September Moon at Apogee

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Wednesday September 27th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.70 Earth diameters (404,308 km or 251,225 miles) from the Earth.

   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*

   On the day of the apogee the 7.5-day old first quarter Moon rises at mid-day and is about 10o to the east from Saturn and is just above M-8, the Lagoon Nebula. Unfortunately the reflected light from the Moon will brighten the sky enough to make seeing the Milky Way all but impossible. However with binoculars or a telescope M-8 may be seen – but not as well as when the Moon’s light is not interfering.

*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.

An Astro 2fer

   The title may be somewhat of a U.S.A. expression but it simply means there are two Astronomy events I am writing about and have combined them into one posting. So around sunset local time on Wednesday May 3rd the waxing, or very nearly first quarter Moon, will be within a few degrees from the star Regulus in Leo the Lion. While over the western horizon the ‘Red Planet’ Mars is near the stars making up the face of Taurus the Bull – the Hyades open star cluster.


   
   
   

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.

3 Mornings With the ISS

   A favorite pastime of mine is to watch the International Space Station orbit over my part of the world and when possible capture the flyover on film.
   This picture is from Wednesday September 21st and is a time lapse consisting of about 80 separate pictures stacked together and processed as one picture.
    The dashed line is the reflected light from the ISS and each dash represents 2.5 seconds of travel. The camera was more or less centered on Polaris, above the chimney, so as the Earth rotated stars around Polaris moved and the curved lines show the apparent circumpolar path they follow.
   Thursday morning as I was walking my dog prior to leaving for work I spotted the ISS and whipped out my cellphone and captured some of its flight as a short video. The shaky motion comes from holding onto a 65 lb. dog on a leash with one hand and the cellphone in my other hand.
Click here to see the calculated path as done by the Heavens-Above web site.

   This morning I set up for a time lapse series as I did on Wednesday. With large trees as my southern horizon this flyover past the constellation of Orion and the bright star Sirius was sort of a challenge. This is a series of 10 pictures stacked to show as one picture.
Click here to see the calculated path as done by the Heavens-Above web site.

   Camera settings for all pictures: 18mm; f4.5; ISO 1600; 2.5 sec.

   A shout-out to Mrs. Soukup’s online Astronomy students.

   
   
   

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 Near Mars

   Friday evening September 9th after sunset look toward the southwestern horizon for the first quarter Moon to be about 7o from the reddish planet Mars.

   
   
   

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.

August Moon at Apogee

10aug-apogee_moon
   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Wednesday August 10th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.69 Earth diameters (404,262 km or 251,197 miles) from the Earth.
   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?”

   
   The 8.6-day old first quarter Moon rises around mid-day local time and is near the planet Mars over the southwestern horizon after sunset.

   
   
   

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.

First Quarter Moon Near Spica


   Monday evening, July 11th, around the time the sun is setting look toward the southwestern horizon for the first quarter Moon to be about 6o from the bluish-star Spica in the constellation of Virgo the Harvest Maiden. from its classical depiction Spica is held by Virgo in her left hand and the star is represented as a bundle of harvested grasses.
   
   
   

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.

June Moon At Ascending Node

15may-ascending-node   Saturday June 11th the 7-day old first quarter 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.


   The 7-day old first quarter Moon rises around mid-day local time and is a few degrees east from Jupiter. Both are visible over the southwest horizon in the late evening hours before midnight.

   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*

*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 more observing information for this month.