in the menu at the top.

I had hoped to have it ready enough  weeks ago, and had very much hoped to have it to you along with the fireworks yesterday, for New Year’s Eve; still, New Year day will do.  Happy 2018!  People have been wistfully asking for it, and I did send even more raw forms of it to some.  The planets in their courses are stopped by nothing, but humans in their tasks are diverted by other tasks and delayed by difficulties which might have been foreseen but were not, and the time consumed is always longer than expected, always.

This is a beginning, and if you return in a week it may be better.  I haven’t yet taken time to check accuracy.  Not yet included are meteor showers, asteroids, conjunctions…  The format may change.  (You could comment on whether you find the inclusion of Julian dates at the left useful or frightening.)  The format will allow me, perhaps, to insert illustrations.




18 thoughts on “Astronomical Calendar 2018 is born”

  1. Guy, are you going to include planetary conjunctions and appulses in a future run of the calendar? I always look for interesting sky scenes such as what you would have in years past described as, “Mercury and Mars and Saturn are within 2 1/2 degrees of each other on January 16” or something like that. I noticed that your first iteration of the 2018 calendar does not highlight the Mars – Jupiter conjunction which is supposed to happen on January 6 or 7 or 8, I’m not sure. I know I can get this information from the Sky & Telescope hourglass chart, but your table entries are much more precise than that. Us astrophotographers need to know lol.

      1. Since you listed Full Moon at 2:24 on Tuesday, and the commercial calendars list Full Moon on Monday, I assumed your times were in UT. Living in the British Isles means you don’t have to convert UT to local time; or does England use Daylight Savings Time for part of the year?

        1. Commercial calendars for the US presumably use Eastern or Central or whatever Standard Time, which are UT or Greenwich time minus 6, 6, etc. hours, therefore in this case back in the previous calendar day.
          In the timetable pages of the printed Astronomical Calendar, I used to give the EST or EDT. I abandoned this elaboration, trusting instead to the explanation about time. Conceivably I could add a column of EST/EDT, or CST/CDT, in the simplified online version, but I won’t – including the Julian Date is already elaborate enough.
          Yes, Europe (including Britain) applies “Daylight Shifting Time” in summer – over a range of dates differing from America’s. Another instance of the wretchedness of that system.

  2. The Julian dates don’t help me, probably because I’m so accustomed to thinking of time in hours, minutes, seconds, etc. So my brain has to subtract to get some thousandths of a day, which it then has to convert back into hours, minutes, and seconds. Full disclosure, I’m closer to being a casual sky watcher than a genuine astronomer, so I’d be interested in hearing what more sophisticated minds have to say about the utility of the Julian dates in this context.

  3. Adding illustrations would be great.
    I am 1 of your earliest subscribers, who back-ordered the 1st 3 or 4 yrs I missed during your 4th or 5th year. I have them all! Thank U for such an excellent annual publ.!!! If U ever decide to ‘retire’ (ha! Ur always doing other projects), PLEASE have other reliable people in place (ASAP!) to carry on Ur legacy. U have already experienced how just 1 of Ur creations has had World-wide impact for decades!!! (I’ll never forget – many years ago I had a question, so I called the gen. phone # advertized, & U answered! – apparently it was Ur office phone #!! Amazing…) If U decide to re-install Ur ‘standing order’ system (there are some good reasons NOT to), add me back in. Thank U for so many decades of personal dedication to Ur labors of love.
    (I’m already receiving Ur email posts.)

  4. Thanks so much Guy for your willingness to share your knowledge in such a creative way. I’ve used it for years and feel happy that I can continue to catch glimpses of it as it unfolds!
    Happy New Year!!

  5. Thanx for the 2018 calendar. Now I know that Venus will be entering the evening sky on 9 Jan. I always look forward to seeing Venus in the evening sky. I’m also looking forward to the meteorological center of winter. The coldest day of the year on average for the northern hemisphere is 16 Jan. (I’m not looking forward to the coldest weather, rather the warming trend on the other side.)

    That was well said about tasks always taking longer than you think. I heard it put another way: There’s a right way and a wrong way of doing things, and the right way always takes the longest.

    Or to quote John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

    Yet another version: Man makes plans and God laughs.

  6. Thank you–I was feeling lost without it. Appropriately, I found it when I came up to the second floor for a better view of an enormous moon and glanced at my computer (outdoor viewing is not recommended when the temperature is -24C). Enjoy the moon!

  7. Looking forward to seeing the more fleshed out versions. How about adding names of the full Moons and indicating whether blue Moons are of the secular or religeous flavor.

  8. Does this mean it’s in print again? I’d love to order a few for me and some friends

    1. ‘Fraid not. It’s far from complete. I should have explained further plans, and will when I put up the next revision.

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