2017 eclipse webpage
|Today's Night Sky||Venus In The Morning Sky||The Big Dipper||January 31st total lunar eclipse|
|November 2003||November 2004 Auroras near Nashville||May 2005 Auroras near Nashville|
Our Moon from September 21st through September 23rd, 45 minutes after sunset with Jupiter nearby.
Full Harvest Moon will be on October 5th (4th in China where the Harvest Moon is celebrated)
New Moon is on September 20th
The software for this image is free and can be found at http://www.stellarium.org/.
It's also great to use if you want to know what the Moon looks like three days or three years from now.
It's very easy to use! (My fireflies are rugged in all weather conditions!)
The Big Dipper on June 5th as seen from Australia and USA. What a big difference!
June 5th, 2017
A friend of mine in Australia, and I, took a picture of the Big Dipper on the same night (June 2017). Near summer twilight was interfering with me which is why my photo was brighter and blue, while late fall allowed my friend to take his photo soon after sunset. Because of the curvature of the Earth, springtime (or late fall for my friend in this case) is the only time the Big Dipper can be seen in Australia. Of course, in the northern hemisphere, the dipper can be seem all night long, all year long, because it is circumpolar. And, of course, the north star (Polaris) cannot be seen in Australia.
Venus in the Morning Sky, in 2017, forty-five minutes before sunrise
This animation of Venus lasts 40 seconds which spans 263 days from March 25th to December 2nd. Venus is at inferior conjunction on March 25th. This places Venus between Earth and the Sun on that day – which is not exactly a straight line, but close enough. This also means that Venus is at its closest to Earth for this year.
Venus will quickly rise in the morning sky before the month of March ends. At the same time, our “sister” planet will be moving away from us in its orbit. As it does so, Venus will go through the same phases of illumination like the Moon (as you can see here in this graphic).
The Moon is very prominent in this animation, forty-five minutes before sunrise. There are some close conjunctions with the morning planets (as you can see). Even at this frame rate, the Moon seems to fly though the scene quickly. You can download the individual frames (days) here if interested.
Some interesting conjunctions of planets, along with the Moon, will also occur during this time period. Mercury and Mars will be a quarter of a degree away from each other on the morning of September 16th. A wonderful event to see – two planets through a telescope eyepiece at the same time! Two days later, on the 18th, the Moon will make for a great rendezvous with Mercury and Mars.
On the morning of October 5th, Venus and Mars will come to within 9 arc-minutes of each other! This will be less than half the distance of September's planetary conjunction – very nice!
On November 13th, Venus will be one-quarter of a degree away from Jupiter. Again, a good time to setup your telescope to see two planets at once in your eyepiece, along with seeing the Galilean Moons of Jupiter!
Finally, Venus reaches greatest elongation west on June 3rd at a distance of 46 degrees from the Sun. Venus will be furthest from us (superior conjunction) on the other side of the Sun on January 9th 2018.
Total Eclipse of the Moon on January 31, 2018 as Seen from the United States
Updated on September 19, 2017