Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sky Events October 2014


Moon Phases

Wednesday, October 1, 3:33 p.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 2:15 p.m. and sets around 12:30 a.m. It dominates the evening sky. This is the first of two First Quarter Moons this month.

Wednesday, October 8, 5:51 a.m. EDT

Full Moon

The Full Moon of October is known as the Hunter’s Moon because it is the Full Moon following the Harvest Moon; it is also sometimes known as the “Blood Moon” or “Sanguine Moon.” It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is 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, October 15, 3:12 p.m. EDT

Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon rises around 11:30 p.m. and sets around 2:15 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Thursday, October 23, 5:57 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.

Thursday, October 30, 10:48 p.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 1:45 p.m. and sets around 12:30 a.m. It dominates the evening sky. This is the second of two First Quarter Moons this month.

Observing Highlights

Tuesday, October 7, 5 p.m. EDT

Uranus at opposition

The planet Uranus reaches opposition, located exactly opposite the Sun in the sky. It is visible all night. You can locate it by projecting a diagonal of the Square of Pegasus to two stars in Pisces just north of Uranus.

Wednesday, October 8, early morning

Total eclipse of the Moon

This eclipse is visible over much of the World, except for Europe and Africa. It occurs in the early morning in the Americas, and in the early evening in Asia and Australia. As shown here, the Moon enters the umbra, the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow, at 5:15 a.m. EDT. Greatest eclipse will be at 6:55 a.m. EDT.

Wednesday, October 8, 7 a.m. EDT

Moon in conjunction with Uranus

In the middle of tonight’s lunar eclipse, the Moon will be just north of the planet Uranus. Use the eclipsed Moon to locate Uranus with binoculars.

Sunday, October 12, 6 a.m. EDT

Moon in conjunction with Aldebaran

The Moon will pass just to the north of the bright red giant star Aldebaran, located in the Hyades star cluster.

Thursday, October 23, afternoon

Partial eclipse of the Sun

This partial solar eclipse will be visible most of North America and eastern Siberia. The Sun will be covered to the greatest extent at sunset from the Canadian arctic to the American Mid-west. It is shown here as seen from Yellowknife NWT. Partial solar eclipses are particularly dangerous if viewed without adequate protection, so use a special solar filter (“eclipse glasses”) to look at it.

Saturday, October 25, evening

Saturn and the Moon

The Moon passes just north of the Saturn in the constellation Libra. Viewers in central Europe will see the Moon occult Saturn, as shown here from Vienna, Austria at 6:30 p.m.

Planets


Mercury will too close to the Sun to observe most of the month, but begins a good morning apparition at the end of the month for observers in the Northern Hemisphere.

Venus is in superior conjunction with the Sun on the 25th, so will be hard to see all month. Look for it during the partial solar eclipse on the 23rd.

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

Jupiter rises well after midnight in the constellation Cancer, moving into Leo in mid-month.

Saturn, in Libra, vanishes into evening twilight late in the month.

Uranus is in opposition on October 7 in Pisces, visible all night.

Neptune is well placed in the evening sky in Aquarius.

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

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sky Events September 2014


Moon Phases

Tuesday, September 2, 7:11 a.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 2:30 p.m. and sets around 12:30 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.

Monday, September 8, 9:38 p.m. EDT

Full Moon

The Full Moon of September is known as the Harvest Moon because it is the Full Moon closest to the autumn equinox on September 22; it is also sometimes known as the Full Corn Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is 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.

 

Monday, September 15, 10:05 p.m. EDT

Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon rises around midnight and sets around 3 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Wednesday, September 24, 2:14 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

Wednesday, September 10, 10 p.m. EDT

Uranus and the Moon

The waning gibbous Moon passes just north of Uranus in the constellation Pisces. The Moon will occult Uranus as seen from eastern Canada, Greenland, and northern Siberia. Seen here from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Sunday, September 14, after midnight

Aldebaran and the Moon

The waning last quarter Moon will pass just north of the bright star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus.

Sunday, September 21, early evening

Mercury close to Spica

The planet Mercury will pass close to the bright star Spica in Virgo. This is a particularly good apparition of Mercury for observers in the Southern Hemisphere, less so for northerners.

Monday, September 22, 10:29 p.m. EDT

Equinox

The Sun crosses the celestial equator moving southward. Day and Night are of equal length. The Sun rises due east and sets due west everywhere on Earth. This is the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, the vernal equinox (Spring) in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

Saturday, September 27, 9 p.m. EDT

Ceres and the Moon

The Moon passes just south of the dwarf planet Ceres in the constellation Libra.

Sunday, September 28, midnight EDT

Saturn and the Moon

The Moon passes just north of the Saturn in the constellation Libra.


Sunday, September 28, 11 a.m. EDT

Vesta and the Moon

The Moon passes just south of the asteroid Vesta in the constellation Libra.

Monday, September 29

Double shadow transit on Jupiter

The shadows of Europa and Callisto cross the face of Jupiter simultaneously, best seen from India and central Asia. Seen here from New Delhi.

 

Planets

Mercury will be in its best evening apparition of 2014 for observers in the Southern Hemisphere. Northern observers will have more difficulty seeing it.

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 low in the morning sky in the constellation Cancer.

Saturn, in Libra, is low in the WSW evening twilight sky, setting in mid evening.

Uranus is rising in mid-evening in the constellation Pisces, heading towards opposition on October 7.
Neptune was in opposition on the August 29th in Aquarius, so is visible all night long.

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

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