The waning of the first day of 2017 sees the slender crescent Moon, rounded out by Earthshine, and the brilliant planet Venus in the western sky after sunset. Venus puts on quite a show this month as it reaches greatest eastern elongation on January 12 and lies some 47° east of the Sun. The planet then grows in brightness to magnitude -4.7 by month’s end. That’s as bright as the planet ever gets, bright enough to cast shadows on a dark night.Share This:
Today the Sun reaches the June solstice, its most northerly point on the celestial sphere. This marks the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere and the first day of winter in the southern hemisphere. And for the first time in 68 years, the June solstice occurs on the same day as the June full Moon, often called the Strawberry Moon [Read more…] about Strawberry Moon and Summer Solstice MeetShare This:
The waxing gibbous Moon will pass in front of the bright star Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus, during the evening of January 19-20, 2016. The event will be visible for all of Canada and the continental U.S. as well as northwestern Europe (see map above). During this occultation, Aldebaran will dramatically disappear behind the darkened edge of the Moon. Then it will suddenly reappear nearly an hour later from behind the lit edge. Exact timing is highly dependent on location, but the event begins between 2h and 3h Universal Time on Jan. 20. You can look up the more precise timing for your location at the Lunar-Occultations.com website. The event is easily visible without optical aid, but a pair of binoculars or a small telescope give you a better view [Read more…] about The Moon Occults Aldebaran on January 19-20Share This:
A quick DSLR image of the Moon about to pass in front of Venus. This snapshot taken on a warm December afternoon from Chevy Chase, MD. Venus was easily visible in the daytime sky. As the Moon moves eastward by about 1/2 degree per hour, Venus will re-emerge about a hour later. You can indeed enjoy astronomy by daylight!
Here’s a crude video of the beginning of the occultation:
An image of the Earth-Moon system from the Japanese Hayabusa 2 probe taken on Nov. 26, 2015. The craft, which is on the way to rendezvous with asteroid Ryugu, passed by Earth on December 3, 2015 on its outbound flight. It will probe the asteroid in late 2018, then return a sample of the asteroid to Earth in 2020.Share This: