November Moon at Apogee

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Tuesday November 21st. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.84 Earth diameters (406,132 km or 252,359 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 3.5-day old waxing crescent Moon will be over the southwestern horizon at sunset local time. Were it not so bright the glow of the Milky Way in the background might have been visible. Saturn is visible, but it is low above the horizon.

*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.

Moon Splits the Distance


   Wednesday morning November 15th the thin 27-day waning crescent Moon will be located more or less between the planet Mars and the bluish-white star Spica in Virgo the Harvest Maiden.

   
   
   

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 Conjunction with Mars and Spica


   Tuesday morning November 14th the waning crescent Moon will be within a few degrees from the ‘Red Planet’ Mars and the bluish-white star Spica in Virgo the Harvest Maiden. Then as this animated graphic illustrates the waning crescent Moon will pass by Jupiter and then Venus over the next few days.

   
   
   

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.

Venus – Jupiter Close Conjunction

   Monday Morning November 13th the inner planet Venus and one of the outer planets, Jupiter, will have a very close conjunction with Venus coming within less than one-half degree from Jupiter. Adding to the celestial scenery is the planet Mars and the 25-day old waning crescent Moon.

   Both should make for a striking view with binoculars or a low-power telescope eyepiece, or as a picture. Venus will be shining at a -3.9 apparent magnitude compared with Jupiter’s -1.7 apparent magnitude.
This graphic shows a view using a 25mm eyepiece on a 6″ Dobsonian Telescope.

   
   
   

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-Regulus Conjunction


   Saturday morning November 11th the 23-day old waning crescent Moon will be about 0.5o from Regulus, the ‘heart’ of Leo the Lion. Both will fit comfortably within the field of view of binoculars.

   
   
   

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.

The Moon and Venus

   Yesterday morning and this morning offered me an opportunity for getting some pictures of the thin waning crescent Moon as it rose, more or less, over Highway 50. Given the amount of wasted illumination going skyward this is at best not a dark viewing site! However for bright objects rising in the east the bright lights of car dealerships, and oncoming car headlights provide for an interesting foreground. Yesterday there were low-lying clouds above the horizon making it a waiting game for when Venus and the Moon were visible. I won!
   This morning the skies were very clear and I was able to get a picture of the 28.25-day old waning crescent Moon. New Moon is tomorrow 20 October at 2:12 pm CDT.
   That ‘dash’ you might have noticed to the left from Venus in yesterday’s picture were the lights from an airplane. This picture like the one today were shot with a 2-second exposure time. So the dash represents how much the plane moved in 2 seconds. And if you look carefully at this morning’s picture you will see 3rd magnitude Zaniah near -3.93 magnitude Venus, and 3rd magnitude Porrima near 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.

Old Moon and Venus


   Wednesday morning October 18th the thin 28-day old waning crescent Moon will be within a few degrees from the inner planet Venus. Should make for an interesting view with the naked eye or in the field of view of binoculars.
   
   
   

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.