Posts Tagged ‘Vernal Equinox’

November 2010

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Lunar Events

The New Moon for November occurs on Friday, November 5th, which makes the weekend of November 6-7 a fantastic weekend for dark sky observing.

The Full Moon for November occurs on November 21st.  This Full Moon is the Full Cold Moon by the “Maine Rule” (Maine Farmer’s Almanac), but is a “Blue Moon” by the “Astronomical Seasons Rule.”

The difference between the “Maine Rule” and the “Astronomical Seasons Rule” is at the point when the season begins and end.  The “Maine Rule” assumes the Vernal Equinox as March 20th and then assumes the year is equally divided by a fictitious circular orbit of a mean, average Earth, which fixes the season to begin and end on March 20th, June 21st, September 22nd and December 21st.  The “Astronomical Seasons Rule” starts the Seasons on the Equinoxes and Solstices of the year.

Normally these two systems are in sync however on the Winter Solstice of 2010 there is a Full Moon occurring between the midnight that starts the solstice and the actual astronomical solstice (In Pacific Standard Time where I calculate this from – your mileage may vary depending on your timezone.). This moves the “extra Full Moon” from Winter 2011 into Autumn 2010 in the “Astronomical Seasons Rule.” The two systems will be out-of-sync until the Vernal Equinox of 2011.

Note: The “Blue Moon” for the “Maine Rule” occurs February 18th, 2011.

Maine Rule Winter Solstice Midnight (PST)
Full Moon 12:14:35 am (PST) (Last full moon of Autumn by the “Astronomical Seasons Rule” or the First full moon of Winter via the “Maine Rule.”)
Astronomical Winter Solstice 3:39:35 pm (PST)

Celestial Events

Daylight Savings Times ends in the Unites States on November 7th remember to “fall back.”

Mercury

Mercury emerges into the evening hours around November 4th and is visible in the evening for the rest of the month.

Mercury starts this month in the constellation Libra (The Balance) and on November 8th moves into the constellation Scorpius (The Scorpian).  On November 14th Mercury moves into the constellation Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer).  On November 18th, Mercury crosses a corner of Scorpius and returns to Ophiuchus a few hours later. Finally, on November 27th, Mercury crosses into the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer).

Mercury and Moon
On November 6 the waxing, crescent moon passes within 2° of Mercury.

Mercury and Mars
The planets Mercury in Mars is pass within 1°45’ of each other on
November 19th.

Venus

Venus is the Morning Star and is located in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) for the entire month of November.  Venus is moving in retrograde motion until November 20th when it returns moving toward the East.

On November 5th, the waning, crescent moon passes with 0°25’ of Venus. Venus and Moon

Mars

Mars is observable in the early evening hours of November.  At the beginning of the month Mars sets around 7:15 pm (PDT) and by the end of the month, Mars sets around 5:40 pm (PST).

Mars begins November in the constellation Scorpius (The Scorpian) and on November 7th, Mars moves into the constellation Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer).

Mars and Moon
On November 7th the waxing, crescent moon passes within 2°30’ of Mars.

Mercury and Mars
The planets Mercury in Mars is pass within 1°45’ of each other on
November 19th.

Jupiter

Jupiter is observable until the very early morning hours of November in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) for the entire month.

Jupiter, Uranus and Moon On November 16th, the waxing, gibbous moon passes within 6°30’ of Jupiter.

Saturn

Saturn is located in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden)until December 2012. Saturn is observable during the morning hours of November before sunrise.

Saturn and Moon
On November 3rd, the waning, crescent moon passes within 8° of Saturn.

Uranus

Uranus is located in the constellation Pisces (The Fish) until May 2012. Uranus is located in proximity to Jupiter still and is visible until the very early morning hours of November. Uranus sets around 3:50 am (PDT) at the start of November, and by the end of the month sets around 1:00 am (PST).

On November 16th, the waxing, gibbous moon passes within 7°20’ of Uranus. Jupiter, Uranus and Moon

Neptune

Neptune is located in the constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) until January 2011. Neptune is located visible until the very early morning hours of November. Neptune sets around 1:25 am (PDT) at the start of November, and by the end of the month sets around 10:35 pm (PST).

Neptune and Moon On November 13th, the First Quarter passes within 4°05’ of Neptune.

Pluto

Pluto is observable during the evening hours of November and sets around 9:30 pm (PDT) at the start of the month.  By the end of November Pluto sets around 6:35 pm (PST).  Pluto is located in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) until the year 2023.

Pluto and Moon
On November 9th, the waxing crecent moon passes within 5°25’ of 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.


Woodland Hills Camera & Telescopes
Information on the Hosting Grant Program sponsored by Woodland Hills Camera and Telescopes.net.