Moon and Neptune

moon-neptune   This evening, if your skies are clear take a look at the near first quarter Moon. If you have binoculars aim them at the Moon but put the bottom curve of the Moon at the upper edge of the binocular field of view. Just above the lower part of the field of view will be the near 8th magnitude planet Neptune as the banner graphic at the top of the page shows. In this simulated view I have added the apparent magnitudes of some of the stars in the general area for magnitude comparison.

   The Moon this evening, and the planet Neptune are currently located near the water vessel carried by Aquarius the Water Bearer. As the animated graphic shows Aquarius pours the water into the mouth of Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish. The star Fomalhaut marks the fish’s mouth.

   Take a 1 minute tour of Neptune. This is part of a longer video tour of the solar system that was part of a live performance by Dark Matter.

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.