Moon/Spica Conjunction


   Sunday evening June 4th the 10-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be within about 6o from the blue-white star Spica in the constellation 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 Passes Regulus


   Tuesday and Wednesday evenings May 30th and 31st the waxing gibbous Moon will be passing the heart of Leo the Lion, the star Regulus.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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 & Jupiter Had A Conjunction


   Last evening, May 7th, the waxing gibbous Moon rose near the planet Jupiter as this picture shows.
   Camera settings: Canon EOS Rebel T3i; 250mm; f16; 1/60 sec; ISO 400

   
   
   

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 – Spica Conjunction


   Monday evening May 8th watch for the 12.5-day old waxing gibbous Moon to be about 8o from the blue-white star Spica in the constellation Virgo the Harvest Maiden. Both will just barely fit within the field of view of 7×50 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.

Moon – Jupiter Conjunction


   Sunday evening May 7th watch for the 11.5-day old waxing gibbous Moon to be about 2o from the planet Jupiter.
    If you are still watching the Moon will be near the star Spica on Monday evening.

   
   
   
   
   
   

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 Ascending Node

   Thursday May 4th the waxing gibbous Moon will be crossing the plane of the ecliptic moving north relative to the ecliptic. This is known as the ascending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path has with the ecliptic. The ecliptic is actually the Earth’s orbit and the Moon’s orbit is inclined about 6o from the ecliptic. So there are two node intersections, the ascending and descending nodes.

   On May 4th the 8.5-day old waxing gibbous Moon will rise with the constellation Leo the Lion and is located near the heart of the Lion, the star Regulus.

   Does our Moon actually go around the Earth as many graphics show? 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?”

   
   
   

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.

Jupiter at Opposition: 2017

Zooming in on Jupiter at Opposition   Friday April 7th, the outer giant planet Jupiter reaches the point in its orbit around the Sun that places the Earth in between Jupiter and the Sun. This is known as opposition, and opposition is an orbital position that applies to solar system objects (outer planets, dwarf planets, asteroids, comets, etc.) orbiting the Sun beyond the Earth’s orbit. An object at opposition will have approximately the same heliocentric longitude as the Earth’s heliocentric longitude. So on Tuesday both planets will have a heliocentric longitude of about 167o.
   An opposition of Jupiter occurs approximately every 13 months because both Earth and Jupiter are moving. After one Earth Revolution, an Earth year, the planet Earth will be where it was the previous year at opposition with Jupiter. However Jupiter will not be there because it has moved during the past year as well. It will take the Earth about an extra month or so to catch up with Jupiter. Earth moves 360o each year while Jupiter moves approximately 12o each Earth year.

Sunset Local Time

Sunset Local Time

   When an object is at opposition it rises at approximately the same time as local sunset and that same object at opposition sets at approximately the time of local sunrise. In other words an object at opposition will be up all night from sunrise to sunset.
   Picture our Moon at full phase and how it is directly opposite the Sun, with the Earth in between. The full Moon in effect is at opposition but we call it the full Moon instead. And like Jupiter at opposition, a full Moon rises at sunset, sets at sunrise and is visible all night.


   Jupiter rising with Spica.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Take a brief tour of the Jovian (Jupiter) system. Music by Dark Matter.
Live recording of music written by Richard Johnson. Video by me!

   
   
   

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.