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Posts Tagged ‘The Moon’

03/08/2017 – Ephemeris – Bright planet Wednesday

March 8, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 8th.  The Sun will rise at 7:07.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 6:39.  The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 5:24 tomorrow morning.

Let’s check out the bright planets for this week.  Venus and Mars are in the evening sky. At 7:30 p.m. these planets will be seen in the western sky.  Venus is unmistakable as the brilliant evening star,  Mars will be left and above it and much dimmer.  Venus exhibits a dazzling crescent in small telescopes and binoculars now.  It looks like a tiny Cheshire Cat grin.  Telescopes, however can turn that grin into a frown.  It will set at 9:01 p.m. while Mars will set at 10:12.   Jupiter will rise in the east at 9:22 p.m.  It will also be seen in the morning in the southwest above the star Spica.  Saturn can be glimpsed this and tomorrow mornings in the south-southeast before 6:30 a.m.  It will rise tomorrow at 2:53 a.m. in the east-southeast.

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

Addendum

Early evening planets

Venus and Mars in the west at 7:30 p.m. March 8, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

The thin sliver of Venus as it might appear in a telescope tonight March 8, 2017. I processed the image to overexpose it as it would appear in a telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Moon

The gibbous Moon as it might look in binoculars. 7:30 p.m. March 8, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter in the evening

Jupiter rising in the east at 10:30 p.m. near the star Spica. Created using Stellarium.

Morning Planets

Jupiter in the southwest above the star Spica with Saturn the south-southeast at a.m. tomorrow morning, March 9, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and its moons

Jupiter and its moons at 6 a.m. (11:00 UT) March 9, 2017. Note that Io is transiting the planet at that time. See the list of events for it below. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Events related to the Io transit in the early morning of March 9, 2017

Io’s shadow starts to cross the face of Jupiter: 9 Mar 2017 8:54 UT or 3:54 a.m. EST
Io’s transit of Jupiter starts: 9 Mar 2017 9:35 UT or 4:54 a.m. EST
Io’s shadow leaves the face of Jupiter: 9 Mar 2017 11:05 UT or 6:05 a.m. EST
Io’s transit of Jupiter ends: 9 Mar 2017 11:44 UT or 6:44 a.m. EST

Above times are from Project Pluto:  https://www.projectpluto.com/jevent.htm.  Shadow crossings and transits are difficult to observe.  The beginnings and endings of transits are visible as the satellite disappears and reappears at the edge of the planet.

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and its brightest moons as they might appear in telescopes tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. March 9, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on March 8, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on March 9. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

05/18/2016 – Ephemeris – Three bright planets and the Moon grace the evening sky

May 18, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 18th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 9:08.   The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 5:19 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:09.

Let’s see what the bright naked eye planets are up to.  Jupiter is in the south in the early evening, moving to the southwest.  It will set at 3:28 a.m.  It’s below the stars of Leo this year.  Binoculars can make out some of Jupiter’s moons, but a telescope is required to see all four bright moons and Jupiter’s cloud features.  Mars will rise at 9:26 p.m. in the east-southeast.  It’s above and right of its look-a-like star Antares, whose name means Rival of Mars.  Mars is getting closer to the Earth now, only 48 million miles (77 million km) away.  It will be closest to the Earth on the 30th.  Saturn will rise at 10:11 p.m. in the east-southeast.  It’s to the left of Mars, and once it’s been up for an hour is a beautiful sight in any telescope.

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

Addendum

Moon, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn

The Moon, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn at 11 p.m. May 18, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 11 p.m., May 18, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Jupiter and its moons as they might be seen through a telescope at 11 p.m. May 18, 2016. It’s 38.7″ in equatorial diameter. The Great Red Spot will cross the planet’s central meridian at 11:38 p.m. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Telescopic Mars

Mars as it might be seen in a large telescope with high power at 11 p.m. May 18, 2016. Mars apparent diameter is 18.2″. The central meridian will be 248.08 degrees. Syrtis Major is the large feature in the north near the polar cap. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Telescopic Saturn

Saturn and its moons at 11 p.m. May 18, 2016. The apparent diameter of the planet will be 18.4″. The rings span 42.8″, a bit larger than the apparent diameter of Jupiter. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Sunset to sunrise on a single night

Planets at Sunrise and Sunset of a single night starting with sunset on the right on May 18, 2016. The night ends on the left with sunrise on May 19. If you are using Firefox right-click on the image and select View Image to enlarge the image. That goes for all the large images.

02/23/2016 – Ephemeris – The king of the planets is planning to conquer the evening sky. Tonight its enlisting help from the Moon.

February 23, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, February 23rd.  The Sun will rise at 7:31.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 6:21.   The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 7:32 this evening.

Rising with the Moon tonight will be the planet Jupiter which will appear to the left of the Moon as they rise, to the upper left of the  Moon at 10 p.m. and above the Moon at midnight.  NASA’s Juno spacecraft, launched in 2011, is planned to arrive at Jupiter on July 4th this year.  No, it’s not a coincidence.  It will orbit the planet for nearly two years.  It’s the only solar-powered spacecraft that can operate as far from the Sun as Jupiter, which is 5 times farther from the Sun as the Earth, which gets one 5th squared or one twenty-fifth the intensity of sunlight.  It has 3 huge solar panels making the spacecraft 66 feet wide.  It’s mission is about Jupiter, its internal structure, atmosphere and magnetic and radiation fields.

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

Addendum

Jupiter and the Moon

Jupiter and the Moon animation. Note their change in position relative to each other at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Chart) and GIMP.

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Closeup of Jupiter and the Moon

Closeup of Jupiter and the Moon at 10 p.m., February 23, 2016. The Moon is a whole lot brighter, and Jupiter dimmer than what’s shown here. Created using Stellarium.

Juno Spacecraft

The Juno spacecraft. Credit: NASA.

09/09/2015 – Ephemeris – Saturn is in the evening sky but the planet action is moving to the morning

September 9, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, September 9th.  The Sun will rise at 7:14.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 8:05.   The Moon, half way from last quarter to new, will rise at 4:42 tomorrow morning.

Lets look for the bright planets for this week.  Saturn is alone in the evening sky spotted low in the southwestern sky near the bright star Antares to its left.  It will set at 11:06 p.m.  The rest of the planet action has moved to the morning sky.  Venus, the morning star, will rise at 4:42 a.m. a bit north of east.  Tomorrow morning the thin crescent Moon will appear just to the left of it.  Much dimmer Mars will be to the left of the Moon, and will rise at 4:52 a.m. in the east-northeast.  Mars will rapidly fall behind Venus.  Jupiter is beginning to be visible in the morning sky and will rise at 6:16, almost an hour before the Sun.  Mercury, though in the evening sky sets too soon after the Sun to be visible.  Jupiter is too close to the Sun on thee morning side to be seen.

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

Addendum

Saturn in the evening

Saturn with the Zodiacal constellations of Libra, Scorpius and Sagittarius as the Teapot at 9:30 p.m. September 9, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Saturn

What Saturn and its moons might appear like in a telescope at 9:30 p.m., September 9, 2015. Small telescopes will show only the moon Titan. Created using Stellarium.

Venus, Moon, Mars

Looking east at Venus, the Moon and Mars at 6 a.m. September 10, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Sunrise-Sunset

This is a chart showing the sunrise and sunset skies for September 9, 2015 showing the location of the planets and the Moon at that time. Created using my LookingUp program. Click on the image to enlarge.

08/24/2015 – Ephemeris – The Bay of Rainbows

August 24, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, August 24th.  The Sun rises at 6:55.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 38 minutes, setting at 8:34.   The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 2:17 tomorrow morning.

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.

Addendum

Moon

The Moon at 10 p.m. August 24, 2015 showing the location of Sinus Iridium. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

Sinius Iridium

The moon at 10 p.m. August 24, 2015 with Sinus Iridium extending into the lunar night. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

This is for 2 hr UT August 25, 2015.

08/19/2015 – Ephemeris – Saturn’s in the evening, but say “Good morning” to Mars

August 19, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, August 19th.  The Sun rises at 6:49.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 8:42.   The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 10:59 this evening.

Lets take a look for the bright planets for this week.  Saturn is alone in the evening sky spotted low in the southwestern sky near the bright star Antares to its lower left.  It will set at 12:26 a.m.  Venus crossed over to the morning sky last Saturday, and Jupiter is too close to the Sun to spot and will follow Venus into the morning sky on the 26th.  Mars is now in the morning sky climbing away from the Sun.  It’s probably too far away from the Earth and faint to spot in the morning twilight.  It will rise tomorrow at 5:03.  Venus will move away from the Sun and will rapidly become visible before sunrise by the end of the month.  When Venus appears rather suddenly in the morning sky like this it prompts a few UFO reports.

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

Addendum

Saturn and the Moon

Saturn and the Moon with southern summer constellations at 10 p.m. on August 19, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon

The moon as it would be seen in binoculars at 10 p.m. on August 19, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Saturn

Saturn as seen in a telescope. In small telescopes only Titan of all the moons will be visible. Created using Stellarium.

Mars in the morning

Good morning Mars! It’s barely visible in twilight with the stars and constellations of Winter at 6 a.m. August 20, 2015. The constellation named have been omitted because Mars plotted on top of the Cancer label. Created using Stellarium.

The Planets at Sunriae and Sunset

This is a chart showing the sunrise and sunset skies for August 19, 2015 showing the location of the planets at that time. Created using my LookingUp program. Click on the image to enlarge.

05/20/2015 – Ephemeris – Evening bright planet lineup

May 20, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 20th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 59 minutes, setting at 9:09.   The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 11:35 this evening, and tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:08.

Lets take a look at the bright planets for this week.  Mercury is now too close to the Sun to really be spotted in the evening twilight.    It’s at a 13 degree angle from the sun and will set at 10:47.  Mercury is getting dimmer as its phase becomes a decreasingly thin crescent.  Our brilliant evening star Venus is in the west by 9:30 p.m. It will set at 12:47 a.m.  Jupiter will appear high in the west-southwestern sky before 10 p.m.  It will set at 2:14 a.m.  It’s near the sickle-shaped head of Leo the lion, and it’s the second brightest star-like object in the sky after Venus.  Saturn will rise in the east-southeast at 9:03 p.m.  It will be low in the southwest as morning twilight brightens. It’s rings and the moon Titan can be seen in small telescopes.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

The evening planets from west to east at 10:30 p.m. on May 20, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Planets relative apparent sizes

Telescopic views of the evening planets showing their relative sizes at 10:30 p.m. on May 20, 2015. Created using Cartes du Ceil (Sky Charts).

Note:  The unnamed satellite of Jupiter is Callisto, which ended its transit of Jupiter at 10:27 p.m.

Moon

Binocular-like view of the Moon at 10:30 p.m. on May 20,2015. Created using Cartes du Ceil (Sky Charts).

 

05/19/2015 – Ephemeris – The crescent Moon reappears in the west

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 19th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 9:08.   The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 10:42 this evening, and tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:09.

The Moon is again making its appearance in the evening sky as a thin crescent.  The crescent appearance is because the moon is mostly between the Earth and the Sun. , so we are looking at just a sliver of it is sunlit, and most is unlit by the sun.  But the Moon has the Earth in its sky, which is quite bright, and when the moon’s phase is thin, the Earth illuminates its night side with Earth light.  We call it Earthshine, when the whole Moon appears faintly inside the crescent.  It’s also known more poetically as the “Old moon in the new moon’s arms.”  The planets Venus and Mercury also exhibit crescent phases because they can be positioned between the Earth and the Sun, as Mercury is now and Venus will be next month.

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

Addendum

Planetary grouping

Close grouping of, from right to left, Venus, Jupiter, Venus and the overexposed crescent Moon showing Earthshine on June 15, 1991. Credit: Bob Moler.

04/27/2015 – Ephemeris – Two large craters on the Moon for binoculars or a small telescope

April 27, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, April 27th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 8:42.   The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 4:04 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:37.

After taking a look, last week, at some early results from the two spacecraft approaching dwarf planets now, Dawn at Ceres and New Horizons nearing Pluto, let’s get back to our sky and our Moon.  Time to get out that telescope or powerful binoculars.  The terminator which now is the sunrise line will be cutting through the middle of the crater Copernicus at 10 in the evening.  Copernicus, near the Moon’s equator hit a flat lunar sea, so it’s quite conspicuous.  Another crater near the Moon’s southern pole is conspicuous because it’s so big.  It’s Clavius, with an arc of diminishing sized craters within.  It will be completely in sunlight being uncovered slowly now by the terminator.

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

Addendum

Moon

The Moon at 10 p.m. April 27, 2015 EDT (2:00 UT, April 28). Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

04/22/2015 – Ephemeris – All the bright planets are back now

April 22, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22nd.  Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 8:36.   The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 12:55 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:45.

Lets take a look at the bright planets for this week.  Mars and Mercury are in conjunction, that is close to each other low in the west just after sunset.  Mars appears a bit lower and left of the brighter Mercury.  Mars will set tonight at 9:47 with Mercury 5 minutes later.  Our brilliant evening star Venus is high in the west by 9 p.m. It will set at 12:15 a.m.  Jupiter will appear high in the southwestern sky in the evening.  It will set at 3:58 a.m.  It’s near the sickle-shaped head of Leo the lion, and it’s the second brightest star-like object in the sky after Venus.  Saturn will rise in the east-southeast at 11:03 p.m.  It will be low in the south at 5 to 6 a.m.

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

Addendum

Evening Twilight Planets

View to the west with Mars, Mercury, Venus and the Moon at 9:15 p.m. April 22, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter finder

Jupiter, the Moon and the setting winter constellations at 10 p.m. April 22, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon

The visibility of the Moon at 10 p.m. on April 22, 2015. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and its moons at 10 p.m. Europa will be transiting the face of Jupiter. It’s shadow will start to cross the face of Jupiter at 11:04 p.m.. The transit will end at 11:27 p.m. and the shadow will leave the face of Jupiter at 1:58 a.m. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Saturn rising

Saturn rising. Shown at midnight, April 22-23 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn finder chart

Saturn and the summer constellations at 5:45 a.m. April 23, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn and moons

What Saturn and its moons might appear like in a telescope at 5:45 a.m., April 23, 2015. Small telescopes will show only the moon Titan. Created using Cartes du Ceil (Sky Charts).