Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sky Events July 2014

Moon Phases

Saturday, July 5, 7:59 a.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 1:45 p.m. and sets around 1:15 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.

Saturday, July 12, 7:25 a.m. EDT

Full Moon

The Full Moon of July is known as the Hay Moon, Buck Moon or Thunder Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the Moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

Friday, July 18, 10:08 p.m. EDT

Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon rises around 12:30 a.m. and sets around 2:30 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Saturday, July 26, 6:42 p.m. EDT

New Moon

The Moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the East as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the West an evening or two after New Moon.


Observing Highlights

Friday, July 4, 4 a.m. EDT

Pluto at opposition

Dwarf planet Pluto reaches opposition with the Sun in eastern Sagittarius. It is moving away from the richest part of the Milky Way, so is not quite as lost amongst rich star fields as it has been in recent years.

Saturday, July 5, 9 p.m. EDT

Mars and the Moon

The waxing gibbous Moon will pass just north of the planet Mars. Observers in Hawaii, western Central America, and northern South America will see the Moon occult Mars.

Monday, July 7, 10 p.m. EDT

Saturn and the Moon

The Moon will pass just south of the planet Saturn. The Moon will occult Saturn as seen from French Polynesia, southern South America, and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.

Saturday, July 12, dawn

Mercury at greatest elongation

Not a particularly good apparition of Mercury, though slightly better as seen from the Southern Hemisphere here. Look half an hour before sunrise with binoculars, using Venus and nearby bright stars to locate Mercury.

Saturday, July 12, dusk

Mars and Spica

Mars passes less than 2 degrees north of the bright star Spica, Alpha Virginis. Look for the pair about an hour after sunset.

Tuesday, July 22, dawn

Aldebaran and the Moon

The Moon passes just north of the bright star Aldebaran in Taurus. Look for Venus and Mercury below and to their left, and follow the shrinking crescent Moon over the next few nights as it slides below Venus and Mercury.

Planets

Mercury will be low in the dawn sky all month. This is not a very good apparition of Mercury, though being close to Venus will help you to find it. This is the view half an hour before sunrise in the Northern Hemisphere.

Venus is low in the eastern sky, rising just before the Sun.

Mars is now fading rapidly in brightness as it moves towards the far side of the Sun.

Jupiter is too close to the Sun to be observed, being in conjunction on July 24.

Saturn, in Libra, is well placed in the evening sky.

Uranus is located in the constellation Pisces, rising near midnight.

Neptune is in Aquarius all month, rising in the late evening.

Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
All graphics © 2014 Starry Night Software

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sky Events June 2014

Moon Phases

Thursday, June 5, 4:39 p.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 1 p.m. and sets around 2 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.

Friday, June 13, 12:11 a.m. EDT

Full Moon

The Full Moon of June is known as the Corn-Planting Moon or the Strawberry Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the Moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

Thursday, June 19, 2:39 p.m. EDT

Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon rises around 1 a.m. and sets around 1 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Friday, June 27, 4:08 a.m. EDT

New Moon

The Moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the East as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the West an evening or two after New Moon.


Observing Highlights

Tuesday, June 3, 2:08–3:44 p.m. EDT

Triple shadow transit on Jupiter

The shadows of Europa, Ganymede and Callisto will play on Jupiter’s cloud deck. Best observed from eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Saturday, June 7, 9 p.m. EDT

Mars and the Moon

The waxing gibbous Moon will pass just south of the planet Mars.

Sunday, June 8, dusk

Spica and the Moon

The Moon will pass just north of the bright star Spica in Virgo.

Tuesday, June 10, dusk

Saturn and the Moon

The Moon will pass just south of the planet Saturn. The Moon will occult Saturn as seen from southern South Africa (as seen here) and parts of the Southern Ocean.

Tuesday, June 10, 6:07–6:28 p.m. EDT

Double shadow transit on Jupiter

The shadows of Europa and Ganymede will cross Jupiter’s cloud deck simultaneously. Best observed from central South America.

Saturday, June 21, 6:51 a.m. EDT

Solstice

The beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

Tuesday, June 24, dawn

Venus and the Moon

The slender crescent Moon will pass just below the planet Venus.

Wednesday, June 25, dawn

Aldebaran and the Moon

The Moon passes just north of the bright star Aldebaran in Taurus.

Planets

Mercury sets just after the Sun for the first two weeks of the month, but will be too close to the Sun to be seen for the last two weeks.

Venus is low in the eastern sky, rising just before the Sun.
 
Mars is now fading rapidly in brightness as it moves towards the far side of the Sun. 

Jupiter is now low in the western sky at sunset, and is lost behind the Sun at the end of the month.

Saturn, in Libra, is well placed in the southern sky for most of the night. 

Uranus is located in the constellation Pisces, rising just before the Sun.

Neptune is in Aquarius all month, rising after midnight.

Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
All graphics © 2014 Starry Night Software

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sky Events May 2014


Moon Phases

Tuesday, May 6, 11:15 p.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 12:15 p.m. and sets around 2:15 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.

Wednesday, May 14, 3:16 p.m. EDT

Full Moon

The Full Moon of May is known as the Milk Moon, Flower Moon, or Corn Planting Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the Moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

Wednesday, May 21, 8:59 a.m. EDT

Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon rises around 1:30 a.m. and sets around 1:15 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Wednesday, May 28, 2:40 p.m. EDT

New Moon

The Moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the East as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the West an evening or two after New Moon.


Observing Highlights

Saturday, May 10, 2 p.m. EDT

Saturn at opposition

Saturn will be at opposition, exactly opposite the Sun in the sky.

Wednesday, May 14, early morning

Saturn and the Moon

The Full Moon will pass just below the planet Saturn. Observers in southern Australia and New Zealand will see the Moon occult Saturn. Saturn is just appearing from behind the Moon as seen from Melbourne, Australia.

Thursday, May 15, dawn

Venus and Uranus

This will be a difficult observation because the sky is starting to get light by the time the planets rise, making it difficult to see 6th magnitude Uranus. A low eastern horizon will be necessary.

Saturday, May 24, 3–4 a.m. EDT

New meteor shower

Debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR is expected to cause a new meteor shower radiating from the constellation Camelopardalis, just off the nose of the Great Bear. This may be the brightest meteor shower this year.

Sunday, May 25, dawn

Venus and the Moon

The slender crescent Moon will rise just above the planet Venus, shortly before sunrise. Later in the day, you can use the Moon to spot Venus in the daytime sky.

Sunday, May 25, sunset

Mercury at greatest eastern elongation

About half an hour after sunset, look for Mercury low in the western sky, framed by Procyon and Jupiter to the left and Capella to the right.

Planets

Mercury is well placed low in the western sky about half an hour after sunset, in the last half of May.
Venus is now a “morning star,” rising in the East just before the sun.
Mars was in opposition on April 8 and now is shrinking in size and fading in brightness.
Jupiter shines brightly in the western sky in Gemini at dusk, setting around midnight. The Great Red Spot is easier to see than in many recent years, showing a distinct orange color.
Saturn, in Libra, is in opposition to the Sun on May 10, and shines brightly in the southern sky all night.
Uranus emerges from behind the Sun late in the month, located in the constellation Pisces.
Neptune is in Aquarius all month, rising three hours before the Sun.

Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
All graphics © 2014 Starry Night Software