Friday February 16th the Sun in its apparent eastward motion along the ecliptic, moves out of the constellation Capricornus the Sea Goat and into the constellation of Aquarius the Water Bearer. This is the true or actual position of the Sun as opposed to the pseudoscience of astrology which usually has the astrological Sun one constellation ahead or east from the Astronomical Sun’s position, which will be Sunday February 18th when the sun is not in Pisces according to astrology.
Monday morning February 12th the ‘Red Planet’ Mars will be within about 5o from the reddish star Antares, the heart of Scorpius the Scorpion. Both Mars and Antares currently have the same apparent magnitude of 1.03.
Antares owes its name to its near matching color of the reddish colored planet Mars. I have often described the name Antares origin as meaning ‘anti mars’, to distinguish the star from the planet. Sort of like saying at times like now when they are close that ‘that reddish object is not Mars’. However the name Antares from the Greek really means ‘equal to Mars’
This part of the sky, the summer sky for the northern hemisphere, has probably the best view of the Milky Way despite it being early morning. So it is with a great deal of excitement that as Mars approaches Antares and soon Saturn Mars is moving closer to the Milky Way.
Saturday February 10th the ringed giant gas planet Jupiter reaches the point along its orbit around the Sun where Jupiter would be described as being at western quadrature. It is at a 90o angle relative to the Earth and the Sun.
Where is Jupiter currently? Jupiter rises after midnight local time and is located within the stars of Libra the Scales. Down to the left from Jupiter, or further east, are the planets Mars and Saturn. The waning crescent Moon is making its way eastward through this area as well.
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.nd as this graphic shows has the last quarter Moon nearby on the 14th.
Here are two pictures from the rising Moon last evening.
And this morning got a late start out the door – made a mistake and let the dogs out in front (north side) while I looked to see where the Moon was. Then chased the ‘guys’ for a while until they peed and sniffed enough and got them back inside.
Drove out east to our community park for a better horizon. Had planned on using 3 cameras but then applied the KISS or Occam’s Razor logic and set up one camera. In reality I had about 30 minutes prior to totality and only a couple of minutes as you see in the video near totality. The clouds were too thick near the horizon.
This is a sequence taken at 300mm with several exposure times, f-stop and ISO changes along the way.
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.