July Moon at Apogee

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Thursday July 6th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.82 Earth diameters (405,934 km or 252,235 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?”

   On the day of the apogee Moon the 13-day old nearly full Moon, but still in the waxing gibbous phase, rises around local time for sunset and is about 2o from Saturn and around 14-15o degrees from the reddish star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion.

   
   
   

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 Apogee


   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Thursday June 8th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.85 Earth diameters (406,401 km or 252,526 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?”


   On the day of the apogee Moon the 14-day old full Moon rises around local time for sunset and is 9-10o degrees from the reddish star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion.

   
   
   

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.

Moon Near Saturn


   Sunday morning, April 16th the 19-day old waning gibbous Moon will rise near the planet Saturn. The two will be within the 7o field of view of 10×50 binoculars and will be easily seen over the eastern to southeastern horizon in the hours before the sun rises.
   
   
   

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.

Mars and Saturn at Heliocentric Conjunction

   The planets Mars and Saturn are both just recently past the time of their respective opposition to the Earth; Mars on May 22nd, and Saturn June 3rd. When the two dates are close then both planets will at some point be at the same heliocentric longitude or at heliocentric conjunction. That will be on Monday June 13th.

   While they may share nearly identical heliocentric longitude coordinates they do not have the same right ascension with Saturn about 1 hour of R.A. east from Mars. Both Mars and Saturn are very visible over the southern horizon a couple of hours after sunset. The color of Mars contrasts nicely with the reddish star Antares in the Scorpius the Scorpion.

   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Moon Passes Mars and Saturn

   This weekend the Moon will pass by the planets Mars and Saturn, both of which are located near the reddish star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion. The Moon reaches its full phase on Saturday and while it is within a few degrees from Mars the planet Mars will be at opposition. The next evening, Sunday May 22nd the Moon, now at waning gibbous phase, will have moved further east and will be within a few degrees from Saturn.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

Moon, Saturn, Mars, and the Scorpion.

click on graphic to see it larger

   Tuesday morning March 29th as Scorpius the Scorpion rises it will be accompanied by the 20-day old waning gibbous which Moon will be near the planet Saturn.
   Compare the reddish-orange hue of Mars with that of Antares. Easy to see why Antares means “equal to Mars”.

   
   
   
   

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.

Moon, Mars, Saturn, and the Scorpion

   Monday morning March 28th as Scorpius the Scorpion rises it will be accompanied by the 19-day old waning gibbous which Moon will be near the planet Mars.
   Compare the reddish-orange hue of Mars with that of Antares. Easy to see why Antares means “equal to Mars”.

   
   
   
   

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.