January Moon at Apogee

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), for this orbit, on Thursday January 2nd. At that time the Moon will be at a distance of 31.71 Earth diameters 251,394 miles (404,580 km) from the Earth.

   On the day of the apogee Moon the 8-day old first quarter Moon rises around noon local time and sets around midnight. At around sunset the Moon will over the southern horizon.

   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)

   
   
   

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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Moon Near a Planet and a Dwarf Planet

   Thursday evening September 5th the 6.6-day old first quarter Moon will be about midway between the outer ‘giant’ ringed planet Jupiter, and Ceres, as well as near the reddish Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion. This interesting grouping will not quite fit within a 7o binocular field of view but nonetheless will be a striking grouping. And for the record, Ceres is the closest dwarf planet to Earth.

   
   
   

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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First Quarter Moon Near Pollux

   Friday April 12th the first quarter Moon will be within 6-7o from the star Pollux in the constellation of the Gemini Twins and will more or less fit within the field of view of 7X50 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.


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April Moon at Ascending Node and an Anniversary

   Friday April 12th the 7-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be crossing the plane of the ecliptic moving north relative to the ecliptic. This is known as the ascending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path has with the ecliptic. The ecliptic is actually the Earth’s orbit and the Moon’s orbit is inclined about 6o from the ecliptic. So there are two node intersections, the ascending and descending nodes.

   On the day of the node crossing the 7-day old first quarter Moon rises around mid-day and sets the following day.

   Does our Moon actually go around the Earth as many graphics show? 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*

Happy Anniversary
   This year is the 75th anniversary for the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association), and this graphic helps to celebrate the event by highlighting Alphecca Gemma, the brightest star in the constellation Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown. This star is 75 light years distant and so the light you see coming from that star left Alphecca Gemma the year that NSTA started.
   The date of April 12th was chosen because during this week Science Teachers and other educators will gather in St. Louis, MO for our annual conference. See you there?

*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 return to bobs-spaces.


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First Quarter Moon Conjunction with Mars

   Over the next two evenings, November 15th – 16th, the first quarter Moon will pass by the planet Mars coming within about 1-2o. The animated graphic is set for 5:30 pm CST on November 15th – 16th.

   
   
   

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 Passes Saturn

   Sunday September 16th the first quarter Moon will be about 8o west from the outer planet Saturn. Then the following evening, Monday the 17th, as the Moon continues orbiting eastward, the waxing gibbous Moon will be within 3-4o from Saturn, but on the east side of 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 in Conjunction with Aldebaran

   Early Monday morning September 3rd the first quarter Moon will be rising about 4o from the reddish star Aldebaran in the open star cluster the Hyades. These stars in a v-shaped arrangement mark the face of Taurus the Bull, while Aldebaran, as a reddish color, represents the angry eye of the charging bull. By sunrise local time the Moon and the Hyades will be high over the southern horizon.
   This conjunction will look good through binoculars or a low-power wide-field telescope eyepiece.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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.