Moon and Saturn Conjunction


   Tuesday morning February 21st the 23.5-day old waning crescent Moon will be 4-5o away from the planet Saturn as this graphic shows. With 7×50 binoculars the two should make for a striking pair.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

The Moon, Jupiter, and Spica – Together Again


   Wednesday February 15th the 18-day old waning gibbous Moon will be within a few degrees from the planet Jupiter and the blue-white star Spica in Virgo the Harvest Maiden as they rise in the east a few hours before sunrise local time.
   All three will fit within the field of view of a pair of 7×50 binoculars as this graphic shows.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Moon Skips Past Stars and Planets

   Over the next several mornings, January 23rd to 25th the waning crescent Moon will pass by the star Antares, and the planets Saturn, and Mercury as these animated graphics are showing.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Saturn at Solar Conjunction: 2016

10dec-saturn-solar-conjunction   Saturday December 10th the planet Saturn will have reached the astronomical coordinates that officially place it at solar conjunction. From our perspective the planet is behind the Sun, or on the opposite side of the Sun from the Earth.
   In reality it is not as much as Saturn moving behind the Sun as it is the Sun passing in front of Saturn – or so it seems. As a distant outer planet Saturn moves more slowly around the Sun than the Earth does. One year on Saturn is equal to 29.7 years (10,832 days) on Earth. So in one day Saturn would travel how much of the 360o orbit around the Sun? That would amount to approximately 0.033o each day.
   The Sun, in its apparent motion along the ecliptic moves at the rate the Earth is moving which is 0.99o each day. So with the Sun’s apparent motion (0.99o/day) it quickly, relative to Saturn, passes Saturn while both are moving eastward. So with that in mind you could start watching for Saturn to reappear in the morning skies later next month.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Waxing Crescent Moon Near Venus

   Friday evening December 2nd the thin 3.5-day old waxing crescent Moon will be about 7-8o from the inner planet Venus. Several other planets are also visible above the horizon. At the time the graphic is set for, 5:30 pm CST, the planet Saturn has just set, Mercury is within about 30 minutes from setting, and Mars shines within the constellation of Capricornus the Sea Goat.
   Not visible to the naked eye, but part of the picture, is the outermost of the 8 planets, Neptune.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Thin Moon and Planets

   Wednesday evening November 30th a very thin less than 2-day old waxing crescent Moon will be just above the western horizon and near Saturn and Mercury. At the time of sunset, my local time of CST, the Moon will be about 1.4 days or somewhere around 30 hours old-young. While this is not a record for the youngest waxing crescent Moon seen with the naked eye it will nonetheless be an interesting challenge.
    The youngest Moon seen with the naked eye was seen by Stephen James O’Meara in May 1990 when he saw a waxing Moon that was only 15 hours, 32 minutes old.
   The planets Venus and Mars are further west from the Moon but within the next few days the waxing Moon will pass by them. Venus on the 2nd and Mars on the 4th.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Moon and Two Planets


   Wednesday November 2nd the thin 3-day old waxing crescent Moon will be 3o from the outer planet Saturn and 7o from the inner planet Venus.

   
   
   
   
   
   This conjunction between the Moon and two planets will fit within the field of view of binoculars as this simulated view using 7×50 binoculars shows.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.