Posts Tagged ‘Spica’

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.

March 2010

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Vernal Equinox

Spring begins on March 20th when the Spring Equinox occurs. The Spring 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 Spring.  An Equinox has an equal amount of daylight and nighttime.

Lunar Events

The New Moon for March occurs on Monday, March 15th; this will make the weekend of March 13-14 as the best weekend for dark sky observing.

The Full Moon for March occurs on March 29th and is known as the “Full Pink Moon” or the “Pascal Moon.”

Moon and Pleiades

On March 20th, on the Spring Equinox, the waxing crescent Moon is passing through the asterism Pleiades (M45).

Moon Beehive Cluster M44

On March 25th, the waxing, gibbous Moon passes within 3°30’ of the

Beehive Cluster (M44).

Moon and Spica

March 30th finds the waning, gibbous Moon passing within 3°

of the star Spica.

Mercury

Mercury is observable in the evening hours, after March 26th as it emerges from the glare of the sunset.

Mercury and Venus

On March 31st, Mercury and Venus will be about 3°25’ of each other.

Unseen due to the position relative to the Sun, Mercury begins the month in the constellation Aquarius (The Water bearer) and on March 14th, passes into the constellation Pisces (The Fish). On March 20th, Mercury brief crosses into the constellation Cetus (The Sea Monster), and 13.5 hours later, returns to constellation Pisces where it finishes out the month.

Venus

Venus is observable all month in the evening hours of March.  Venus begins this month in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) and on March 3rd crosses into the constellation Pisces (The Fish).  Starting March 12 Venus starts to cross the corner of the constellation Cetus (The Sea Monster) and returns to Pisces 50 hours later on March 14th. Finally, Venus moves into the constellation Aries (The Ram) on March 30th.

Venus and Uranus

On March 3rd, Venus passes less than 1° of Uranus.

Moon and Venus

On March 16th, Venus sets within 6°20’ of the waxing, crescent moon.

Mars

Mars is located in the constellation Cancer (The Crab) all month and is visible from evening to early morning hour throughout March.  Mars is in excellent position for observation due to it reaching Opposition on January 29th.  Mars sets around 4:40 am (PST) at the start of the month and by the end of the month is setting around 3:40 am (PDT)

Moon and  Mars

On March 25, Mars sets less than 5°20’ of the waxing, gibbous moon.

Jupiter

Jupiter is located in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) all month. However Jupiter is not observable until around March 20th when it emerges from the glare of the morning Sunrise; rising around 5:00am (PST).

Saturn

This month Saturn will be in the absolute best position for observation as it reaches opposition on March 21, 2010.  Saturn is opposite to the sun relative to our position on Earth, so, Saturn will be up all night, rising as the Sun sets and setting when the Sun Rises.

Saturn is located in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) until December, 2012.

Saturn and Moon

On March 1st, Saturn rises 7°35’ of the waning, gibbous Moon.

Saturn and Moon

On March 29th, Saturn rises within 8°15’ of the waxing, gibbous Moon.

Uranus

The Planet Uranus is located in  the constellation Pisces (The Fish) until May of 2012.  Due to its position relative to the Sun, Uranus will on be observable this month.

Neptune

Neptune can be observed this month just before sunrise.  It rises around 5:50 am (PST) at the start of the month and by the end of March, is rising around 4:55 am (PDT). On March 23rd, Neptune crosses from the constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) to the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) where it will remain until August.

Moon and Nptune

On March 13th, Neptune rises within 3° of the waning, crescent moon.

Pluto

Pluto is observable during most of  the morning hours of March.  Pluto rises around 2:30 am (PST) at the start of March and around 1:30 am (PDT), by the end of March.  The planet Pluto is located in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) until the year 2023.

Moon and Pluto

On March 9th, Pluto rises within 8° of the waning, crescent moon.


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