The second Full Moon of July 2015 arrives on July 31 at 10:43 Universal Time. No doubt the headline writers of the interwebs will be all over this bit of non-news, but as most readers of Cosmic Pursuits understand, a Blue Moon is simply the second Full Moon of a calendar month. Or in another definition, which does not apply here, a Blue Moon is the third full Moon of a season in which there are four Full Moons. In either case, there’s no astronomical significance to the event, and the Moon will not have a blue tinge. Though any Full Moon in summer makes for a pleasant evening walk when you can smell the thick air and scent of summer flowers in this all-too-brief season [Read more…] about Once in a Blue MoonShare This:
The Moon is on the wane this week, a boon for stargazers who crave the darkest sky. But the Moon remains a pretty sight in the early-morning sky before sunrise, thinning down to a slender crescent by the July 12th as it passes through the sprawling Hyades star cluster in the eastern sky and close to the orange giant star Aldebaran. The Hyades is a V-shaped group of stars about three finger-widths wide. Look for the resplendent Pleiades star cluster above the Moon and Hyades. If you can see down to the horizon, you might even see Mercury before it disappears into the glare of the Sun for the month.Share This:
Venus and Jupiter continue to move together each night on the way to their closest encounter on June 30, 2015. This weekend the two planets are still 6º apart, but stargazers may get their best photo opportunity during this conjunction as the two planets are joined by a slender crescent Moon in the western sky after sunset on June 19-20. Venus and Jupiter form a straight line with the bright white star Regulus in the constellation Leo to the east, while Castor and Pollux in Gemini linger to the west. In a telescope, brilliant Venus now appears as a thick crescent while Jupiter, which appears smaller and fainter, still shows its cloud bands and four bright moons.
And on June 21, 2015 at 16:39 UT, the Sun appears to stand still at its most northerly point in the sky. This marks the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of northern summer. At the same time, winter begins in the southern hemisphere as the days begin to grow longer and the world slowly moves from darkness to light.
(Image at top captured from SkySafari 4 Plus)Share This:
Located in the Diablo mountain range east of San Jose, California, Lick Observatory is the world’s first permanently occupied mountain-top observatory. It was founded in 1888 and has been part of the University of California ever since. This image by reader Marilyn Perry shows the Full Moon rising over the observatory in May 2015.
The location of Lick on Mt. Hamilton provides calm air and excellent viewing despite ambient light and pollution. The peak is normally above the level of the low cloud cover often seen in San Jose. The peak provides a stunning view to the west of the Valley of Heart’s Delight, now better known as Silicon Valley. To the east, the Sierra’s can be seen on a very clear day [Read more…] about Full Moon Over Lick ObservatoryShare This: