Moon and Venus Are in Conjunction – But Not With Each Other


   Tuesday evening April 24th the waxing gibbous Moon will be over the southwest horizon at sunset local time. The Moon will be about 3o from the star Regulus in Leo the Lion. Over the northwestern horizon at the same time will be the planet Venus about 3o from the open star cluster the Pleiades.

   Venus and the Pleiades will easily fit 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.

Moon – Regulus Conjunction


   Wednesday evening February 28th the nearly full Moon will be within 1-2o from the star Regulus in Leo the Lion.
   Given how close the two will be offers an opportunity to photograph both, or at least enjoy the view through the eyepiece of your choice.

   
   
   

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.

February Moon at Ascending Node

   Wednesday February 28th 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 Wednesday February 28th the 13-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be within the boundaries of Leo the Lion and about 1-2o from 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.

February Moon at Perigee


   Our Moon reaches perigee, (closest distance from Earth), for this orbit on Monday January 1st. At that time the Moon will be at a distance of 28.8 Earth diameters (363,832 km or 226,074 miles) from the Earth making this full Moon the year’s Super Moon.
   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 perigee Moon the 27-day old waxing gibbous Moon is above the eastern horizon about 1 hour after sunset local time. The Moon is located between the stars Procyon in Canis Minor and Regulus in Leo the Lion.

   *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 Gets A Bullish Headbutt

   Friday evening February 23rd the 8-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be about 6o from the reddish star Aldebaran, part of the open star cluster the Hyades. The brighter stars of the Hyades are arranged in a v-shape that is used to represent the face of Taurus the Bull. The point of the V is the Bull’s nose and the reddish star Aldebaran is one of the Bull’s eyes, often depicted as the ‘angry eye’ of the Bull.

   
   
   

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.

Taurus Eyes the Moon

   Saturday evening December 30th the 13-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be 1-2o from the reddish star Aldebaran. The star is often described as representing the angry eye of Taurus the Bull. Regardless Aldebaran is at one end of a v-shaped group of stars that make-up the face of Taurus. These stars are part of an open star cluster, the Hyades, consisting of several hundreds of stars located about 150 light years from the Earth.

   About 10o from the Hyades, on the shoulder of Taurus, is another well-known open star cluster – the Pleiades. This is a cluster of approximately 1,000 stars located at a distance of 400-450 light years. Easily seen with the naked-eye several of the brightest stars form a small dipper-shape.
   
   
   

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 in Conjunction With Uranus

   Wednesday evening December 27th the 10-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be a few degrees from the ringed planet Uranus. Given the dimmer 5.7 apparent magnitude of Uranus, and the considerably brighter Moon’s -12.42 apparent magnitude Uranus will not be visible. However Uranus at this apparent magnitude, and without the interference from ‘moonlight’, would be visible with the unaided-eye, and would certainly be visible with binoculars.
   Nearby, below the Moon as it rises, is the dwarf Planet Eris, which at 18th apparent magnitude is definitely out of the visible range of all but larger telescopes.

   
   
   

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.