A Busy Moon: Apogee; Descending Node; Mars Conjunction

   Thursday September 20th the waxing gibbous Moon will be crossing the plane of the ecliptic moving south. This is known as the descending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path (dark green line) has with the ecliptic.

   Our Moon also reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Thursday September 20th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.74 Earth diameters (361,354 km or 224,535 miles) from the Earth.

   On the evening of the apogee and node crossing the 11-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be over the southeast horizon at sunset in conjunction with the ‘Red Planet’, passing within 10-11o east from the planet Mars. Joining the Moon and Mars are the planets Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus – all to the west from the Moon and Mars.

   
   
   

   

   
   
   

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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Scorpius Claws the Moon!

   Friday evening September 14th the 5-day old waxing Crescent Moon will be within about 8-9o from the reddish star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion. Joining the Moon to the west is the planet Jupiter, and to the east the planets Saturn and Mars. The inner planet Venus has already set by the time this graphic is set for.

   
   
   

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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September Perigee Moon

   Our Moon reaches perigee, (closest distance to Earth), for this orbit on Saturday September 8th. At that time the Moon will be at a distance of 28.325 Earth diameters (361,355 km or 224,535 miles) from the Earth.

   Saturday morning September 8th the very thin 28-day old waning crescent Moon will be about 1.5o from the star Regulus and about 2-3o from the innermost planet Mercury.

   *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.


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Mercury Passes the Heart of the Lion


   Early mornings this week, before the local time of sunrise, look toward the east for the innermost planet Mercury as it moves east passing within about 1-2o from the star Regulus. This animated graphic shows the morning skies on September 5th to the 7th at 5:15 am CDT

   
   
   
   Regulus marks the bottom of the backward question shape for Leo the Lion, and Regulus also represents the heart of Leo.

   
   
   

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.


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August Moon at Descending Node


   Friday August 24th the waxing gibbous Moon will be crossing the plane of the ecliptic moving south. This is known as the descending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path (dark green line) has with the ecliptic.
   
   
   

   On the day of the node crossing the 13-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be over the southeastern horizon about an hour after the Sun sets. The planet Mars is about 15o to the west (right) from the Moon, and further west are the planets Saturn and Jupiter. Neptune is shown to the east from the Moon but with an apparent magnitude of almost 8 Neptune would only be visible with an optical aid.

   
   
   
   
   

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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August Apogee Moon Near Mars

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Thursday August 23rd. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.81 Earth diameters (405,700 km or 252,090 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 evening of Wednesday August 22nd and the evening of apogee, Thursday, the 16-day old waning gibbous Moon will be over the southeastern horizon and about 8o from Mars.

*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.


Also Follow me and other great resources at Feedspot.