2016 ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR TANZANIA

Astronomy events in Tanzania for 2016:

Eclipses, Meteors, Planets and Moon, Stars, Galaxies

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 categorized and are chronologically arranged in each category by dates that they occur.

A0. ECLIPSES

A1. METEORS

A.         MONTHLY EARLY EVENING OBJECTS IN THE SKY AROUND 8 PM

B.         SUN

C.         OBSERVING THE PLANETS

C(b). PLANETS CLOSE TO STARS AND OTHER PLANETS

D.         NEW MOON AND FULL MOONS

E.         MOON CLOSE TO PLANETS AND STARS

F.         ALL MOON PHASES

G.         DAILY ASTRONOMICAL EVENTS

H.         EVENT SUMMARIES - CHRONOLOGICAL

 

Eclipses:

Glossary:

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: This 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.


 A0. ECLIPSES


·         Solar Eclipses,

Mar       9          We       4:58      Total Solar Eclipse NOT VISIBLE IN TANZANIA

Sep      1          Th         12:08    Annular Solar Eclipse - PASSES DIRECTLY OVER SOUTH TANZANIA

                       

·         Lunar Eclipses,

Mar       23         We       14:48    Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – NOT VISIBLE IN TANZANIA                                     

Sep      16         Fr         21:56    Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – OCCURS ABOVE TANZANIA BUT NOT POSSIBLE TO SEE VERY LIGHT SHADOW.

           

 

 

Meteor Showers:

Glossary:

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.

 A1. METEORS

Jan       4          Mo       11:01    Quadrantid Shower: ZHR = 120 NORTH STRONG NO MOON

Apr       22         Fr         8:30      Lyrid Shower: ZHR = 20 NORTH WEAK FULL MOON

May      4          We       21:45    Eta Aquarid Shower: ZHR = 60 EQUATOR NO MOON

Jul        27         We       23:32    Delta Aquarid Shower: ZHR = 20 EQUATOR WEAK HALF MOON

Aug      12         Fr         15:26    Perseid Shower: ZHR = 90 NORTH STRONG NO MOON

Oct       21         Fr         7:45      Orionid Shower: ZHR = 20 EQUATOR WEAK HALF MOON

Nov      5          Sa        8:13      South Taurid Shower: ZHR = 10 EQUATOR WEAK NO MOON

Nov      12         Sa        7:29      North Taurid Shower: ZHR = 15 EQUATOR WEAK NO MOON

Nov      17         Th         13:47    Leonid Shower: ZHR = 15 EQUATOR FULL MOON

Dec      14         We       2:57      Geminid Shower: ZHR = 120 EQUATOR STRONG FULL MOON

Dec      22         Th         11:00    Ursid Shower: ZHR = 10 NORTH WEAK HALF MOON

 

Planets:

Glossary:

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.

Moon:

Glossary:

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. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

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.

 

A.    MONTHLY EARLY EVENING OBJECTS IN THE SKY AROUND 8 PM

JANUARY

Jan 19 Moon-Aldebaran 5 deg

- Constellations - Orion, Taurus, Sirius, Canopus, Gemini,

- Square of Pegasus

- Milky Way SE to NW

 

FEBRUARY

(Feb 6,7 dawn moon Venus Mercury together and in line on Feb 7)

 

Feb 16 Moon-Aldenbaran 5 deg

Feb 23 Jup moon 4 deg

- Constellations - Leo Orion Taurus Sirius Canopus Gemini

- Milky Way SE to NW straight across the sky

 

MARCH

Mar 14 Moon-Aldenbaran extremely close

Mar 21 Jup Moon 4 deg in Leo

- Constellations Virgo Leo Orion Taurus Sirius Canopus Gemini Crux parallel with south rising  with pointers, Big Dipper rising in NE

- Milky Way SE to NW

 

APRIL

Apr 10 Moon-Aldenbaran 4 deg

Apr 17 Jup-Moon 6 deg in Leo,

Apr 21 Moon-Spica 6 deg

- Constellations Virgo Leo Orion Taurus Sirius Canopus Gemini Crux rising  with pointers and points south, Big Dipper horizontal pointing north

- Milky Way SE to W

 

MAY

May 14 to 15 Jup moon 7 to 4 deg in Leo,

May 18 Moon-Spica 6 deg

May 21 Moon-Mars 6 deg in Scorpio tentacles

May 24 Mars brightest -2.06 and Moon Saturn 4 deg near Scorpio head

- Constellations Scorpio Virgo Leo Sirius Canopus setting in SW, Gemini setting in west, pointers parallel to horizon, Crux upright points south, Big Dipper horizontal pointing north

- Milky Way E to south to W

 

 

JUNE

Jun 8 to 20 Jupiter-Mar-Saturn-Moon across the sky after sunset

Jun 11 Moon-Jup very close

Jun 14 MoonSpica 7 deg

Jun 17 Moon-Mars 7 deg

Jun 18 Moon-Saturn 5 deg

- Constellations Sagittarius Scorpio Virgo Leo, pointers parallel to horizon, crux upright points south, Big Dipper pointing north

- Milky Way E to SW

 

JULY

Jul 4 to 17 Venus-Jupiter-Mars-Saturn-Moon in line across the sky in west after sunset

Jul 9 Moon-Jupiter 3 deg

jul 12 Moon-Spica 7 deg

jul 14 Moon-Mars 8 deg

jul 15/16 Moon-Saturn 7 deg Scorpio

Jul 18 Moon in Sagittarius

- Constellations Sagittarius  high, Scorpio, Virgo, Leo setting in west, pointers parallel to horizon, Crux slanted points south, Big Dipper upright pointing north

- Milky Way NE to SW from Crux to Scorpio to Sagittarius to Cygnus

 

AUGUST

Aug 3 to 13 Venus-Mercury-Jupiter-Mars-Moon in line west horizon

Aug 5/6 Moon-Jup 6 deg

Aug 8 Moon-Spica 6 deg

Aug 11 Moon-Mars-Saturn triplet 5 to 7 deg and quartet with Antares

Aug 12 Moon-Saturn 4 deg

Aug 14 Moon in Sagittarius

- Constellations Sagittarius overhead, Scorpio, Virgo setting in west, pointers upright, Crux setting, points south

- Milky Way NE to SW straight across through Crux to Scorpio to Sagittarius to Cygnus

 

SEPTEMBER

Sept 3 to 7 Moon-Venus-Jupiter-Mars in line west horizon at sunset

Sep 4 Moon-Spica 4 deg

Sep 8 Moon-Saturn 4 deg

Sep 9 Moon-Mars-Saturn triplet and with Antares makes a quartet

SEP20/21 midnight MOON-ALDEBARAN GRAZING OCCULTATION 23:30-mid23:51/21-00:04

- Mars retrograde

- Constellation Sagittarius overhead, Scorpio setting in west, pointers upright, Crux setting and parallel to horizon, Square of Pegasus rising NE,

- Milky Way NE to SW straight across from Crux to Scorpio to Sagittarius to Cygnus

 

OCTOBER

Oct 3 Moon-Venus close

Oct 4 to 10 Moon-Saturn-Mars in line Venus lower off line west horizon at sunset

Oct 6 Moon-Saturn 5 deg

Oct 8 Moon-Mars 7 deg

- Mars retrograde

- Constellations Sagittarius in west, Scorpio low in west, pointers setting, Square of Pegasus overhead, Andromeda Galaxy rising, Cassiopeia rising

- Milky Way sw to n straight across crux to Scorpio to Sagittarius to Cygnus

 

NOVEMBER

Nov 1 to 8 Moon-Saturn-Venus-Mars in line

Nov 2 Moon-Saturn-Venus in line close to west horizon

Nov 3 Moon-Venus close and triplet with Saturn

Nov 6 Moon-Mars 4 deg

Nov 15 Moon very close to Aldebaran

- Constellations Sagittarius low in west, Square of Pegasus overhead, Andromeda Galaxy highest, Cassiopeia highest

- Milky Way SW to NE from Cygnus to Perseus rising and highly variable star Algol also

 

DECEMBER

Dec 1 to 7 Moon-Mercury-Venus-Mars in line near west horizon at sunset

Dec 3 Moon-Venus 8 deg

Dec 6 Moon-Mars 5 deg

Dec 12 Moon-Aldebaran 7 deg

- Constellations Taurus, Orion, Sirius rising, Square of Pegasus overhead, Cassiopeia M shape, Andromeda, Perseus, Algol highest.

 

Planets:

Glossary:

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.

 

B.      SUN

 

CLOSEST AND FARTHEST

Jan       3          Su        3:59     Perihelion: 0.9833 AU

Jul        4          Mo       18:59   Aphelion: 1.0168 AU  

 

EQUINOXES AND SOLSTICES

Mar     20        Su        7:31     Vernal Equinox           

Jun       21        Tu        1:35     Summer Solstice                                                        

Sep      22        Th        17:21   Autumnal Equinox     

Dec      21        We       13:45   Winter Solstice           

 

 

C.      OBSERVING THE PLANETS:

 

JUPITER

Mar        8              Tu           12:58     Jupiter Opposition          

 

MARS                                                                   

May       22           Su           14:15     Mars Opposition             

 

SATURN                                                                              

Jun         3              Fr            8:43        Saturn Opposition

                                                                               

MERCURY                                                                                           

Feb        7              Su                           Mercury Elongation: 25.6° At Dawn above east horizon  

Apr         18           Mo                         Mercury Elongation: 19.9° At Sunset above west horizon

Jun         5              Su                           Mercury Elongation: 24.2° At Dawn above east horizon

Aug        16           Tu                           Mercury Elongation: 27.4° At Sunset above west horizon

Sep        28           We                         Mercury Elongation: 17.9° At Dawn above east horizon

Dec        11           Su                           Mercury Elongation: 20.8° At Sunset above west horizon

                                                                               

VENUS  AT DAWN BEFORE SUNRISE                                                        

Jan         1              Fr                            Venus: 37.9° At Dawn above east horizon

Feb        1              Mo                         Venus: 31.4° At Dawn above east horizon

Mar        1              Tu                           Venus: 24.9° At Dawn above east horizon

Apr         1              Fr                            Venus: 17.4° At Dawn above east horizon

May       1              Su                           Venus: 9.8° At Dawn above east horizon

Jun         1              We                         Venus: 1.5° At Dawn above east horizon

 

VENUS AT DUSK BEFORE SUNSET

Jul           1              Fr                            Venus: 6.8° At Sunset above west horizon

Aug        1              Mo                         Venus: 15.3° At Sunset above west horizon

Sep        1              Th                           Venus: 23.5° At Sunset above west horizon

Oct         1              Sa                           Venus: 30.9° At Sunset above west horizon

Nov        1              Tu                           Venus: 37.7° At Sunset above west horizon

Dec        1              Th                           Venus: 43.2° At Sunset above west horizon

 

 

C(b). PLANETS CLOSE TO STARS AND OTHER PLANETS

Jan         7              Th                           Venus-Antares – Brightest star Red giant star in Scorpio: 6.4° N

Jan         9              Sa                           Venus-Saturn: 0.1° N

Aug        5              Fr                            Venus-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 1° N

Aug        28           Su                           Venus-Jupiter: 0.1° N

Oct         26           We                         Venus-Antares – Brightest star Red giant in Scorpio: 3.1° N

Oct         30           Su                           Venus-Saturn: 3° N

Sep        18           Su                           Venus-Spica – Brightest star in Virgo: 2.4° N

 

 

MARS

Apr         27           We         19:33     Mars-Antares – Brightest star Red giant in Scorpio: 4.9° N             

Aug        24           We         8:09        Mars-Antares – Brightest star Red giant in Scorpio: 1.8° N             

Aug        25           Th           4:11        Mars-Saturn: 4.3° N        

                                                                               

MERCURY                                                                           

Feb        13           Sa           5:32        Mercury-Venus: 4° N     

Apr         28           Th           11:32     Mercury-Pleiades – Star cluster near Taurus (seven little sisters): 6.5° S   

Jun         13           Mo         13:06     Mercury-Pleiades – Star cluster near Taurus (seven little sisters): 6.8° S   

Jun         19           Su           6:39        Mercury-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 3.8° N  

Jul           30           Sa           18:55     Mercury-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 0.3° N           

Aug        20           Sa           8:34        Mercury-Jupiter: 3.8° N

Aug        28           Su           23:09     Mercury-Venus: 5° N     

Nov        23           We         21:48     Mercury-Saturn: 3.4° N 

                                                                                                                                               

                                                                               

SATURN                                                                              

Sep        5              Mo         3:03        Saturn-Antares – Brightest star Red giant in Scorpio: 6.1° N          

 

 

Moon:

Glossary:

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. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

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.

 

 

D.      NEW MOON AND FULL MOONS

January

New Moon         10-Jan   4:30

Full Moon           24-Jan   4:45

 

 

February

New Moon         8-Feb    17:38

Full Moon           22-Feb  21:19

 

March

New Moon         9-Mar    4:54

Full Moon           23-Mar 15:00

 

April

New Moon         7-Apr     14:23

Full Moon           22-Apr  8:23

 

May

New Moon         6-May   22:29

Full Moon           22-May 0:14

 

June

New Moon         5-Jun     5:59

Full Moon           20-Jun   14:02

 

July

New Moon         4-Jul       14:00

Full Moon           20-Jul    1:56

 

August

New Moon         2-Aug    23:44

Full Moon           18-Aug  12:26

 

September

New Moon         1-Sep    12:03

Full Moon           16-Sep  22:05

 

October

New Moon         1-Oct     3:11

Full Moon           16-Oct   7:23

New Moon         30-Oct   20:38

 

November

Full Moon           14-Nov 16:52

New Moon         29-Nov 15:18

 

December

Full Moon           14-Dec  3:05

New Moon         29-Dec  9:53

 

FOR ALL PHASES INCLUDING FIRST AND LAST QUARTER SEE AT THE END

 

E.       MOON CLOSE TO PLANETS AND STARS

 

Jan         28           Th                           Moon-Jupiter: 1.6° N

Feb        24           We                         Moon-Jupiter: 1.9° N

Mar        22           Tu                           Moon-Jupiter: 2.3° N

Apr         18           Mo                         Moon-Jupiter: 2.4° N

May       15           Su                           Moon-Jupiter: 2.2° N

Jun         11           Sa                           Moon-Jupiter: 1.6° N

Jul           9              Sa                           Moon-Jupiter: 0.9° N

Aug        6              Sa                           Moon-Jupiter: 0.2° N

Oct         28           Fr                            Moon-Jupiter: 1.6° S

Nov        25           Fr                            Moon-Jupiter: 2.1° S

Dec        22           Th                           Moon-Jupiter: 2.7° S

                                                               

Jan         3              Su                           Moon-Mars: 1.6° S

Feb        1              Mo                         Moon-Mars: 3° S

Feb        29           Mo                         Moon-Mars: 3.9° S

Mar        28           Mo                         Moon-Mars: 4.6° S

Dec        5              Mo                         Moon-Mars: 3.1° S                                          

                                                               

                                                               

Jan         7              Th                           Moon-Saturn: 3.6° S

Feb        3              We         22:05     Moon-Saturn: 3.8° S

Mar        2              We         9:53        Moon-Saturn: 3.9° S

Mar        29           Tu           17:58     Moon-Saturn: 3.8° S

Apr         25           Mo         22:28     Moon-Saturn: 3.7° S

May       23           Mo         0:59        Moon-Saturn: 3.5° S

Jun         19           Su           3:40        Moon-Saturn: 3.6° S

Jul           16           Sa           8:11        Moon-Saturn: 3.8° S

Aug        12           Fr            15:10     Moon-Saturn: 4° S

Sep        9              Fr            0:23        Moon-Saturn: 4.2° S

Oct         6              Th           11:04     Moon-Saturn: 4.2° S

Nov        2              We         22:38     Moon-Saturn: 4.1° S

                                                               

Jan         7              Th           2:57        Moon-Venus: 3.3° S

Feb        6              Sa           10:32     Moon-Venus: 4.5° S

Mar        7              Mo         13:54     Moon-Venus: 3.5° S

Apr         6              We         11:30     Moon-Venus: 0.7° S

Aug        4              Th           9:19        Moon-Venus: 3.1° N

Sep        3              Sa           13:33     Moon-Venus: 1.2° S

Oct         3              Mo         20:30     Moon-Venus: 5.6° S

Dec        3              Sa           15:34     Moon-Venus: 6.3° S                        

               

Jan 19 moon aldenbaran 5 deg

Feb        16           Tu                           Moon-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 0.4° S

Mar        14           Mo                         Moon-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 0.3° S

Apr         11           Mo                         Moon-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 0.4° S

May       8              Su                           Moon-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 0.5° S

Jul           2              Sa                           Moon-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 0.4° S

Jul           29           Fr                            Moon-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 0.3° S

Aug        25           Th                           Moon-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 0.2° S

Sep        22           Th                           Moon-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 0.2° S

Oct         19           We                         Moon-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 0.3° S

Nov        15           Tu                           Moon-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 0.4° S

Dec        13           Tu                           Moon-Aldebaran – Brightest star Red Giant in Taurus: 0.4° S

 

                                                               

Jan         26           Tu           8:10        Moon-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 2.8° N

Feb        22           Mo         15:48     Moon-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 2.7° N

Mar        20           Su           22:05     Moon-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 2.8° N

Apr         17           Su           3:46        Moon-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 2.7° N

May       14           Sa           10:06     Moon-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 2.5° N

Jun         10           Fr            17:47     Moon-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 2.2° N

Jul           8              Fr            2:33        Moon-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 1.9° N

Sep        28           We         1:32        Moon-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 1.8° N

Oct         25           Tu           7:01        Moon-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 1.7° N

Nov        21           Mo         13:08     Moon-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 1.4° N

Dec        18           Su           21:14     Moon-Regulus – Brightest star in Leo bottom of “question mark”: 1.1° N

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

=======================

 

F.       ALL MOON PHASES

From:     http://www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/ Moon phases for Tanzania in 2016

 

 

                New Moon         First Quarter      Full Moon           Third Quarter     Duration

                                                                                                                2 Jan      08:30     29d 15h 01m

                10 Jan   04:30     17 Jan   02:26     24 Jan   04:45     1 Feb     06:27     29d 13h 08m

                8 Feb     17:38     15 Feb  10:46     22 Feb  21:19     2 Mar    02:10     29d 11h 16m

                9 Mar    04:54     15 Mar  20:02     23 Mar  15:00     31 Mar  18:16     29d 9h 29m

                7 Apr     14:23     14 Apr   06:59     22 Apr   08:23     30 Apr   06:28     29d 8h 06m

                6 May   22:29     13 May 20:02     22 May 00:14     29 May 15:11     29d 7h 30m

                5 Jun     05:59     12 Jun   11:09     20 Jun   14:02     27 Jun   21:18     29d 8h 01m

                4 Jul       14:00     12 Jul     03:51     20 Jul     01:56     27 Jul     01:59     29d 9h 44m

                2 Aug    23:44     10 Aug  21:20     18 Aug  12:26     25 Aug  06:40     29d 12h 19m

                1 Sep     12:03     9 Sep     14:48     16 Sep  22:05     23 Sep  12:56     29d 15h 08m

                1 Oct     03:11     9 Oct     07:32     16 Oct   07:23     22 Oct   22:13     29d 17h 27m

                30 Oct   20:38     7 Nov    22:51     14 Nov  16:52     21 Nov  11:33     29d 18h 40m

                29 Nov  15:18     7 Dec     12:02     14 Dec  03:05     21 Dec  04:55     29d 18h 35m

                29 Dec  09:53                                                                                                    29d 17h 14m

 

==============

 

G.      DAILY ASTRONOMICAL EVENTS

                                                               

Month  Date      Day        TZ Time Event

Jan         1              Fr                            Venus: 37.9° W

Jan         2              Sa           8:30        Last Quarter

Jan         2              Sa           14:53     Moon Apogee: 404300 km

Jan         3              Su           3:59        Perihelion: 0.9833 AU

Jan         3              Su           21:45     Moon-Mars: 1.6° S

Jan         4              Mo         11:01     Quadrantid Shower: ZHR = 120

Jan         7              Th           2:57        Moon-Venus: 3.3° S

Jan         7              Th           7:57        Moon-Saturn: 3.6° S

Jan         7              Th           14:32     Venus-Antares: 6.4° N

Jan         8              Fr            20:56     Moon South Dec.: 18.4° S

Jan         9              Sa           10:42     Venus-Saturn: 0.1° N

Jan         10           Su           4:30        New Moon

Jan         14           Th           17:02     Mercury Inferior Conj.

Jan         14           Th           18:48     Moon Descending Node

Jan         15           Fr            5:10        Moon Perigee: 369600 km

Jan         17           Su           2:26        First Quarter

Jan         20           We         5:16        Moon-Aldebaran: 0.5° S

Jan         21           Th           19:41     Moon North Dec.: 18.4° N

Jan         24           Su           4:46        Full Moon

Jan         26           Tu           8:10        Moon-Regulus: 2.8° N

Jan         28           Th           2:58        Moon Ascending Node

Jan         28           Th           4:14        Moon-Jupiter: 1.6° N

Jan         30           Sa           12:10     Moon Apogee: 404600 km

Feb        1              Mo         6:28        Last Quarter

Feb        1              Mo         11:48     Moon-Mars: 3° S

Feb        1              Mo                         Venus: 31.4° W

Feb        3              We         22:05     Moon-Saturn: 3.8° S

Feb        5              Fr            7:34        Moon South Dec.: 18.3° S

Feb        6              Sa           10:32     Moon-Venus: 4.5° S

Feb        6              Sa           19:47     Moon-Mercury: 3.9° S

Feb        7              Su           3:59        Mercury Elongation: 25.6° W

Feb        8              Mo         17:39     New Moon

Feb        10           We         23:46     Moon Descending Node

Feb        11           Th           5:42        Moon Perigee: 364400 km

Feb        13           Sa           5:32        Mercury-Venus: 4° N

Feb        15           Mo         10:46     First Quarter

Feb        16           Tu           10:41     Moon-Aldebaran: 0.4° S

Feb        18           Th           2:18        Moon North Dec.: 18.3° N

Feb        22           Mo         15:48     Moon-Regulus: 2.7° N

Feb        22           Mo         21:20     Full Moon

Feb        24           We         6:58        Moon-Jupiter: 1.9° N

Feb        24           We         9:10        Moon Ascending Node

Feb        27           Sa           6:28        Moon Apogee: 405400 km

Feb        28           Su           18:17     Neptune Conjunction

Feb        29           Mo         21:16     Moon-Mars: 3.9° S

Mar        1              Tu                           Venus: 24.9° W

Mar        2              We         2:11        Last Quarter

Mar        2              We         9:53        Moon-Saturn: 3.9° S

Mar        3              Th           17:19     Moon South Dec.: 18.2° S

Mar        7              Mo         13:54     Moon-Venus: 3.5° S

Mar        8              Tu           12:58     Jupiter Opposition

Mar        9              We         4:54        New Moon

Mar        9              We         4:58        Total Solar Eclipse

Mar        9              We         9:31        Moon Descending Node

Mar        10           Th           10:02     Moon Perigee: 359500 km

Mar        14           Mo         16:44     Moon-Aldebaran: 0.3° S

Mar        15           Tu           20:03     First Quarter

Mar        16           We         8:01        Moon North Dec.: 18.2° N

Mar        20           Su           7:31        Vernal Equinox

Mar        20           Su           22:05     Moon-Regulus: 2.8° N

Mar        22           Tu           6:57        Moon-Jupiter: 2.3° N

Mar        22           Tu           15:58     Moon Ascending Node

Mar        23           We         14:48     Pen. Lunar Eclipse

Mar        23           We         15:01     Full Moon

Mar        23           We         23:05     Mercury Superior Conj.

Mar        25           Fr            17:16     Moon Apogee: 406100 km

Mar        28           Mo         21:45     Moon-Mars: 4.6° S

Mar        29           Tu           17:58     Moon-Saturn: 3.8° S

Mar        31           Th           1:12        Moon South Dec.: 18.2° S

Mar        31           Th           18:17     Last Quarter

Apr         1              Fr                            Venus: 17.4° W

Apr         5              Tu           20:27     Moon Descending Node

Apr         6              We         11:30     Moon-Venus: 0.7° S

Apr         7              Th           14:24     New Moon

Apr         7              Th           20:36     Moon Perigee: 357200 km

Apr         10           Su           0:28        Uranus Conjunction

Apr         11           Mo         1:05        Moon-Aldebaran: 0.4° S

Apr         12           Tu           15:12     Moon North Dec.: 18.3° N

Apr         14           Th           6:59        First Quarter

Apr         17           Su           3:46        Moon-Regulus: 2.7° N

Apr         18           Mo         7:42        Moon-Jupiter: 2.4° N

Apr         18           Mo         16:59     Mercury Elongation: 19.9° E

Apr         18           Mo         21:04     Moon Ascending Node

Apr         21           Th           19:05     Moon Apogee: 406400 km

Apr         22           Fr            8:24        Full Moon

Apr         22           Fr            8:30        Lyrid Shower: ZHR = 20

Apr         25           Mo         22:28     Moon-Saturn: 3.7° S

Apr         27           We         7:44        Moon South Dec.: 18.4° S

Apr         27           We         19:33     Mars-Antares: 4.9° N

Apr         28           Th           11:32     Mercury-Pleiades: 6.5° S

Apr         30           Sa           6:29        Last Quarter

May       1              Su                           Venus: 9.8° W

May       3              Tu           4:27        Moon Descending Node

May       4              We         21:45     Eta Aquarid Shower: ZHR = 60

May       6              Fr            7:14        Moon Perigee: 357800 km

May       6              Fr            22:30     New Moon

May       8              Su           11:21     Moon-Aldebaran: 0.5° S

May       9              Mo         18:10     Mercury Inferior Conj.

May       10           Tu           0:54        Moon North Dec.: 18.4° N

May       13           Fr            20:02     First Quarter

May       14           Sa           10:06     Moon-Regulus: 2.5° N

May       15           Su           12:30     Moon-Jupiter: 2.2° N

May       15           Su           23:39     Moon Ascending Node

May       19           Th           1:06        Moon Apogee: 405900 km

May       22           Su           0:15        Full Moon

May       22           Su           14:15     Mars Opposition

May       23           Mo         0:59        Moon-Saturn: 3.5° S

May       24           Tu           14:16     Moon South Dec.: 18.5° S

May       29           Su           15:12     Last Quarter

May       30           Mo         7:45        Moon Descending Node

Jun         1              We                         Venus: 1.5° W

Jun         3              Fr            8:43        Saturn Opposition

Jun         3              Fr            12:47     Moon-Mercury: 0.7° N

Jun         3              Fr            13:55     Moon Perigee: 361100 km

Jun         5              Su           6:00        New Moon

Jun         5              Su           11:59     Mercury Elongation: 24.2° W

Jun         6              Mo         12:13     Moon North Dec.: 18.6° N

Jun         7              Tu           0:34        Venus Superior Conj.

Jun         10           Fr            17:47     Moon-Regulus: 2.2° N

Jun         11           Sa           22:35     Moon-Jupiter: 1.6° N

Jun         12           Su           1:20        Moon Ascending Node

Jun         12           Su           11:10     First Quarter

Jun         13           Mo         13:06     Mercury-Pleiades: 6.8° S

Jun         15           We         15:00     Moon Apogee: 405000 km

Jun         19           Su           3:40        Moon-Saturn: 3.6° S

Jun         19           Su           6:39        Mercury-Aldebaran: 3.8° N

Jun         20           Mo         14:02     Full Moon

Jun         20           Mo         21:52     Moon South Dec.: 18.6° S

Jun         21           Tu           1:35        Summer Solstice

Jun         26           Su           8:28        Moon Descending Node

Jun         27           Mo         21:19     Last Quarter

Jul           1              Fr            9:45        Moon Perigee: 366000 km

Jul           1              Fr                            Venus: 6.8° E

Jul           2              Sa           6:58        Moon-Aldebaran: 0.4° S

Jul           3              Su           23:06     Moon North Dec.: 18.6° N

Jul           4              Mo         14:01     New Moon

Jul           4              Mo         18:59     Aphelion: 1.0168 AU

Jul           7              Th           6:12        Mercury Superior Conj.

Jul           8              Fr            2:33        Moon-Regulus: 1.9° N

Jul           9              Sa           4:42        Moon Ascending Node

Jul           9              Sa           13:08     Moon-Jupiter: 0.9° N

Jul           12           Tu           3:52        First Quarter

Jul           13           We         8:24        Moon Apogee: 404300 km

Jul           16           Sa           8:11        Moon-Saturn: 3.8° S

Jul           18           Mo         6:41        Moon South Dec.: 18.6° S

Jul           20           We         1:57        Full Moon

Jul           23           Sa           10:49     Moon Descending Node

Jul           27           We         2:00        Last Quarter

Jul           27           We         14:25     Moon Perigee: 369700 km

Jul           27           We         23:32     Delta Aquarid Shower: ZHR = 20

Jul           29           Fr            13:53     Moon-Aldebaran: 0.3° S

Jul           30           Sa           18:55     Mercury-Regulus: 0.3° N

Jul           31           Su           7:52        Moon North Dec.: 18.5° N

Aug        1              Mo                         Venus: 15.3° E

Aug        2              Tu           23:45     New Moon

Aug        4              Th           9:19        Moon-Venus: 3.1° N

Aug        5              Fr            1:12        Moon-Mercury: 0.6° N

Aug        5              Fr            10:48     Moon Ascending Node

Aug        5              Fr            14:57     Venus-Regulus: 1° N

Aug        6              Sa           6:28        Moon-Jupiter: 0.2° N

Aug        10           We         3:05        Moon Apogee: 404300 km

Aug        10           We         21:21     First Quarter

Aug        12           Fr            15:10     Moon-Saturn: 4° S

Aug        12           Fr            15:26     Perseid Shower: ZHR = 90

Aug        14           Su           16:05     Moon South Dec.: 18.5° S

Aug        16           Tu           23:59     Mercury Elongation: 27.4° E

Aug        18           Th           12:27     Full Moon

Aug        19           Fr            17:14     Moon Descending Node

Aug        20           Sa           8:34        Mercury-Jupiter: 3.8° N

Aug        22           Mo         4:20        Moon Perigee: 367000 km

Aug        24           We         8:09        Mars-Antares: 1.8° N

Aug        25           Th           4:11        Mars-Saturn: 4.3° N

Aug        25           Th           6:41        Last Quarter

Aug        25           Th           19:21     Moon-Aldebaran: 0.2° S

Aug        27           Sa           14:17     Moon North Dec.: 18.5° N

Aug        28           Su           0:53        Venus-Jupiter: 0.1° N

Aug        28           Su           23:09     Mercury-Venus: 5° N

Sep        1              Th           12:03     New Moon

Sep        1              Th           12:08     Annular Solar Eclipse

Sep        1              Th                           Venus: 23.5° E

Sep        1              Th           18:27     Moon Ascending Node

Sep        2              Fr            18:16     Neptune Opposition

Sep        3              Sa           13:33     Moon-Venus: 1.2° S

Sep        5              Mo         3:03        Saturn-Antares: 6.1° N

Sep        6              Tu           21:44     Moon Apogee: 405100 km

Sep        9              Fr            0:23        Moon-Saturn: 4.2° S

Sep        9              Fr            14:49     First Quarter

Sep        11           Su           1:05        Moon South Dec.: 18.5° S

Sep        13           Tu           2:38        Mercury Inferior Conj.

Sep        16           Fr            2:55        Moon Descending Node

Sep        16           Fr            21:56     Pen. Lunar Eclipse

Sep        16           Fr            22:05     Full Moon

Sep        18           Su           18:12     Venus-Spica: 2.4° N

Sep        18           Su           20:00     Moon Perigee: 361900 km

Sep        22           Th           1:13        Moon-Aldebaran: 0.2° S

Sep        22           Th           17:21     Autumnal Equinox

Sep        23           Fr            12:56     Last Quarter

Sep        23           Fr            19:44     Moon North Dec.: 18.5° N

Sep        26           Mo         9:19        Jupiter Conjunction

Sep        28           We         1:32        Moon-Regulus: 1.8° N

Sep        28           We         21:59     Mercury Elongation: 17.9° W

Sep        29           Th           1:06        Moon Ascending Node

Oct         1              Sa           3:12        New Moon

Oct         1              Sa                           Venus: 30.9° E

Oct         3              Mo         20:30     Moon-Venus: 5.6° S

Oct         4              Tu           14:02     Moon Apogee: 406100 km

Oct         6              Th           11:04     Moon-Saturn: 4.2° S

Oct         8              Sa           9:03        Moon South Dec.: 18.5° S

Oct         9              Su           7:33        First Quarter

Oct         13           Th           12:43     Moon Descending Node

Oct         15           Sa           13:15     Uranus Opposition

Oct         16           Su           7:23        Full Moon

Oct         17           Mo         2:36        Moon Perigee: 357900 km

Oct         19           We         9:18        Moon-Aldebaran: 0.3° S

Oct         21           Fr            2:38        Moon North Dec.: 18.6° N

Oct         21           Fr            7:45        Orionid Shower: ZHR = 20

Oct         22           Sa           22:14     Last Quarter

Oct         25           Tu           7:01        Moon-Regulus: 1.7° N

Oct         26           We         4:45        Moon Ascending Node

Oct         26           We         13:54     Venus-Antares: 3.1° N

Oct         27           Th           18:53     Mercury Superior Conj.

Oct         28           Fr            12:33     Moon-Jupiter: 1.6° S

Oct         30           Su           4:47        Venus-Saturn: 3° N

Oct         30           Su           20:38     New Moon

Oct         31           Mo         22:29     Moon Apogee: 406700 km

Nov        1              Tu                           Venus: 37.7° E

Nov        2              We         22:38     Moon-Saturn: 4.1° S

Nov        4              Fr            16:04     Moon South Dec.: 18.7° S

Nov        5              Sa           8:13        South Taurid Shower: ZHR = 10

Nov        7              Mo         22:51     First Quarter

Nov        9              We         18:57     Moon Descending Node

Nov        12           Sa           7:29        North Taurid Shower: ZHR = 15

Nov        14           Mo         14:23     Moon Perigee: 356500 km

Nov        14           Mo         16:52     Full Moon

Nov        15           Tu           19:50     Moon-Aldebaran: 0.4° S

Nov        17           Th           12:32     Moon North Dec.: 18.8° N

Nov        17           Th           13:47     Leonid Shower: ZHR = 15

Nov        21           Mo         11:33     Last Quarter

Nov        21           Mo         13:08     Moon-Regulus: 1.4° N

Nov        22           Tu           5:48        Moon Ascending Node

Nov        23           We         21:48     Mercury-Saturn: 3.4° N

Nov        25           Fr            4:47        Moon-Jupiter: 2.1° S

Nov        27           Su           23:08     Moon Apogee: 406600 km

Nov        29           Tu           15:18     New Moon

Dec        1              Th                           Venus: 43.2° E

Dec        1              Th           22:56     Moon South Dec.: 18.9° S

Dec        3              Sa           15:34     Moon-Venus: 6.3° S

Dec        5              Mo         13:39     Moon-Mars: 3.1° S

Dec        6              Tu           20:35     Moon Descending Node

Dec        7              We         12:03     First Quarter

Dec        10           Sa           14:03     Saturn Conjunction

Dec        11           Su           6:59        Mercury Elongation: 20.8° E

Dec        13           Tu           2:27        Moon Perigee: 358500 km

Dec        13           Tu           7:14        Moon-Aldebaran: 0.4° S

Dec        14           We         2:57        Geminid Shower: ZHR = 120

Dec        14           We         3:05        Full Moon

Dec        15           Th           0:43        Moon North Dec.: 18.9° N

Dec        18           Su           21:14     Moon-Regulus: 1.1° N

Dec        19           Mo         7:46        Moon Ascending Node

Dec        21           We         4:56        Last Quarter

Dec        21           We         13:45     Winter Solstice

Dec        22           Th           11:00     Ursid Shower: ZHR = 10

Dec        22           Th           19:37     Moon-Jupiter: 2.7° S

Dec        25           Su           8:55        Moon Apogee: 405900 km

Dec        28           We         21:41     Mercury Inferior Conj.

Dec        29           Th           6:30        Moon South Dec.: 19° S

Dec        29           Th           9:53        New Moon

 

 

"Sky Events Calendar bA1:G274y Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA's GSFC)"

SOURCE: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html?cal=2016#skycal

 

H.    EVENT SUMMARIES - CHRONOLOGICAL

From:http://www.seasky.org/astronomy/astronomy-calendar-2015.html

 

•             January 3, 4 - Quadrantids Meteor Shower. The Quadrantids is an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at its peak. It is thought to be produced by dust grains left behind by an extinct comet known as 2003 EH1, which was discovered in 2003. The shower runs annually from January 1-5. It peaks this year on the night of the 3rd and morning of the 4th. The second quarter moon will block out all but the brightest meteors this year, but it could still be a good show if you are patient. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

•             January 10 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 01:30 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             January 24 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 01:46 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Wolf Moon because this was the time of year when hungry wolf packs howled outside their camps. This moon has also been know as the Old Moon and the Moon After Yule.

•             February 7 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 25.6 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

•             February 8 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 14:39 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             February 22 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 18:20 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Snow Moon because the heaviest snows usually fell during this time of the year. Since hunting is difficult, this moon has also been known by some tribes as the Full Hunger Moon, since the harsh weather made hunting difficult.

•             March 8 - Jupiter at Opposition. The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons. A medium-sized telescope should be able to show you some of the details in Jupiter's cloud bands. A good pair of binoculars should allow you to see Jupiter's four largest moons, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet.

•             March 9 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 01:54 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             March 9 - Total Solar Eclipse. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks the Sun, revealing the Sun's beautiful outer atmosphere known as the corona. The path of totality will only be visible in parts of central Indonesia and the Pacific Ocean. A partial eclipse will be visible in most parts of northern Australia and southeast Asia. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information) (NASA Interactive Google Map)

•             March 20 - March Equinox. The March equinox occurs at 04:30 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.

•             March 23 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 12:02 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Worm Moon because this was the time of year when the ground would begin to soften and the earthworms would reappear. This moon has also been known as the Full Crow Moon, the Full Crust Moon, the Full Sap Moon, and the Lenten Moon.

•             March 23 - Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth's partial shadow, or penumbra. During this type of eclipse the Moon will darken slightly but not completely. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of extreme eastern Asia, eastern Australia, the Pacific Ocean, and the west coast of North America including Alaska. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information)

•             April 7 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 11:24 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             April 18 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 19.9 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.

•             April 22 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 05:24 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Pink Moon because it marked the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the first spring flowers. This moon has also been known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Growing Moon, and the Egg Moon. Many coastal tribes called it the Full Fish Moon because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

•             April 22, 23 - Lyrids Meteor Shower. The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861. The shower runs annually from April 16-25. It peaks this year on the night of the night of the 22nd and morning of the 23rd. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. Unfortunately this year the glare from the full moon will block out all but the brightest meteors. If you are patient, you should still be able to catch a few good ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

•             May 6 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 19:29 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             May 6, 7 - Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Most of the activity is seen in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rate can reach about 30 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet Halley, which has known and observed since ancient times. The shower runs annually from April 19 to May 28. It peaks this year on the night of May 6 and the morning of the May 7. The new moon will ensure dark skies this year for what could be an excellent show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

•             May 9 - Rare Transit of Mercury Across the Sun. The planet Mercury will move directly between the Earth and the Sun. Viewers with telescopes and approved solar filters will be able to observe the dark disk of the planet Mercury moving across the face of the Sun. This is an extremely rare event that occurs only once every few years. There will be one other transit of Mercury in 2019 and then the next one will not take place until 2039. This transit will be visible throughout North America, Mexico, Central America, South America, and parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The best place to view this event in its entirety will be the eastern United States and eastern South America. (Transit Visibility Map and Information)

•             May 21 - Full Moon, Blue Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 21:15 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Flower Moon because this was the time of year when spring flowers appeared in abundance. This moon has also been known as the Full Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon. Since this is the third of four full moons in this season, it is known as a blue moon. This rare calendar event only happens once every few years, giving rise to the term, “once in a blue moon.” There are normally only three full moons in each season of the year. But since full moons occur every 29.53 days, occasionally a season will contain 4 full moons. The extra full moon of the season is known as a blue moon. Blue moons occur on average once every 2.7 years.

•             May 22 - Mars at Opposition. The red planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Mars. A medium-sized telescope will allow you to see some of the dark details on the planet's orange surface.

•             June 3 - Saturn at Opposition. The ringed planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons. A medium-sized or larger telescope will allow you to see Saturn's rings and a few of its brightest moons.

•             June 5 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 02:59 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             June 5 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 24.2 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

•             June 20 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 11:02 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Strawberry Moon because it signaled the time of year to gather ripening fruit. It also coincides with the peak of the strawberry harvesting season. This moon has also been known as the Full Rose Moon and the Full Honey Moon.

•             June 20 - June Solstice. The June solstice occurs at 22:34 UTC. The North Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its northernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees north latitude. This is the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the Southern Hemisphere.

•             July 4 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 11:01 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             July 4 - Juno at Jupiter. NASA’s Juno spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Jupiter after a five year journey. Launched on August 5, 2011, Juno will be inserted into a polar orbit around the giant planet on or around July 4, 2016. From this orbit the spacecraft will study Jupiter’s atmosphere and magnetic field. Juno will remain in orbit until October 2017, when the spacecraft will be de-orbited to crash into Jupiter.

•             July 19 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 22:57 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Buck Moon because the male buck deer would begin to grow their new antlers at this time of year. This moon has also been known as the Full Thunder Moon and the Full Hay Moon.

•             July 28, 29 - Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. The shower runs annually from July 12 to August 23. It peaks this year on the night of July 28 and morning of July 29. The second quarter moon will block most of the fainter meteors this year but if you are patient you should still be able to catch quite a few good ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

•             August 2 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 20:44 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             August 12, 13 - Perseids Meteor Shower. The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24. It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13. The waxing gibbous moon will set shortly after midnight, leaving fairly dark skies for should be an excellent early morning show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

•             August 16 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 27.4 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.

•             August 18 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 09:26 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Sturgeon Moon because the large sturgeon fish of the Great Lakes and other major lakes were more easily caught at this time of year. This moon has also been known as the Green Corn Moon and the Grain Moon.

•             August 27 - Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter. A spectacular conjunction of Venus and Jupiter will be visible in the evening sky. The two bright planets will be extremely close, appearing only 0.06 degrees apart. Look for this impressive pairing in the western sky just after sunset.

•             September 1 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 09:03 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             September 1 - Annular Solar Eclipse. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is too far away from the Earth to completely cover the Sun. This results in a ring of light around the darkened Moon. The Sun's corona is not visible during an annular eclipse. The path of the eclipse will begin off the eastern coast of central Africa and travel through Gabon, Congo, Tanzania, and Madagascar before ending in the Indian Ocean. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout most of Africa and the Indian Ocean. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information) (NASA Interactive Google Map)

•             September 3 - Neptune at Opposition. The blue giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Neptune. Due to its extreme distance from Earth, it will only appear as a tiny blue dot in all but the most powerful telescopes.

•             September 16 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 19:05 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Corn Moon because the corn is harvested around this time of year. This moon is also known as the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the September equinox each year.

•             September 16 - Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth's partial shadow, or penumbra. During this type of eclipse the Moon will darken slightly but not completely. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of eastern Europe, eastern Africa, Asia, and western Australia. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information)

•             September 22 - September Equinox. The September equinox occurs at 14:21 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.

•             September 28 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 17.9 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

•             October 1 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 00:11 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             October 7 - Draconids Meteor Shower. The Draconids is a minor meteor shower producing only about 10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which was first discovered in 1900. The Draconids is an unusual shower in that the best viewing is in the early evening instead of early morning like most other showers. The shower runs annually from October 6-10 and peaks this year on the the night of the 7th. The first quarter moon will block the fainter meteors in the early evening. It will set shortly after midnight leaving darker skies for observing any lingering stragglers. Best viewing will be in the early evening from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Draco, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

•             October 15 - Uranus at Opposition. The blue-green planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view Uranus. Due to its distance, the planet will only appear as a tiny blue-green dot in all but the most powerful telescopes.

•             October 16 - Full Moon, Supermoon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 04:23 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Hunters Moon because at this time of year the leaves are falling and the game is fat and ready to hunt. This moon has also been known as the Travel Moon and the Blood Moon. This is also the first of three supermoons for 2016. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

•             October 21, 22 - Orionids Meteor Shower. The Orionids is an average shower producing up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Halley, which has been known and observed since ancient times. The shower runs annually from October 2 to November 7. It peaks this year on the night of October 21 and the morning of October 22. The second quarter moon will block some of the fainter meteors this year, but the Orionids tend to be fairly bright so it could still be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Orion, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

•             October 30 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 17:38 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             November 4, 5 - Taurids Meteor Shower. The Taurids is a long-running minor meteor shower producing only about 5-10 meteors per hour. It is unusual in that it consists of two separate streams. The first is produced by dust grains left behind by Asteroid 2004 TG10. The second stream is produced by debris left behind by Comet 2P Encke. The shower runs annually from September 7 to December 10. It peaks this year on the the night of November 4. The first quarter moon will set just after midnight leaving dark skies for viewing. Best viewing will be just after midnight from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Taurus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

•             November 14 - Full Moon, Supermoon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 13:52 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Beaver Moon because this was the time of year to set the beaver traps before the swamps and rivers froze. It has also been known as the Frosty Moon and the Hunter's Moon. This is also the second of three supermoons for 2016. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

•             November 17, 18 - Leonids Meteor Shower. The Leonids is an average shower, producing up to 15 meteors per hour at its peak. This shower is unique in that it has a cyclonic peak about every 33 years where hundreds of meteors per hour can be seen. That last of these occurred in 2001. The Leonids is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1865. The shower runs annually from November 6-30. It peaks this year on the night of the 17th and morning of the 18th. The waning gibbous moon will block many of the fainter meteors this year, but if you are patient you should be able to catch quite a few good ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Leo, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

•             November 29 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 12:18 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

•             December 11 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 20.8 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.

•             December 13, 14 - Geminids Meteor Shower. The Geminids is the king of the meteor showers. It is considered by many to be the best shower in the heavens, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982. The shower runs annually from December 7-17. It peaks this year on the night of the 13th and morning of the 14th. The nearly full moon will block out many of the fainter meteors this year, but the Geminids are so bright and numerous that it could still be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

•             December 14 - Full Moon, Supermoon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 00:06 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Cold Moon because this is the time of year when the cold winter air settles in and the nights become long and dark. This moon has also been known as the Full Long Nights Moon and the Moon Before Yule. This is also the last of three supermoons for 2016. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

•             December 21 - December Solstice. The December solstice occurs at 10:44 UTC. The South Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its southernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.44 degrees south latitude. This is the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the Southern Hemisphere.

•             December 21, 22 - Ursids Meteor Shower. The Ursids is a minor meteor shower producing about 5-10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tuttle, which was first discovered in 1790. The shower runs annually from December 17-25. It peaks this year on the the night of the 21st and morning of the 22nd. The second quarter moon will block many of the fainter meteors. But if you are patient, you might still be able to catch a few of the brighter ones. Best viewing will be just after midnight from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Ursa Minor, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

•             December 29 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 06:53 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere


Comments