Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sky Events August 2015

Moon Phases

Thursday, August 6, 10:03 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.

Friday, August 14, 10:53 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.

Saturday, August 22, 3:31 p.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around noon and sets around midnight. It dominates the evening sky.

Saturday, August 29, 2:35 p.m. EDT

Full Moon

The August Full Moon is known as the Corn Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon, Green Corn Moon, or Grain 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.


Observing Highlights

Uranus and the Moon

Wednesday/Thursday, August 5/6, dawn

The Moon will be close to Uranus just before sunrise. In southern South America, the Falkland Islands, and parts of Antarctica, the Moon will actually occult Uranus.

Mercury and Jupiter within 0.6 degrees

Thursday, August 6, dusk

Mercury and Jupiter will pass really close to each other, appearing within the same telescope field.

Mercury, Jupiter and Regulus within 1 degree

Friday, August 7, dusk

These three bright objects will form a tight triangular pattern low in the western sky after sunset.

Aldebaran and the Moon

Saturday, August 8, early morning

The waning crescent moon will pass close to the bright red star Aldebaran low in morning twilight. The Moon will occult Aldebaran as seen from the Middle East, eastern Europe, northwestern Asia, Scandinavia, Russia, Alaska, and northwestern Canada.

Jupiter and Regulus within 0.5 degrees

Monday, August 10, dusk

Jupiter will pass just north of the bright star Regulus in the constellation Leo.

Perseid meteor shower peaks

Thursday, August 13, 2 a.m.

The Perseid meteor shower is always the most reliable in the year, and this year benefits from having the moon out of the sky for most of the night. Although Perseid meteors can be seen at any time of night, there are always more meteors after midnight because then the Earth is heading directly into the shower. Although they appear to radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky, they can be seen anywhere in the sky.

Mars in the Beehive

Thursday, August 20, before dawn

Mars, just past conjunction with the sun, passes in front of the Beehive Cluster, Messier 44.

Moon close to perigee

Saturday, August 29, 8 p.m. local time

The moon will be closest to the Earth at 11 a.m. on August 30, 222,631 miles or 358,290 km. distant. The moon will be below the horizon at that time for observers in North America. The best time to observe this “supermoon” will be just after it rises on Saturday night, August 29. Those living near the ocean should expect higher tides than normal for the next few days.

Planets

Mercury is visible low in the western sky after sunset for most of the month, This apparition is more favorable for observers in the Southern Hemisphere.


Venus moves from the evening to the morning sky on the 15th, but will be hard to observe for northern observers because of its closeness to the sun. Southern observers will have an easier time, and on the 15th may actually be able to observe Venus as a morning star in the east and an evening star in the west.


Mars reappears in dawn twilight after its conjunction with the sun on June 14.


Jupiter is too close to the sun to observe this month.


Saturn is well placed in Libra in the evening sky.


Uranus rises in the late evening in Pisces.


Neptune rises in the mid-evening in the constellation Aquarius.


Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
All graphics © 2015 Starry Night Software

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sky Events July 2015


Moon Phases

Wednesday, July 1, 10:20 p.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; 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. This is the first of two Full Moons this month.

Wednesday, July 8, 4:24 p.m. EDT

Last Quarter Moon

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

Wednesday, July 15, 9:24 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.

Friday, July 24, 12:04 a.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 1:15 p.m. and sets around 12:30 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.


Friday, July 31, 6:43 a.m. EDT

Full Moon

This is the second Full Moon in July, what is sometimes called a “Blue 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.


Observing Highlights

Venus and Jupiter within 0.3 degrees

Wednesday, July 1, dusk

Venus and Jupiter will pass really close to each other, appearing within the same telescope field. Both will be 32 arc seconds in diameter, but Jupiter is much further away from both the Earth and the sun, so will be much fainter than Venus.

Uranus and the Moon

Wednesday/Thursday, July 8/9, dawn

The Moon will be close to Uranus just before sunrise. In the lands surrounding the Indian Ocean, the Moon will actually occult Uranus.

Venus at greatest brilliancy

Thursday, July 9, dusk

Venus reaches its greatest brilliancy at magnitude –4.7.

Aldebaran and the Moon

Sunday, July 12, sunrise

The waning crescent moon will pass close to the bright red star Aldebaran low in morning twilight. The Moon will occult Aldebaran as seen from eastern Russia, northern Japan, Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland, and Iceland.

Venus and the Moon

Saturday, July 18, dusk

The Moon will be close to Venus just after sunset. Venus will appear in binoculars as a tiny crescent just north of the crescent moon. The moon will occult Venus as seen from New Guinea, northeastern Australia, Melanesia, and French Polynesia.

Ceres at opposition

Saturday, July 25, 4 a.m. EDT

Ceres, the largest asteroid or smallest dwarf planet, will be in opposition to the Sun. At magnitude 7.5, it will be located right on the border between Sagittarius and Microscopium, just south of Capricornus.


Planets


Mercury is well placed in the eastern sky at dawn for the first half of the month for observers in the Southern Hemisphere.


Venus shines high in the western sky after sunset, reaching its greatest brilliancy from the sun on July 9.


Mars is too close to the Sun to be visible.


Jupiter is low in the western evening sky all month, close to Venus on the 1st and 31st of the month.


Saturn is well placed in Libra in the evening sky.


Uranus rises near midnight in Pisces.


Neptune rises in the late evening in the constellation Aquarius.


Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
All graphics © 2015 Starry Night Software

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sky Events June 2015

Moon Phases

Tuesday, June 2, 12:19 p.m. EDT

Full Moon

The Full Moon of June is known as the “Mead Moon,” “Strawberry Moon,”  “Rose Moon,” or “Thunder 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.

Tuesday, June 9, 11:42 a.m. EDT

Last Quarter Moon

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

Tuesday, June 16, 10:05 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.

Wednesday, June 24, 5:03 a.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 12:30 p.m. and sets around 1:15 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.


Observing Highlights

Double shadow transit on Jupiter

Thursday, June 4, 12:58–2:13 a.m. EDT

The shadows of Io and Ganymede will simultaneously fall on the face of of Jupiter.

Venus at greatest elongation east

Saturday, June 6, evening twilight

Venus reaches its greatest eastward distance from the sun, its orbit shown in white here. It is closing in on Jupiter.

Pallas at opposition

Thursday, June 11, 9 p.m. EDT

Pallas, the second largest asteroid, will be in opposition to the Sun. At magnitude 9.4, it will be located just south of Lambda Hercules, below the “keystone” of Hercules.

Uranus and the Moon

Thursday/Friday, June 11/12

The Moon will be close to Uranus just before sunrise. In southern Australia and the South Pacific Ocean, the Moon will actually occult Uranus, as seen here from Melbourne, Australia.

Mercury and the Moon

Monday, June 15, sunrise

As seen here from Sri Lanka, the Moon will occult the planet Mercury. Other parts of the world will see the thin crescent of Mercury very close to the thin crescent of the moon just before sunrise.


Aldebaran and the Moon

Monday, June 15, sunrise

As seen here from eastern North America, the Moon will occult the bright red giant star Aldebaran.

Solstice

Sunday, June 21, 12:38 p.m. EDT

The sun reaches its most northern point, marking the middle of the astronomical summer season in the Northern Hemisphere, and winter in the Southern Hemisphere. The actual seasons tend to lag behind the astronomical seasons by about 6 weeks.

Mercury at greatest elongation west

Wednesday, June 24, dawn

Mercury will be at its farthest from the sun, and close to the red giant star Aldebaran.

Venus and Jupiter within 0.3 degrees

Tuesday, June 30, dusk

Venus and Jupiter will pass really close to each other, appearing within the same telescope field. Both will be 32 arc seconds in diameter, but Jupiter is much further away from both the Earth and the sun, so will be much fainter than Venus.


Planets


Mercury is well placed in the eastern sky at dawn. It is better placed for observers in the Southern Hemisphere.


Venus shines high in the western sky after sunset, reaching its greatest elongation from the sun on June 6.


Mars is too close to the Sun to be visible. It will be in conjunction with the sun on June 14.


Jupiter is low in the western evening sky all month, closing in on Venus.


Saturn is just past opposition and shining brightly in Libra all night.


Uranus is in the eastern morning sky in Pisces.


Neptune rises after midnight in the constellation Aquarius.



Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
All graphics © 2015 Starry Night Software