June Moon at Descending Node

   Wednesday June 19th the Moon will be crossing the plane of the ecliptic moving south. This is known as the descending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path (dark green line) has with the ecliptic.

   On the day of the node crossing the 17.0-day old waning gibbous Moon will be over the southern horizon and will be about 13-14o to the east from the ringed planet Saturn.

   
   
   
   
   

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.


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Moon – Saturn Conjunction

   Tuesday June 18th at around midnight local time the just past full Moon will be rising over the eastern horizon near the ringed planet Saturn. The two will be separated by about 0.5o and will fit nicely within the field of view of binoculars or the eyepiece of a telescope..

   
   
   

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.


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Moon at Apogee

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), for this orbit, on Sunday May 26th. At that time the Moon will be at a distance of 31.68 Earth diameters 251,117 miles (404,134 km) from the Earth.

   The 22-day old last quarter Moon rises after midnight local time and sets later that same day.

   Does our Moon actually go around the Earth as this graphic shows? From our perspective on the Earth the Moon appears to circle around the Earth. However, in reality, the Moon orbits the Sun together with the Earth*
   *Click here to read my 2006 Scope on the Sky column “The Real Shape of the Moon’s Orbit”. (PDF)

   Read this very informative article about the Earth-Moon system and their orbital motions, written by Joe Hanson. “Do We Orbit the Moon?”

   
   
   

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


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May Moon at Descending Node

   Wednesday May 22nd the Moon will be crossing the plane of the ecliptic moving south. This is known as the descending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path (dark green line) has with the ecliptic.
   On the day of the node crossing the 17.5-day old waning gibbous Moon will be 5-7o to the west from the ringed planet Saturn. The following day, May 23rd, the 18.5-day old waning gibbous Moon will have orbited to the east side of Saturn passing within 5-6o.


   
   
   
   
   

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.


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Moon – Jupiter Conjunction

   Late Monday evening May 20th the 15-day old waning gibbous Moon will be within about 3-4o from the outer ringed planet Jupiter, and about 8-9o from Antares, the ‘heart’ of Scorpius the Scorpion. Jupiter and the Moon will easily fit within the field of view of binoculars. Jupiter is currently located within the boundaries of the constellation of Ophiuchus the Healer, the 13th constellation of the Astronomical zodiac.

   
   
   

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.


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Moon – Ceres Conjunction

   Sunday morning May 19th the 15-day old waning gibbous Moon will be within 2-3o from Dwarf Planet Ceres. Considering that Ceres currently is a dim 6.8 apparent magnitude, and is that close to a just past full Moon, the chances of seeing Ceres are basically non-existent. However the reddish star Antares, down to the left from the Moon and Ceres, is visible. And over the next few days the Moon, as it wanes, will pass by Jupiter, then Saturn.

   
   
   

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.


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Mars-Saturn at Heliocentric Opposition

   Friday May 3rd two of the outer planets, Mars and Saturn, will have reached a point in their respective orbits where they are on opposite sides of the Sun. This is known as heliocentric opposition.

   
   
   

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.


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