On Tuesday January 9th the inner planet Venus will have moved into superior conjunction – on the opposite side of the Sun from the Earth. Venus will reappear on the east side of the Sun later next month and start becoming visible in the evening skies over the western horizon.
Start off this New Year with something unusual, something that “only happens once in a blue moon.” How? There are two full Moons this month, with the first full Moon on January 1st, and the second full Moon, the ‘Blue Moon’, on the 31st.
A Blue Moon month is a somewhat unusual Astronomical event described as a month with two full Moons that occur about every 2 1/2 years. What makes this Blue Moon month more interesting is that the full Moon of January 1st will also be a ‘super-Moon’ as the time for full Moon is close to the time for when the Moon is at perigee or its closest for this particular orbit. And to make this year a little more unusual is that during March there will be again two full Moons, second Blue Moon month.
Even more exciting is that the second full Moon of January will pass through the Earth’s shadow giving us an opportunity to view a total lunar eclipse. Due to the timing for the eclipse viewing from my location will be limited to seeing about the first half the lunar eclipse as the Moon will be setting while still totally eclipsed. For the western Missouri and Eastern Kansas area the Moon enters the Earth’s darker shadow at approximately 5:48 am CST and totality begins at 6:51 am CST, and maximum at 7:29 am CST, five minutes after sunrise.
For information about the eclipse for your location use the Hermit Eclipse Web Site.
Happy New Year
Gëzuar Vitin e Ri
سنة جديدة سعيدة
З Новым годам
Sretna Nova godina
Glückliches neues Jahr
Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος
Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh
Felix Novus Annus
Feliz Ano Novo
С Новым годом
Feliz Año Nuevo
Heri ya Mwaka Mpya
Gott Nytt År
Yeni Yılınız Kutlu Olsun
Thank you for your support.
Here are a couple of short videos for your New Year’s enjoyment!
So, where would you park the Space Shuttle??
The consequences of a Black Hole.
New Year’s Day includes a full Moon, the first of two full Moons this month. So as a way to ‘ring’ in the new year and hopefully not offend anyone, you will find below some of the Moon cartoons I have collected over the years and more than likely used in my classes! Apparently I was into cows at one point!!
Tuesday morning November 14th the waning crescent Moon will be within a few degrees from the ‘Red Planet’ Mars and the bluish-white star Spica in Virgo the Harvest Maiden. Then as this animated graphic illustrates the waning crescent Moon will pass by Jupiter and then Venus over the next few days.
Monday Morning November 13th the inner planet Venus and one of the outer planets, Jupiter, will have a very close conjunction with Venus coming within less than one-half degree from Jupiter. Adding to the celestial scenery is the planet Mars and the 25-day old waning crescent Moon.
Both should make for a striking view with binoculars or a low-power telescope eyepiece, or as a picture. Venus will be shining at a -3.9 apparent magnitude compared with Jupiter’s -1.7 apparent magnitude.
This graphic shows a view using a 25mm eyepiece on a 6″ Dobsonian Telescope.
Over the next several days the inner planet Venus will be moving eastward past the outer planet Jupiter. They will be the closest on Monday November 13th when they will be separated by less than 0.5o. This animated graphic is set for 1-day intervals running from the 8th to the 16th and shows a simulated view using 10×50 binoculars at around 6:30 am CST.
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.
Thursday morning November 2nd the inner planet Venus will be within 3-4o from the bluish-white star Spica in the constellation Virgo the Harvest Maiden. The two should make for a striking contrast in apparent magnitudes. Venus shines brightly with an apparent magnitude of -3.9 while Spica shines with an apparent magnitude of about 1.0.
Both will easily fit within the field of view of binoculars