Elon Musk’s Tesla Picks Up Hitchhiker

     On Feb. 6, 2018, at 3:45 p.m., the Falcon Heavy Rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  During this launch, the first ever for the Falcon Heavy, Elon Musk sent his 2008 Tesla Roadster into space as a test payload.  Images of the cherry red, electric-powered sports car were soon seen all over the world–and apparently elsewhere.

     The cameras onboard the Tesla began imaging the “Starman” as he sat behind the wheel of the Roadster.  Earthlings were treated to the starman sitting behind the wheel with his left arm sitting on the windowsill with the roof down.  His right hand was positioned on the steering wheel driving to Mars.  Unfortunately, about four hours after launch, the cameras’ batteries died.

     To everyone’s surprise, the onboard cameras came to life on March 25, 2018, and the new images are surprising.  Sitting inside the roadster with the starman was a gray-skinned alien named Gornack and just in front of the roadster was a flying saucer.  Gornack and her friends onboard the ship were seen communicating with hand signals.

     On March 26, the Tesla and the flying saucer changed course and they are now heading toward the Earth.  NASA and CIA agents have been observing the hand signals and believe they have been able to decipher their conversation.

     In an early morning news conference on March 27, 2018, CIA agents Thor and Hulkster stated that the aliens appear to be bringing the Tesla back to Earth. Their real motive is still unclear at this time.  Agent Thor stated that there were two possibilities.  Either they were returning it for a tune up, oil change and a tire rotation, or they were returning it because they wanted to trade it in for a 2018 fluorescent lime-green Tesla.

     The aliens and the Tesla are expected to return to the Earth and land near Bel Air, Calif., at 1:23 a.m. on Sunday, April 1, 2018. This landing zone happens to be very near Elon Musk’s home.  Following the news that the ship will be landing near his home, Mr. Musk was observed jumping up and down and screaming “yes, yes, yes, they’re coming to take me away, oh my, they’re coming to take me away.”  Shortly after this display, Mr. Musk was seen packing in anticipation of leaving the Earth.  The paparazzi have been lining up to get the first photos of Musk and the Aliens.

THE NIGHT SKY

    To get more information on astronomy in northern Maine, check out the Aroostook County Astronomy Club’s web page at http://aroostookastronomy.strikingly.com/ or join our Facebook page at the “Aroostook County Astronomy Club” page.

The International Space Station is visible as follows:

Evenings–March 23 through April 12.

Mornings–April 30 through May 28.

     For the times of other events, go to www.calsky.com.  You will need to register at this site and load your location to be able to get exact times.  The University of Maine at Presque Isle is located at 68d00m7.8s west longitude and 46d40m45.6s north latitude.

     To get a free sky chart go to www.skymaps.com.

Sun and Planet Visibility

04/10/2018

05:54 Sunrise.

19:13 Sunset.

Not visible Mercury.

19:12–21:06 Venus.

02:06–05:24 Mars.

21:48–05:42 Jupiter.

01:42–05:24 Saturn.

04/20/2018

05:35 Sunrise.

19:26 Sunset.

05:00–05:06 Mercury.

19:24–21:36 Venus.

01:48–05:06 Mars.

21:06–05:18 Jupiter.

01:0– 05:06 Saturn.

03/31 08:36 Full Moon.

04/01 13:54 Mercury in inferior conjunction with the sun–passes between the Earth and the sun.

04/02 11:44 Mars 1.3 degrees from Saturn.

04/03 05:54 Moon 4.6 degrees from Jupiter.

04/06 20:56 ISS 0.4 degrees from Alpha Gemini (Castor).

04/07 05:30 Moon 4.6 degrees from Mars.

04/07 05:30 Moon 1.8 degrees from Saturn.

04/08 01:31 Moon at apogee–farthest from the Earth.

04/08 03:17 Last Quarter Moon.

04/08 20:46 ISS 1.2 degrees from Alpha Orion (Betelgeuse).

04/10 20:39 ISS 0.7 degrees from Alpha Canis Major (Sirius).

04/14 14:00 Mars brightens to 0 magnitude.

04/15 21:57 New Moon.

04/17 19:24 Moon 5.6 degrees from Venus.

04/18 20:18 to 04/19 22:24 Moon passes through the Hyades Star Cluster.

04/20 10:33 Moon at perigee–closest to the Earth.

04/22 Earth Day.

04/22 04:00 April Lyrid Meteor Shower (6.6 meteors per hour).

04/22 16:00 April Lyrid Meteor Shower Peak.

04/22 17:45 First Quarter Moon.

04/23 04:00 April Lyrid Meteor Shower (6.6 meteors per hour).

04/23 06:36 Mercury at aphelion–farthest from the sun.

04/29 14:24 Mercury at greatest western elongation (27 degrees) visible in the morning sky.

04/29 20:58 Full Moon.

04/30 20:54 Moon 4.9 degrees from Jupiter.