Posts Tagged ‘Neptune’

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

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

June 2010

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Summer Solstice

Summer begins on June 21st, when the Summer Solstice occurs. The Summer Solstice occurs when the tilt of the Earth is pointed directly toward the Sun.  This point marks the beginning of Summer.  The Summer Solstice has the longest amount of daylight and the shortest night.

Lunar Events

The New Moon for June occurs on Saturday June 12th, which makes that weekend June 12-13 a fantastic weekend for dark sky observing.

The Full Moon for June occurs on June 16th, and is known as the Full Buck Moon or Full Hay Moon.  Since it is also the closest Full moon to the Summer Solstice, it is also the Full Honey Moon.

There is also a Umbral Lunar Eclipse at this Full Moon on June 26th.  The Eclipse will be visible to the West coast of North and South America, the Pacific, Australia and some parts of Southeast Asia.

Please note: On Quicktime movies below, Window 64-bit may not display the controls to play the movie. Simply double-click on the movie to play.



This movie shows the eclipse as viewed from the Moon. The Area seen of the Earth is the area that can see the Earth’s shadow on the Moon. Each frame is one minute.



This movie shows the eclipse as viewed from Honolulu, Hawaii. Each frame is one minute.




This movie shows the Lunar Eclipse as view from Los Angeles. The moon sets about an hour after the eclipse maximum so the end of the eclipse will be missed by those of us on the West Coast.

From Los Angeles (my local time) the Lunar Eclipse will not be seen to completetion since Sunrise (and Moon Set) occur a bit over an hour after the Eclipse hits its maximum point. Los Angeles time table (PDT) is as follows:

Partial Penumbra phase begins 01:59:49 (-160 minutes).
Partial phase begins 03:18:49 (-81 minutes).
Eclipse Maximum 04:39:49 PDT
Sunrise in Los Angeles 5:43:29 PDT
Partial phase ends 06:00:49 (+81 minutes).
Partial Penumbra phase ends 07:19:49 (+160 minutes).

Mercury

Mercury is visible as the Morning Star in June until June 19th, when it disappears into the glare of the sunrise.

Mercury begins June in the constellation Aries (The Ram) and on June 5th, crosses into the constellation Taurus (The Bull).  On June 25th, hidden by the glare of the Sun,  Mercury crosses into the constellation Gemini (The Twins).

Venus

Venus is the Evening Star this month.

Venus begins June in the constellation Gemini (The Twins) and on June 12th, croses into the constellation Cancer (The Crab), and finally on June 20th, Venus will move into the constellation Leo (The Lion).

Venus and Moon
On June 14th, a waxing, crescent Moon will passes within 4°35’ of Venus.

Vnus and M44
On June 20th, Venus passes through the Beehive Cluster (M44).

Mars

Mars is observable in the evening hours of June all month, in the constellation Leo (The Lion).

Mars sets around 12:50 am (PDT) at the start of June, and by the end of the month sets around 11:30 pm (PDT).

Mars and Regulus
June 6th finds Mars in conjunction with the Star Regulus, passing
within 0°50’.

Mars and Moon
On June 17th, the waxing, crescent Moon passes within 5°50’ of Mars.

Jupiter

Jupiter is observable in the morning hours of June in the constellation Pisces (The Fish).  At the start of the month Jupiter rises around 2:15 am (PDT), and by the end of the month, Jupiter sets around 12:20 am (PDT).

Jupiter, Uranus and Moon
On June 5th a waning, crescent Moon will pass less than 5°40’ of Jupiter.

Jupiter and Uranus
On June 7th, the planets Jupiter and Uranus are in conjunction and
will be less than 0°25’ of each other.

Saturn

Saturn is located in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) until December 2012. Saturn is observable from the evening to late evening hours of June. At the start of the month, Saturn set around 2:20 am (PDT) and by the end of the month, Saturn sets around 12:20 am (PDT).

Saturn and Moon
On June 18th, the First Quarter Moon passes within 8°20’ of Saturn.

Uranus

Uranus can be observed in the constellation Pisces (The Fish) until May 2012. Uranus can be observed during the morning hours of June in the vicinity of JupiterUranus rises around 2:15 am (PDT) at the start of June and by the end of the month rises around 12:20 pm (PDT).

Jupiter, Uranus and Moon
On June 5th a waning, crescent Moon will pass less than 5°15’ of Uranus.

Jupiter and Uranus
On June 7th, the planets Jupiter and Uranus are in conjunction and will
be less than 0°25’ of each other.

Neptune

Neptune is found in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) until August. Neptune rises during the late evening hours of June; rising around 12:30 am (PDT) at the start of the month and around 10:55 pm (PDT) by the end of the month.

N2eptune and Moon
On June 3rd, the waning, gibbous Moon passes within 4° of Neptune.

Neptune and Moon
On June 30th, the waning, crescent moon rises about 4° from Neptune.

Pluto

Pluto is found in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) until the year 2023.  Pluto is in excellent position to be observed this month since it is up from almost the entire night during June.

Pluto and Moon
On June 26th, the Full Moon, during the Lunar Eclipse, will pass within

7°10’ of Pluto.


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