April Moon at Perigee

   Our Moon reaches perigee, (closest distance to Earth), for this orbit, on Tuesday April 16th. At that time the Moon will be at a distance of 28.55 Earth diameters 226,308 miles (364,209 km) from the Earth.

   The 12-day old waxing gibbous, Moon rises shortly after sunset local time is visible all night. Over the southwestern horizon, but not shown, is the planet Mars which sets around midnight.

   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.


Also Follow me and other great resources at Feedspot.

Waxing Crescent Moon on the Move

   Over the next several evenings the waxing crescent Moon will have moved past the planet Mars and the open star cluster the Pleiades and gradually move past another open star cluster the Hyades. Both open star clusters are part of the constellation Taurus the Bull.

   
   
   

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.


Also Follow me and other great resources at Feedspot.

Moon – Venus, Mercury, Neptune – Triple Conjunction

   Tuesday April 2nd the 27-day old thin waning crescent Moon will join three planets, Mercury, Venus, and Neptune in a triple conjunction. All four will be grouped within an area about 8-10o across. This separation is slightly more than the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.
   The group of planets and our Moon have an interesting range of apparent magnitudes. The waning crescent Moon is -9.8, Venus -3.9, Mercury 0.82, and Neptune 7.95.

   
   
   

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.


Also Follow me and other great resources at Feedspot.

March Moon at Descending Node #2

   Friday March 29th 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.
29 March 6 am CDT   On the day of the node crossing the 23-day old waning crescent Moon will be over the southeast horizon rising about 1-2 hours before the Sun rises. Toward the west from the Moon will be the outer ringed-planet Jupiter, and a bit further west the dwarf planet Ceres. About 4o east from the Moon is the outer ringed-planet Saturn. Both of these will easily fit within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.
   
   
   
   
   

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.


Also Follow me and other great resources at Feedspot.

Moon – Saturn Conjunction

   Thursday morning March 28th, and Friday morning March 29th the first quarter and waning crescent Moon, respectively, pass by the outer ringed giant planet, Saturn, coming within about 8o on Thursday and about 4o on Friday from 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.


Also Follow me and other great resources at Feedspot.

Moon – Aldebaran Conjunction

   Tuesday evening March 12th the 6-day old waxing crescent Moon will be about 4o from the reddish star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus the Bull. Aldebaran is also the brightest in the open star cluster the Hyades, a v-shaped appearing group of stars making the face of Taurus. Both the Moon and the v-shape of the Hyades should fit nicely within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.

    Aldebaran, from mythology, represents the ‘angry eye’ of the bull as it charges toward Orion.

   
   
   

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.


Also Follow me and other great resources at Feedspot.

Moon – Mars Conjunction

   Monday evening March 11th the 5-day old waxing crescent Moon will be about 7o from the outer terrestrial planet Mars. Both the Moon and Mars will be over the western horizon at sunset, and both should fit nicely within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.

   
   
   

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.


Also Follow me and other great resources at Feedspot.