Archive for May 16, 2016

05/16/2016 – Ephemeris – The Sun rises on the Bay of Rainbows

May 16, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, May 16th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 53 minutes, setting at 9:06.   The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 4:23 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:11.

One of my favorite lunar formations is creeping into sunlight on the Moon this evening.  Look to the upper left edge of the moon tonight.  The large sea or dark area of the Moon, the Man in the Moon’s right eye as he’s looking at us is Mare Imbrium, the Sea of Showers.  At the top left edge of that sea is a large notch.  And keeping with of seas these of the first telescopic astronomers its name is Sinus Iridium, or Bay of Rainbows, a colorful name for something as colorless as the rest of the Moon.  The terminator which is the sunrise line will be cutting across that bay, illuminating the semicircular mountain ring that surrounds it before all of the floor is illuminated.  It can be seen in binoculars or a small telescope.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


Sinus Iridium

Image showing the Moon tonight at 10 p.m., May 16, 2016 (2 hr, May 17, 2016 UT) with Sinus Iridium (Bay of Rainbows) just coming into sunlight. Created using the Virtual Moon Atlas.