June Moon at Descending Node and Conjunction with Mars


   Sunday June 3rd the waning 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 morning of the node crossing the 19-day old waning gibbous Moon will be over the south-southeastern horizon about an hour before the Sun rises local time. The Moon will also be about 3o from the ‘red planet’ Mars. Off to the west is the planet Saturn nestled within the glow of the eastern side of the Milky Way.

   Depending on how dark the sky is where you are viewing from and how early you want to go outside, the area around Saturn is rich with some of the best deep-sky objects visible with binoculars. So the earlier you are out, before moonrise, the darker the sky will appear making it easier to see some of Messier Objects in the area near Saturn.

   
   
   
   
   

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 in Conjunction with Saturn



   Thursday May 31st and Friday June 1st the just past full Moon, a waning gibbous Moon, will pass by one of the four the ringed planets, the planet Saturn. Both rise after sunset local time and will be over the western horizon before sunrise the following morning.

   
   
   
   
   
   

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.

May Moon at Descending Node


   Monday May 7th the waning 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 21-day old waning gibbous Moon will be over the southeastern horizon about an hour 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 go to bobs-spaces.

Moon in Conjunction with Mars

   Sunday May 6th the 20-day old waning gibbous Moon will be within 2-3o from the ‘red planet’ Mars. Both are within the constellation Sagittarius the Archer and are visible over the southern horizon at sunrise local time.

   
   
   

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.

May Moon at Apogee

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Sunday May 6th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.70 Earth diameters (404,500 km or 251,346 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 on graphic t see it larger   On the day of the apogee the 20-day old waning gibbous Moon will be over the southern horizon at around sunrise local time and within about 3o from the ‘red planet’ 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 go to bobs-spaces.

Moon in Conjunction with Saturn

   Friday May 4th the 18-day old waning gibbous Moon will be about 8o from the ringed planet Saturn. Joining the Moon and Saturn is Jupiter off to the west and Mars is to the east. In 2 days the Moon will have moved further east and will be in conjunction with the ‘red planet’ 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.

Moon Near Antares

   Wednesday morning May 2nd the waning gibbous Moon will be about 8-9o from the heart of Scorpius the Scorpion, the reddish star Antares. Joining the Moon is Jupiter to the west, and Saturn and Mars to the east.

   
   
   

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.