Posts Tagged ‘Last Quarter Moon’

September 2010

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Autumnal Equinox

Autumn begins on September 22nd, when the Autumnal Equinox occurs. The Autumnal Equinox occurs when the tilt of the Earth is in tangent with the orbit of Earth around the Sun.  This point marks the beginning of Autumn.  An Equinox has an equal amount of daylight and nighttime.

Lunar Events

The New Moon for September occurs on Wednesday, September 8th, which will make the weekends of September 4-5 and September 11-12 good times for dark sky observing.

The Full Moon for September occurs on September 21st, the day before the Autumnal Equinox.  Since this Full Moon is the closest full moon to the equinox it is the Harvest Moon and the following full moon on October 22nd is then the Hunter’s Moon.

Mercury

Mercury re-emerges into the morning hours from the sunrise around September 11th, ends it’s retrograde motion and by September 19th reaches its best position for morning observation when it reaches its Greatest Western Elongation

On September 19th, Mercury will be 17°52’ from the Sun and rise 1 hour, 12 minutes before sunrise. Mercury Opposition

Mercury starts September located in the constellation Sextans (The Sextant) and as it emerges into the morning of September 11th, crosses into the constellation Leo (The Lion).  Finally, on September 29th, Mercury moves into the constellation Virgo (The Maiden).

Venus

Venus is still the Evening Star this month and begins September in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) and on September 24th crosses into the constellation Libra (The Balance).

Venus Spica Mars
Venus begins this month a mere 1°20’ from the Star Spica and less
than 4°30’ from Mars.

Venus Moon
On September 11th, the waxing, crescent Moon passes less
than 0°30’ from Venus.

Mars

Mars is observable in the evening this month.  At the start of September, Mars sets around 8:05 pm (PDT) and by the end of the month Mars sets around 7:05 pm  (PDT).

Mars starts September in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden), and by the end of month, Mars sets around 7:05 pm (PDT).
On September 5th, Mars is a mere 2° from the star Spica.

Venus, Mars, Spica and Moon
On September 10th, Venus, Mars, the star Spica and the waxing,
crescent Moon are grouped within 6 to 8° from each other.

Jupiter

Since Jupiter is reaching opposition this month on September 21st, it is in excellent position for observation.  Jupiter is up all night and is at it’s closest point to Earth in its orbit.  Jupiter can be found in the constellation Pisces (The Fish) for the entire month.

Jupiter and Uranus
Jupiter is in proximity to the planet Uranus all month and is a great starting point for location Uranus. By September 18th, Jupiter and Uranus are less than 0°50’ from each other and they both reach opposition on the same date, September 21st!

Jupiter, Uranus and Moon
On September 22nd, the Full Moon is within 6° of Jupiter and Uranus,
which may make it difficult to observe Uranus on that night.

Saturn

Saturn is located in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) until December 2012 and is visible during the evening hours just after sunset during the first half of September. By September 13th, Saturn is disappearing into the glare of the Sunset.

Saturn and Moon
On September 9th, the waxing, crescent Moon passes within 10° of Saturn.

Uranus

Since Uranus is reaching opposition this month on September 21st, it is in excellent position for observation.  Uranus is up all night and is at it’s closest point to Earth in its orbit.  Uranus can be found in the constellation Pisces (The Fish) until May 2012.

Jupiter and Uranus
Uranus is in proximity to the planet Jupiter all month which is a great starting point for location Uranus. By September 18th, Jupiter and Uranus are less than 0°50’ from each other and they both reach opposition on the same date, September 21st!

Jupiter, Uranus and Moon
On September 22nd, the Full Moon is within 6° of Jupiter and Uranus, which may make it difficult to observe Uranus on that night.

Neptune

Neptune can be observed in the constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) until January 2011.  Neptune is observable until the very early morning hours of September. At the start of September Neptune sets around 4:30 am (PDT) and by the end of the month sets around 2:30 am (PDT).

Neptune and Moon
On September 20th the waxing, gibbous Moon passes about 4° from Neptune’s position.

Pluto

Pluto is located in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) until the year 2023.  Pluto can be observe during the evening to very early morning hours this month. At the beginning of September Pluto sets around 12:30 am (PDT) and by the end, sets around 10:30 pm (PDT).

On September 15th, the waxing, gibbous Moon passes within 5°30’ of Pluto. Pluto and Moon

August 2010

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Lunar Events

The New Moon for August occurs on Monday, August 9th, which makes the weekend of August 7-8 the best weekend for dark sky observation.

The Full Moon for August happens on August 24th and is known as the Full Corn Moon or Full Fruit Moon.

Mercury

Mercury is visible in the evening for the entire month of August. Mercury begin this month in the constellation Leo (The Lion) and begins to cross the corner of the constellation Sextans (The Sextant) on August 5th. On August 7th, Mercury finishes crossing the corner of Sextans and returns into the constellation Leo. On August 20th Mercury changes direction starting its retrograde motion toward the Sun and by August 31st, returns to the constellation Sextans.

Mercury Greatest Eastern ElongationMercury reaches its optimal viewing position on August 6th, when it reaches it’s Greatest Eastern Elongation.  At that time Mercury will be 27°22’01” from the Sun and will set about 1 hour 50 minutes after sunset.

Mercury & Moon
On August 11th the waxing, crescent Moon will pass within 3° of Mercury.

Venus

Venus is also observable in the evening for the entire month of August.  In the very earliest hours of August Venus crosses from the constellation Leo (The Lion) to the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) where it will remain located for the rest of the month.

V2enus Greatest Eastern Elongation
Venus reaches its optimal observing position on August 19th, as it reaches it’s Greatest Eastern Elongation and is in position for its best evening distance from the Sun.  At this time Venus will be 45°57’32” from the Sun and will set 3 hours after sunset.

Venus is a member of several conjunctions and grouping of other planetary object this month, including:

Venus & Saturn
On August 8th, Venus and Saturn will be less than 2°50’ apart.

Venus, Saturn, Mars & Moon
On August 12th, Venus, Saturn, Mars and the waxing, crescent Moon will be within 10° of each other.

Venus & Mars
On August 20th, Venus and Mars will pass within 2° of each other.

Finally on August 31st, Venus will pass within 1° of the Star Spica. Venus, Mars & Spica

Mars

Mars is observable during the evening Hours of August in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden). Mars sets around 10:20 pm (PDT) at the start of August, and by the end of the month, sets around 9:10 pm (PDT).

Venus, Saturn, Mars & Moon
On August 12th, Venus, Saturn, Mars and the waxing, crescent Moon will be within 10° of each other.

Venus & Mars
On August 20th, Venus and Mars will pass within 2° of each other.

Jupiter

Jupiter is located in the constellation Pisces (The Fish),  moving in retrograde, this month and can be observed from the late evening to morning hours of August. Jupiter rises around 10:25 pm (PDT) at the start of the month, and by the end of August is rising as early as 8:30 pm (PDT).

Jupiter, Uranus and Moon

 

On August 26th, the waning, gibbous Moon passes with 5°50’ of Jupiter.

Jupiter is a great place to start if your are hunting Uranus this month.  They are in proximity to each other for the entire month. Look for Jupiter at the opposite side of the sky from Saturn; as Jupiter rises in the East, Saturn is setting in the West.

Saturn

Located in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) until December 2012, Saturn is observable during the evening hours of August. Saturn sets around 10:20 pm (PDT) at the start of August , and by the end of the month, sets around 8:30 pm (PDT).  Look for Saturn at the opposite side of the sky from Jupiter; as Jupiter rises in the East, Saturn is setting in the West.

Venus, Saturn, Mars & Moon
On August 12th, Venus, Saturn, Mars and the waxing, crescent Moon will be within 10° of each other.

Uranus

Uranus is located in the constellation Pisces (The Fish) until May 2012.

At the beginning of the month, Uranus rises around 10:15 pm (PDT), and by the end of August, it rises around 8:15 pm (PDT).

To find Uranus, you might start by looking for Jupiter and the two planets are in proximity to each other for the entire month. At the end of the month Jupiter and Uranus will be a mere 1°15’ from each other and will end up in conjunction next month on September 21st.

On August 26th, the waning, gibbous Moon passes within 5°15’ of Uranus.

Jupiter, Uranus and Moon

Neptune

Neptune OppositionNeptune is in optimal position for the year for observation as it reaches Opposition on August 20th

Neptune will be observable all month and is at its closes point to Earth for the year.  Moving in retrograde, Neptune begins the month in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) and on August 13th crosses into the constellation Capricornus (the Sea Goat) where it can be found until January 2011.

Neptune & Moon
On August 24th, the Full Moon will pass within 3°40’ of Neptune which may make it difficult to observe on that night.

Pluto

Pluto is located in the constellation Sagittarius until the year 2023 and is observable until the late evening hours of August.  At the start of the month, Pluto sets around 3:30 pm (PDT) and by the end of the month Pluto sets around 1:30 am (PDT).

Pluto & Moon
On August 18th, the waxing, gibbous Moon passes around 6° from Pluto.

July 2010

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Lunar Events

The New Moon for July occurs on Sunday, July 11 which will make the weekend of July 10-11 the very best for dark sky observing.

The Full Moon occurs on July 25th and is known as the Full Sturgeon Moon or Full Grain Moon.

Celestial Events

Total Solar Eclipse

On July 11th, there is a Total Eclipse of the Sun which will be visible across the South Pacific and can be partially visible to the south part of South America. solar Eclipse


This movie shows the July 11, 2010 Solar Eclipse as view from the Moon. Note the Moon’s shadow moving west to east across the South Pacific. Each frame is one minute.

Aphelion - July 6, 2010

Aphelion

The Aphelion is the point in Earth’s elliptical orbit that it is furthest from the Sun.  This is the opposite point to the Perihelion when the Earth is at its closest point to the Sun, which occurs in January.

Mercury

Mercury emerges into the evening sky from the glare of the Sunset around July 8th.

Mercury begins July, hidden by the Sun, in the constellation Gemini (The Twins) and on July 8th, as it crosses into the constellation Cancer (The Crab), it emerges from the glare of the Sun. On July 19th, Mercury moves into the constellation Leo (The Lion).

Mercury, M44 and Moon
On the evenings of July12th and 13th, Mercury can be observed passing through the Beehive Cluster (M44) and on July 12th, the waxing, crescent moon will pass less than 5° from Mercury.

On July 27th, Mercury and the Star Regulus will be in conjunction and be a mere 0°25’ apart. Mercury Regulus

Venus

Venus is the Evening Star and can be found in the constellation Leo (The Lion) for the entire month of July.

Venus & Regulus
On July 9th, Venus and the Star Regulus will be in conjunction less than 1° from each other.

Venus and Moon
On July 14th, the waxing, crescent Moon will pass within 6°45’ of Venus.

Mars

Mars is observable in the evening hours all month. Mars set at the start of July around 11:35 pm (PDT) and by the end of the month is setting around 10:20 pm (PDT).

Mars begins July in the constellation Leo (The Lion) and on July 17th passes into the constellation Virgo (The Maiden).

Mars and Moon
On July 15th, Mars sets less than 7° of waxing, crescent Moon.

Mars and Saturn
July 31st finds Mars and Saturn in conjunction less than 1°50’

from each other.

Jupiter

Jupiter can be found in the constellation Pisces (The Fish) from the very late evening to morning hours of July. Jupiter rises around 12:30 am (PDT) at the start of July and by the end rises around 10:30 pm (PDT).

Jupiter Uranus and Moon
On July 3rd, the waning, gibbous Moon sets about 7° from Jupiter.

On July 23rd, Jupiter begins retrograde motion across the sky moving each night from West to East.

Jupiter Uranus and Moon
On July 30, the waning, gibbous Moon passes less than 6° from Jupiter.

Saturn

Saturn is located in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) until December 2012. Saturn is observable from the very late evening hours through the morning, rising around 12:20 am (PDT) at the start of July and by the end rising around 10:25 pm (PDT).

Mars and Saturn
July 31st find Mars and Saturn in conjunction less than 1°50’
from each other.

Uranus

Uranus can be found in the vicinity of the planet Jupiter all month. Uranus is located in the constellation Pisces (The Fish) until May 2012. Uranus is observable from the very late evening hours though morning this month. At the start of July Uranus rises around 12:20 pm (PDT) and by the end of the month rises around 10:20 pm (PDT).

Jupiter Uranus and Moon
On July 3rd, the waning, gibbous Moon passes within 5°45’ of Uranus.

Jupiter Uranus and Moon
On July 30th the waning, gibbous Moon passes within 5°30’ of Uranus.

Neptune

Moving in retrograde this month, Neptune is located in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) for the entire month of July. Neptune can be observed from the very late evening hours though morning. Uranus rises about 12:20 am (PDT) at the start of July, and by the end, rises around 10:20 pm (PDT).

Neptune and Moon On July 27th, the waning, gibbous Moon passes within 3°35’ of Neptune.

Pluto

Pluto is located in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) until the year 2023.  Pluto is in excellent position for observing and is up all night all month.

On July 23rd, the waxing, gibbous Moon passes with 6° of Pluto. Pluto and Moon


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