Survey Responses:- -TANZANIA
Astronomy as a Tourist Attraction
The peaceful choice of our next “work only” President has given encouragement to all inquisitive people to persevere in face of any problems to understand nature deeply, and from its fundamentals, so that we can use the deep knowledge and understanding of the behaviour of nature to solve our problems in our local environment, conditions and circumstances. This is what science is about and astronomy helps to attract and excite young and old to understand the mysteries of our Universe and hence our world. We wish all Tanzanians the very best to achieve these goals under his guidance to boost the development of astronomy in Tanzania.
Among the space stories that are making headlines at the moment, the discovery of irregular variation in the light from a star, named KIC 8462852, has excited millions of people since some scientist think it is caused by a megastructure that could have been built around the star by a strange advanced form of life. Of course there are other possible explanations but that of alien life is not being ruled out. We await further observations and analysis.
Another event to look out for on November 13 at 9:20 am our time is the entry of a man made object falling onto Earth from orbital space into the oceans off the coast of Sri Lanka. We know that there are thousands of pieces of space rubbish that continue to orbit Earth after finishing their jobs as satellites, rockets etc. This particular object that is expected to fall just off the Sri Lankan coast is thought to be the third stage of a rocket. It is expected to burn up in the atmosphere due to friction with air molecules so any remaining material is not expected to be harmful to human life since it is expected to plunge into the ocean. Await the news that day to learn its fate.
A well-known explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs that was caused by the impact of a mountain sized meteor has been further confirmed after detailed observations of the impact site which created the Gulf of Mexico. The surface features under the ocean in the Gulf and the surrounding American and Mexican coasts have been shown to have been created from an impact of an extremely huge meteor from outer space. Its impact caused the Earth’s atmosphere to be covered with dust, blocking out the Sun and caused the disappearance of the dinosaurs. Only small animals survived that could shelter underground and which were able to conserve their heat and evolved into many life forms that we see today, 65 million years later.
In the evening night skies, Saturn is the only visible planet and it is shifting out of view by the end of the month, as the Earth moves away from it in its orbit around the Sun. So take time after sunset to view the planet, preferably through at telescope in the evening skies of November, about 20 degrees above the western horizon just sunset. Watch out on 12 and 13 November when a thin fresh crescent Moon comes close to Saturn below and above it on the two successive days. By the end of the month Saturn will have disappeared from the sky leaving our night skies “dry”, without any visible planets, until May next year.
All the planetary excitement is in the early morning sky at the moment, with the two brightest planets Venus and Jupiter competing for attention, with the pair close together with Mars in the middle, forming a straight line. This shows that the planets are all orbiting the Sun in one flat plane.
Venus and Jupiter will move apart in the sky as the days pass, with Venus getting gradually lower in the sky while Jupiter will rise higher and higher in the early morning night sky.
Venus is at it brightest now, and through a telescope it is seen as a half disk phase since the other half is in its night shadow. Venus will continue to be seen as a bright morning star near the east horizon until April next year after which it will disappear briefly behind the Sun and a few weeks later reappear as an evening star at sunset in June next year.
Mars is a red dot in the early morning sky at the moment seen between Venus and Jupiter. It will continue to brighten gradually as the months go by since it is nearing Earth in its orbit around the Sun. By April next year it will appear bright in the late night skies.
The Andromeda galaxy, the farthest galaxy (at 2 million light-years away) that we can see with our naked eyes is close to the Square of Pegasus nearer to the northern horizon, while our nearest galaxy, (at half a million light-years), the South Megallanic Cloud, lies at the opposite end of the sky in the south, between Achernar and the south point. In relatively dark skies, both galaxies appear as fuzzy patches about 4 degrees across (4 fingers held at an arm’s length).
The bright stars this month that are worth knowing by name are: Fomalhaut, Altaír, Deneb in Cygnus (the northern bird), Vega, Achenar and lastly Aldebaran, which is in constellation Taurus just rising in the east. These are all first magnitude stars. Algol in Perseus is a special star because it varies continuously in brightness approximately every three days.
The Milky Way band across the sky winds its way from south west to north east, straddling the western horizon so it does not cross the sky. Hence this month most of the sky will appear to have rather few stars because it is well away from the bright band.
The International Space Station (ISS) has completed 15 years since its launch on November 2, 2000. Over the 15 years it has been slowly assembled into the football ground sized structure that it is today with parts contributed by many space faring nations. It continues to orbit Earth every 90 minutes at a height of 400 kilometers and can be seen as a bright star when it is above your sky at night due to sunlight reflected from its surface.
This month the ISS can be seen crossing right across the middle of the sky on 26 November, rising from the southwest horizon around 7 pm (7:05 pm for Dar es Salaam) and crosses the overhead skies and will disappear in the northeast horizon 10 minutes later (9:11 pm for Dar es Salaam). It can also be seen on November 25 and 28 though lower in the sky, and on 25th it will disappear suddenly in the middle of the sky when it enters the Earth’s shadow. It will also be seen over Tanzanian skies on December 2, 4 and 5. For exact times for your location, visit www.heavens-above.com for exact timings and directions and also for timings and positions of many more satellites.
Baada ya kupatwa kwa Jua hivi karibuni tarehe 13 Septemba,tukio ambalo sisi hapa Taznania hatukubahatika kushuhudia, Mwezi sasa unasogea siku hadi siku na utakamilisha nusu mzunguko siku ya Jumatatu alfajiri ya Septemba 28 na kuwa mstari mmoja tena na Dunia na Jua katika umbo la Mwezi Mpevu.
Siku hiyo ya Jumatatu alfajir, Dunia itakuwa kati ya Mwezi na Jua hivyo kivuli kikubwa cha Dunia kitapiga Mwezini na kusababisha Mwezi kupatwa kamilifu. Kivuli cha Dunia ni kikubwa sana kuliko Mwezi kwa hiyo tukio la kupatwa Mwezi huonekana kwa muda mrefu zaidi ya saa moja. Pia tukio hili huonwa na watu wote Duniani ambao wako upande wa usiku wakati tukio linaendelea angani.
Kuanzia saa 10:07 alfajiri siku ya Jumatatu tarehe 28 Septemba, kivuli kizito cha Dunia kitaanza kupanda juu ya uso wa Mwezi Mpevu na kusogea pole pole kujaza hadi kufunika sura nzima ya Mwezi, saa 11:11. Huu ndiyo mwanzo wa kupatwa kikamilifu kwa Mwezi na utaendelea kuwa hivyo hadi Mwezi utakapo zama chini ya upeo wa magharibi saa 12:20.
Mwezi utakapoanza kupatwa saa 10:07 utakuwa juu kiasi cha kutosha, cha nyuzi 30 juu ya upeo wa magharibi, kwa hiyo utaonekana vizuri katika giza la alfajiri kabla ya Jua kuchomoza. Kutakuwa na masaa mawili hivi ya kufaidi mandhari ya ajabu angani wakati Mwezi utageuka rangi na kuwa mwekundu baada ya kufunikwa kikamilifu na kivuli cha Dunia.
Rangi hiyo nyekundu hutokana na mwanga wa Jua unaopenya katika hewa ya anga la Dunia. Mwanga huo unakuwa mwekundu kwa vile mwanga wa bluu hupindwa mno na kubaki Duniani. Kwa vile mwanaga mwekundu hutokea baada ya kupita katika hewa ya anga letu, rangi inaweza ikafifia kama hewa yetu imechafuliwa na moshi, vumbi au uchafu mwingine wa hewani. Kwa hiyo angalia kama rangi ya Mwezi siku ya Jumatatu alfajiri inakuwa na wekudu au la. Isipokuwa nyekundu, basi inaashiria uchafuzi wa mazingira ya anga letu la Dunia.
Zaidi ya hiyo siku ilie ya kupatwa, Mwezi pia utakuwa jirani zaidi na Dunia katika mzunguko wake na hivyo utaonekana mkubwa kuliko kawaida. Usikose kuangalia tukio la maajabu haya ya angani.
The partial solar eclipse of 13 September which was visible in South Africa but not Tanzania is now followed two weeks later with a total lunar eclipse that will be visible to us before dawn on Monday September 28.
Eclipses are caused by shadows cast when the Sun is lies on an exact straight line with Earth and Moon. During a solar eclipse the Moon is in between so we see its shadow as having eclipsed the Sun. The night side of the Moon is facing us so only during New Moon can we get a solar eclipse.
During this September 13 solar eclipse, the Moon covered only about 42 percent of the Sun when it was viewed at the southernmost tip of Africa during this September 13 eclipse.
During a total solar eclipse the Moon is able to cover the full disc of the Sun because the size of Moon and Sun are almost exactly the same. It is just a coincidence of nature that the angular size of Sun and Moon are exactly the same (1/2 degree) because the Moon is moving ever so slightly away from us every day by about 4 cm per year so at this particular time in the life of our Earth the Moon has exactly the same size as Sun and hence can cover the Sun completely and cause a total solar eclipse.
Having just caused a solar eclipse on 13th September, since the orbits of the solar system lie on a flat plane, the Moon is still is in alignment with Earth and Sun to form an exact straight line which results in a lunar eclipse. Hence lunar eclipses occur two weeks after a solar eclipse during Full Moon with the Earth between the Sun and the Moon, causing the Earth’s shadow to fall directly on to the Moon. The Earth’s large size casts a large shadow three times larger than the size of the moon. Hence lunar eclipses last longer and are seen by everyone who are on the night side when a lunar eclipse occurs.
During this Monday September 28 dawn lunar eclipse, we will be able to see the beginning of the eclipse at 04:07 AM when the Moon will be 30 degrees above the western horizon with the Earth’s shadow edging on to the Moon from its upper right edge. A black shadow will gradually slide over the face of the Moon which will be covered up by 05:11 AM by which time the Moon will be lower in the west, 15 degrees above the horizon.
At 05:47 AM the Moon will be deepest within the Earth’s shadow the Moon darkens to its maximum amount. However by that time the Moon will be very low, only 6 degrees above the west horizon so we may get lucky if there are no horizon clouds. We cannot see any further eclipse beyond that because the Moon will have set below the west horizon and the Sun will have risen to bring in the Monday morning at 6:20 AM. Observers in the west of Tanzania in Kigoma and Bukoba will see a little more of the full eclipse than those in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. The whole period of the eclipse, including the invisible penumbral parts, lasts from 03:11 AM to 08:23 AM.
Once the Moon is fully covered after 05:11 AM, the colour of the Moon becomes bright red or brown and is called Blood Moon. The colour arises from the light that is bent or refracted when it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere and blue light is deviated away while only red light remains. This red light that has passed through the Earth’s atmosphere bends into the Earth’s shadow that falls on the Moon, giving it a red colour called the Blood Moon.
The colour of the Moon during a total phase of the eclipse is a good indicator of the pollution in our atmosphere. A clean atmosphere produces brilliant brown or deep orange colours while a polluted atmosphere produces a grey colour. Watch out the colour of the Moon during this eclipse. The Djon scale allows you to give a value to the type of colour of the Moon during the total phase of the lunar eclipse. Zero is assigned to a grey almost invisible Moon while 4 is assigned when the Moon is vivid deep orange or red. Estimate the Djon value when you watch this eclipse and we can collect it for submission to a database.
This Monday’s total lunar eclipse is even more significant because the Moon will appear much lager than normal since it is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth. Such a Moon is called a supermoon so this lunar eclipse is a Super Blood Moon lunar eclipse. The next such occurance will not be until 2044 so do not miss this one on Monday before sunrise.
Our majestic Moon determines the fate of three major events this month, a Partial Solar Eclipse, Idd ul Adha/Hajj, and a Total Lunar Eclipse.
The first event, a partial solar eclipse occurs over the Antarctic on September 13. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon aligns exactly between the Earth and the Sun hence cutting off all or part of the sunlight. Though this eclipse will not be visible from Tanzania, solar eclipses generate great interest among scientist for their ability to provide a natural laboratory to measure effects when a considerable portion of the Sun’s energy is suddenly cut off. The author will be joining an enthusiastic eclipse team led by Professor Jay Pasachoff, a renowned solar eclipse scientist, to observe the maximum eclipse from the southernmost tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas 250 kilometers southeast of Cape Town. This will be Prof Pasachoff’s 62nd solar eclipse expedition, which the author hopes to use to gain useful experiences to conduct similar eclipse measurements during our own major annular solar eclipse next year, on 1st September, 2016, that will be centered over southern Tanzania
Solar eclipses occur when the Moon is in alignment with Earth and Sun. This marks the exact moment of New Moon during which the night side of the Moon is facing us, hence we cannot seen the New Moon. Islamic months follow the lunar cycle following observations of the First Crescent, which can only be seen when the Moon has moved sufficiently away from its alignment with Earth and Sun. This allows a small portion of the sunlit portion of the Moon to become visible to observers on Earth. Such a condition usually requires the Moon to be al least 10 degrees away from the Sun-Earth line, hence the First Crescent this month cannot be seen on 13th. By the following day, 14th, a thin (1.5%) crescent will be 13 degrees above the horizon and can be visible if the sky is clear in the west. This year’s First Crescent will mark the beginning of the month of Dhul Hajj, ten days after which is marked the Idd ul Hajj after the completion of the pilgrimage to Macca of millions of Muslims from around the world. Since the Antarctic solar eclipse occurs on 13th September, the First Crescent will be expected to be visible the next day, 14 September and counting 10 days after that, the Idd ul Hajj can be expected to be celebrated on 24 September, 2015.
The third event determined by the Moon is the September 28 Total Lunar Eclipse during Full Moon. Having just caused a solar eclipse on 13th September, the magnificent Moon will still be in similar Earth-Sun alignment and will result in a lunar eclipse. Lunar eclipses generally follow 15 days after the a solar eclipse because during this time the Moon shifts moves in its orbit to be in a Full Moon position when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, causing the Earth’s shadow to fall directly on to the Moon. This causes the lunar eclipse. This month’s Total Lunar Eclipse will be visible in Tanzania and will be seen in the west, just before dawn/sunrise of Monday 28 September when the Moon is setting below the western horizon. The partial phase will begin at 04:07 AM when the Moon will be 30 degrees above the western horizon with the Earth’s shadow starting from the upper edge of the Moon. A black shadow will gradually slide over the face of the Moon which will be covered up by 05:11 AM by which time the Moon will be lower in the west, 15 degrees above the horizon.
Once the Moon is fully covered its colour changes to brown or orange due to refracted light from the Earth’s atmosphere. The colour in fact can show us how much pollution is there in our Earth’s atmosphere, with a clean atmosphere producing brilliant brown or orange colours while a polluted atmosphere produces a greying colour. Watch out the colour of the Moon during this eclipse. If the horizon sky is not cloudy, we can expect to see the maximum darkness at 05:47 AM when the Moon will be very low, only 6 degrees above the west horizon. We will not be able to see the remaining progress of the eclipse because the Moon will have set below the horizon and the Sun will have risen by 6:20 AM. Observers in the west of Tanzania in Kigoma and Bukoba will see a little more of the full eclipse than those in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. The whole period of the eclipse including the invisible penumbral parts occur between 03:11 AM and 08:23 AM.
The next total lunar eclipse will not occur over Tanzania for another three years until 27 July 2018 so better make the most of this opportunity to wake up very early on to behold the golden Moon. Check out more descriptions of eclipses on on http://www.astronomyintanzania.or.tz
We are once again upon the equinox with 23rd September as the day of Equinox. The length of day and night will be exactly equal (12 hours) throughout the world. The Sun will be exactly overhead at midday for places on the equator.
For us in Tanzania who are between 2 and 11 degrees south of the equator the Sun is overhead twice each year, the first before the March equinox, between February 23 and March 18 and the second between September 26 and October 22 after the September equinox. It is interesting to look out for the exactly overhead sun during this period because shadows of all vertical objects disappear below the object and you cannot see them. If you stand in the midday Sun on these two days you will not be able to see your own shadow. Go out and find out which day during the September 26 and October 22 period and find out on which day your shadow disappears at midday. Learn more about the zero shadow day from http://planetcalc.com/1875/ and http://www.iiap.res.in/iya09/VPwkshop/talks/RugvedPund.pdf
Among the planets we shall see a good array of them in the evening and pre-dawn skies. Saturn continues to occupy a high position, close to the tentacles of Scorpio, 60 degrees above the western horizon at sunset and visible until 10 pm lower in the west. A beautifully crescent Moon will be close to Saturn on 18 and 19 September with the crescent cradling the Saturn on the first day and then moving past the planet on the other side on the second. By 20th the Moon will be half shape which is ideal for viewing its craters through a telescope along its day/night line where long shadows vividly highlight the depth of the craters.
Mercury is still high at 20 degrees above the west horizon at sunset and is fast moving down and will be lost in the Sun’s glare by 25th. On 15th September Mercury will be in a right angled triangle with a beautifully thin crescent Moon to its right and above them will be Spica the bright star of Virgo. Through a telescope, Mercury has a crescent shape now.
All the other visible planets are on the dawn/sunrise side towards the East. Venus shines brightly, dominating the morning sky 30 degrees above the east horizon at sunrise. Jupiter will become visible and shine brightly with Venus from 9th September onwards. On 10 September a thin crescent Moon will be close to Venus, while on 11th the crescent will be between Venus and Jupiter while on 12 September the crescent Moon will be close to Jupiter.
Jupiter is shifting up in the sky and by 25th of next month Venus and Jupiter join up in the eastern sky at 40 degrees elevation to be extremely close within one degree.
The Milky Way stretches as a band of numerous stars across the middle of the evening sky, passing through the Southern Cross in the southwest, through Sagittarius overhead, to Cygnus in the northeast. The portion of the Milky Way close to Sagittarius appears as a cloud that is not a real cloud but nebulae of dense interstellar matter that is hiding from our view a powerhouse that is a supermassive blackhole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
The Scorpio constellation can be clearly identified by its namesake the scorpion and can be seen high in the western sky. The eastern sky has two “birds”; one to the northeast, where you will see the Cygnus with its body and wings making a wide cross, while in the southeast you will see the smaller bird Grus with its head twisted sideways and its brightest star Alnair (J).
Try to become familiar with the brightest stars by their names and relative locations. Eight of the top twenty brightest stars in the sky are visible in our evening skies. The stars marked A to H are listed here with their names and its rank in brightness. A – Formalhaut (18th), B – Altair (12th), C – Deneb (19th), D – Vega (5th), E – Antares (16th), F – Alpha Centauri (4th), G – Arcturus (3th), H – Spica (15th). The other less brighter stars are: Alnair (J), Peacock (K), Kaus (L), Girtab (M), Shaula (N), Atria (P), and Hadar or Beta Centauri (R). The asterism marked S on the map is the Square of Pegasus, which is quite noticeable and can guide you to Andromeda Galaxy marked T on the map and rising in the north east at 8 pm. This galaxy is 2 million light years away and can be seen as an oval cloudy patch in dark skies, making it the most distant object that can be seen by our eyes directly without a telescope. Star with brightest stars A to H and use those to find your way around the sky.
There will be an opportunity to see the International Space Station over three days from 26 to 28 September but the best view will be on 28th when it will cut across the sky from 6:31 PM to 6:40 PM moving from southwest to northeast horizons. The Sun will have just set at 6:18 PM so the sky will be still bright but the ISS is bright enough to be seen in the twilight.
The following is a summary of interesting astronomical events during this year 2015 that can be observed by the public without the need of a telescope.
The events are described for positions in the sky and the times for viewers in Tanzania, or East Africa. You may read about some of these events in international media but some of these are not seen from Tanzania and the timings can be different.
The events are chronologically arranged by dates that they occur.
Ø Solar eclipses occur when our view of the Sun is blocked by the Moon during the daytime causing a small shadow of Moon to fall on Earth. The Moon is in between the Earth and the Sun.
Ø Lunar eclipses occur when the large shadow of Earth falls on the Moon. The Earth is in between the Sun and the Moon.
Ø Total eclipses occur when the shadow is dark, called umbra.
Ø Partial eclipses occur when the shadow is not completely dark (called penumbra) since some light falls in the shadow area.
Ø Exciting Note: Next year 2016, an annular solar eclipse passes through a 100 kilometer path across southern Tanzania on Sept 1, 2016. The whole of Tanzania will experience nearly 90 percent of the Sun being covered.
· Total Solar Eclipse, 20 Mar, North Pole, None visible in Tanzania
· Total Lunar Eclipse, 04 Apr, Pacific Ocean, None visible in Tanzania
· Partial Solar Eclipse, 13 Sep, South Pole, None visible in Tanzania
· Total Lunar Eclipse, 28 Sep, Atlantic Ocean, Partial eclipse visible in Tanzania
Ø Meteors are light streaks in the night sky that look like a shooting star. The light is emitted by burning in the atmosphere of tiny dust grains from coming from space. Sometimes larger particles can strike the atmosphere and the light glows much more brightly or even explodes known as bolides.
Ø Meteor showers are formed when high concentrations of dust from past comets trails and asteroids strike Earth at the same time causing many meteors in a short period.
· Quadrantid, Weak, North, Jan 3-4, Big Dipper, Moon too bright
· Lyrids, Weak, North, Apr 22-23, Cygnus, Vega(Alpha Lyrae) Moon too bright
· Eta Aquarids, Strong-60 met/hr, Equator, May 5-6, Aquarius, no Moon so meteors can be detected
· Delta Aquarids, Weak, near Equator, Jul 28-29, Fomalhaut-pegasus square, Moon too bright
· Perseids, Strong- 60 met/hr, North, Aug 12-13, Perseus, No Moon so meteors can be detected
· Draconids, Weak North Oct 8-9, Little Dipper, Moon too bright
· Orinids, Weak, Equator, Oct 21-22, Orion, Moon sets early so meteors can be detected, (additional - Venus-Jupiter-Mars in morning sky)
· Taurids, Weak, Equator, Nov 5-6, Taurus, Quarter Moon too bright in morning sky
· Leonids, Ok, Equator, Nov 17-18, Leo, Quarter Moon sets early so meteors can be detected
· Geminids, VeryStrong-120 met/hr, Equator, Dec 13-14, Gemini, Crescent Moon sets early so meteors can be detected
· Ursida, Weak, North, Dec 22-23, Little Dipper, Moon too bright
Ø Planet opposition occurs when the full face of the planet is lit by sunlight with the planet on one side (east side) of Earth while the Sun is on the opposite side (west). So a brightly shining planet rises from the east at sunset.
Ø Close approach of planets in the night sky occurs when their lines of sight as viewed from Earth are separated by very small angles. Hence though they appear to be close to each other in the night sky, it does not mean that they are actually close to each other in space. All planets are separated by millions of kilometers of space in their orbits around the Sun.
· VENUS and MERCURY close, Jan 10, they will be seen close together 20 degrees above the west horizon just after sunset. Start watching from now up to mid-January as Mercury approaches Venus from below and comes closest on Jan 10 within one degree and then moves down again away from Venus. Mercury is a faint point and can be a challenge to detect, while Venus will be bright. Venus will continue to rise in the sky in the following months rising to 40 degrees in June and then quickly coming down to the horizon by August.
· JUPITER at opposition, Feb 7, brilliantly bright Jupiter will be seen rising in the east just as the sun sets in the west. It will remain in the evening night sky for the next six months moving gradually westwards.
· VENUS and MARS close, Feb 21, they will be seen close together 20 degrees above the west horizon just after sunset. Start watching from mid-February up to the end of February as first Venus approaches Mars from below and comes closest on Feb 21 within half a degree and then moves up away from Mars. Mars is a tiny red point while Venus will be very bright yellow.
· Uranus and VENUS close, Mar 4, though Uranus cannot be seen easily since it is very faint, it can be seen with naked eyes only in darkest skies since it is just at the limit of naked eye visibility. However this is an excellent opportunity for telescope observation of the planet (even through small telescopes) since it can be located within a tenth of a degree from Venus on Mar 4 so it can be easy to catch even in a small telescope. The pair will be 30 degrees above the horizon at sunset with Uranus approaching Venus from above coming closest to Venus within a tenth of a degree on Mar 4 and passing below on following days.
· Uranus and MARS close, Mar 11, presents another opportunity to locate the faint Uranus through even a small telescope when it comes closest to Mars to within half a degree. Mars is a faint red star and can be identified among the other stars.
· SATURN at opposition, May 24, sharply shining Saturn will be seen rising in the east just as the sun sets in the west. It will remain in the evening night sky for the next six months moving gradually westwards.
· JUPITER and VENUS close, Jun 30, two brilliant planets will shine as bright stars in the evening sky close together 40 degrees above the in the west soon after sunset. Start watching from mid-June to mid-July as Jupiter approaches Venus from above and comes closest on June 30 within half a degree and then moves down away from Venus. This will be an extremely noticeable event since many people will see two extremely bright objects close in the sky for more than a month.
· JUPITER and MERCURY close, Aug 7, seen 15 degrees above the western horizon at sunset, with Venus 10 degrees to the left below the Jupiter-Mercury pair.
· JUPITER and MARS close, Oct 18 they will be seen close together 30 degrees above the east horizon just before sunrise. Start watching from beginning of October to mid-October Jupiter first approaches Mars from below and comes closest on Oct 18 within quarter of a degree and then moves up away from Mars. Mars is a tiny red point while Jupiter will be very bright white.
· JUPITER and VENUS close, Oct 26, two extremely brilliant stars, Venus and Jupiter will be seen close together 40 degrees above the east horizon just before sunrise. Before sunrise they will be seen closer to the east horizon. Start watching from mid-October up to the end of October as first Jupiter approaches Venus from below and comes closest on Oct 26 within half a degree and then moves up away from Venus. This will be an extremely noticeable event especially for early rises since they will be seeing two extremely bright objects in the sky for almost the whole of October.
· VENUS and MARS close, Nov 3, they will be seen close together 45 degrees above the east horizon just before sunrise. They will come closest to within half a degree as Mars approaches Venus from below and then moves up away from Venus.
· VENUS and SATURN close, Jan 9 2016. They will be seen 35 degrees above the western horizon at sunset and will come closest to each other within a tenth of a degree.
Ø Full Moon occurs when Moon is on one side (east) of Earth while Sun is on the opposite (west) side. Hence sunlight is striking the Moon full face and the full bright circle of Moon is seen in the east from sunset onwards.
Ø New Moon occurs when Moon is viewed with Sun directly behind it hence dark (night) side of Moon is facing us and dark face is in the west horizon at sunset.
Ø Crescent Moon occurs immediately after New Moon once some sunlight is able to strike the Moon but we see only a thin part of the lower side of the Moon. Crescent Moon are seen low in the west horizon at sunset or low in the east horizon at sunrise.
Ø Half Moon occurs when we see the Moon as a half circle and is . It is actually called First Quarter or Last Quarter since it occurs during first or last quarter of the Moon’s cycle around Earth.
Ø Gibbous Moon is shaped like an oval and occurs between half Moon and Full Moon.
· Full Moon, Jan 5
· New Moon, Jan 20
· Crescent Moon close to MERCURY Jan 21, will be seen 12 degrees above the western horizon at sunset with Moon 2 degrees below Mercury.
· Crescent Moon close to VENUS and MARS Jan 22, will be seen 25 degrees above the western horizon at sunset with Moon in between Mars above and Venus below 10 degrees apart.
· Crescent Moon close to MARS Jan 23, will be seen 40 degrees above the western horizon at sunset with Moon 2 degrees above Mars.
· Full Moon, Feb 4
· Full Moon close to JUPITER Feb 4, will be seen rising in the east horizon soon after sunset and will be visible throughout the night, slowly shifting westwards through the night
· New Moon, Feb 19
· Crescent Moon close to VENUS-MARS pair, Feb 20, will be seen 20 degrees above the western horizon at sunset with the planet pair 5 degrees above crescent Venus. The trio will slowly drop lower through the night and set after about an hour.
· Almost full Moon close to JUPITER, Mar 3, will be seen rising above the east horizon at sunset and the pair will be seen slowly shifting westwards through the night.
· Full Moon, Mar 5
· New Moon, Mar 20
· Crescent Moon between Venus and Mars, Mar 22, seen at 25 degrees above the western horizon at sunset, with Venus 5 degrees above and Mars 10 degrees below the crescent Moon. The trio will slowly drop lower through the night and set after a couple of hours.
· Half Moon close to JUPITER, Mar 30, will be seen near the zenith from sunset, shifting westwards through the night.
· Full Moon, Apr 4
· New Moon, Apr 18
· Crescent Moon close to VENUS, Apr 21, will be seen 35 degrees above the western horizon at sunset with Venus 10 degrees to the right of crescent Moon. The pair will slowly drop lower through the night and set after a few hours.
· Half Moon close to JUPITER, Apr 26, will be seen near zenith 5 degrees apart with the pair shifting westwards through the night and set below the western horizon soon after midnight.
· Full Moon, May 4
· New Moon, May 18
· Crescent Moon close to VENUS, May 21, seen 40 degrees above the western horizon at sunset. The pair will slowly drop lower through the night and set after a few hours.
· Half Moon close to JUPITER, May 23, 24 seen close to zenith overhead about 10 degrees apart. They will shift slowly westwards and set before midnight.
· Full Moon close to SATURN, Jun 1, with the pair rising above the eastern horizon at sunset. They are 2 degrees apart and shift westwards throughout the night.
· Full Moon, Jun 2
· New Moon, Jun 16
· Crescent Moon between JUPITER-VENUS pair, Jun 20, seen 45 degrees above western horizon at sunset, with Moon 5 degrees apart from the planet pair. The trio will slowly drop lower through the night and set after a few hours.
· Almost full Moon and SATURN close, Jun 28, seen half way up the eastern sky at sunset with the pair 5 degrees apart and shifting slowly westwards through the night.
· Crescent Moon close to VENUS-JUPITER pair, Jul 18, seen 30 degrees above the western horizon at sunset forming a triangle 5 degrees apart. The trio drops slowly, and sets below the horizon after a couple of hours.
· Gibbous (oval) Moon close to SATURN, July 26, near zenith 65 degrees above eastern horizon at sunset. The pair shifts slowly westwards and sets after midnight.
· Full Moon, Jul 31
· New Moon, Aug 14
· Half Moon and SATURN close, Aug 22, seen close to zenith overhead two degrees apart. The pair shifts slowly westwards through the night setting close to midnight.
· Full Moon, Aug 29
· New Moon, Sep 13
· Half Moon and SATURN close, Sep 19, seen close to zenith overhead two degrees apart. The pair shifts slowly westwards through the night setting close to midnight.
· Full Moon, Sep 28
· New Moon, Oct 13
· Crescent Moon and SATURN close, Oct 16, seen 40 degrees above western horizon at sunset 2 degrees apart. The pair sets slowly below the western horizon after a few hours.
· Full Moon, Oct 27
· New Moon, Nov 11
· Crescent Moon and SATURN close, Nov 13, seen 20 degrees above western horizon at sunset with crescent 5 degrees above Saturn. The pair sets after an hour.
· Full Moon, Nov 26
· New Moon, Dec 11
· Full Moon, Dec 25
· New Moon, Jan 10 2016
CLICK ON MAP TO ENLARGE
ntjiwaji at yahoo dot com
READ ASTRONOMY AND IYA2009
BY MR BENIEL SEKA
Images of the day in Dar es Salaam
(Last Update - 11.11.15)
(Update - 13.10.15)
(Update - 06.10.15)
(Update - 28.09.15)
(Update - 23.09.15)
(Update - 06.09.15)
(Update - 10.08.15)
(Update - 09.07.15)
(Update - 11.06.15)
(Update - 07.06.15)
(Last Update - 09.05.15)
(Update - 12.04.15)
(Update - 09.03.15)
(Update - 21.02.15)
(Update - 26.01.15)Huge Asteroid To
Fly Past Earth
(Update - 05.01.15)
(Update - 08.10.14)
(Update - 20.09.14)
(Update - 23.08.14)
Masters opportunities in Astrophysics - Join AstroContactGroup Yahoo group to get full details.
(Update - 27.07.14)
(Update - 15.07.14)
(Update - 15.06.14)
(Update - 15.05.14)
(Update - 14.03.14)
(Update - 06.02.14)
(Update - 17.01.14)
(Update - 07.12.13)
(Update - 21.11.13)
(Update - 31.10.13)
(Update - 26.10.13)
(Update - 14.10.13)
(Update - 04.10.13)
(Update - 03.08.13)
Earth Day April 22 2013
(update - 07.03.13)
(update - 07.03.13)
(update - 02.02.13)
Dr Noorali Jiwaji SPoC for Tanzania for IYA2009