If the nights are growing too chilly for you to go stargazing, then take heart. You can do a little daytime astronomy this week when the waning crescent Moon passes in front of the planet Venus on December 7, 2015. The occultation will occur in daylight skies and can easily be enjoyed with a pair of binoculars or a small telescope. The event is visible in all of North and Central America. In the rest of the world, the Moon will not pass in front of Venus, but it will lie very close to the planet and guide your eye so you can see Venus in broad daylight. [Read more…] about Daytime Occultation of Venus by the MoonShare This:
Venus blazes in the eastern sky well before dawn this month. The planet, which is now roughly half lit by the Sun, shines at a brilliant magnitude -4.4 just above its fellow planets Jupiter and Mars. All now lie below the underbelly of the constellation Leo, the Lion. On October 8, 2015, a faint crescent Moon led Venus into the daytime sky. With the Moon to guide the way, keen-eyed observers could see the planet well into the late morning and early afternoon. This image, taken hand-held with a borrowed and ancient DSLR and 18-55mm lens, shows Venus and the Moon just before noon local time on a slightly hazy day near Washington, DC. Venus is the little white dot at upper left.Share This:
NASA has released an astonishing cache of more than 11,000 images from all 12 manned Apollo missions from 1968-1972. These images, which are scanned versions of the original 35 mm and Hasselblad film are not corrected or enhanced, so their colors are reminiscent of old vacation photos from the 1960s. Their tint and subject matter call forth a strange pang of nostalgia, I must admit.
The project to scan these images was the idea of Kipp Teague, a volunteer with the NASA History Office in Washington, D.C. The project began in 2004 and concluded recently. You can access all of these newly-released Apollo images at Flickr at the link below. As you will see, they are conveniently organized by mission:
Here are a few to whet your appetite… [Read more…] about New Collection of Apollo Moon ImagesShare This:
Set your alarm to wake early on October 8, 2015 to see three bright planets, a bright star, and a waning crescent Moon stacked up along the ecliptic in the eastern sky before sunrise. Over the next few weeks, the planets will bob and weave among the stars of the constellation Leo. As the early mornings turn colder in the northern hemisphere and warmer in the south, the planets will slowly converge. First, Mars and Jupiter will approach within a degree of each other on October 17-18, then Venus will join the two on October 26-27. Find a view of the eastern sky and see the solar system in action before the sun rises. It’s a good way to start the day.Share This:
On the night and morning of September 27-28, 2015, skywatchers will enjoy a total lunar eclipse at Harvest Moon, the first full Moon of northern autumn. This eclipse will be particularly striking because it peaks just an hour after the Moon makes its closest monthly approach to Earth, so it will appear 13% larger than the last total lunar eclipse on April 4, 2015. This “supermoon” eclipse will be visible for all of North and South America, western Europe, and western Africa. From extreme western North America, the Moon will rise during the eclipse. From South Africa, the Moon will set during the eclipse. For observers in Australia and New Zealand, the eclipse will not be visible [Read more…] about Harvest Moon EclipseShare This: