Noon Sun During May

  During May, the days grow long much less than in April, since the Sun increases only 7 degrees in declination, compared to 14-1/2 degrees in that previous month. (Compare with the previous month’s graphics.) The length of daylight only increases between 23 to 54 minutes for most locations in the USA, whereas daylight increased nearly two hours in April. … Continue reading

Jupiter Approaching Venus

Most people are unaware that the planets Venus and Jupiter are the brightest objects in the sky after the Sun and Moon, and brighter than any stars in the sky. Every so often, these bright planets line up in the evening sky, making a beautiful sight. However, on July 1, 2015, there will be a very close conjunction of these … Continue reading

Conjunction of the Moon and Venus

  On Tuesday, April 21, the three-day old waxing crescent Moon will be in conjunction with the planet Venus, the bright evening star. This is a regular conjunction between these two bodies, and it happens every month. However, this month, the Moon and Venus are joined by the bright star Aldebaran, the red eye of the bull in the constellation … Continue reading

The Lion is Higher Than Orion

  Spring is a great season to start learning the constellations. You can still see the constellations of winter, as they incline toward the west, soon to disappear into the sunset. In the current month, Venus is passing through Taurus, near the famous constellation Orion. The blazing evening star Venus is currently in Taurus, making these constellation easy to find. … Continue reading

The Sun in Aries During April

Due to the Earth’s annual revolution, the line of sight between the Sun and the background constellations is constantly changing. This appears as the Sun moving east through the constellations of the zodiac. During April, the Sun appears to be moving from the constellation Pisces into Aries. In the process, the Sun appears to be moving north from the celestial … Continue reading

  During April, the days grow significantly longer since the equinox (the first day of spring). The Sun rises earlier and sets later, and is now quite high in the sky at noon. As a result, by month’s end, the length of daylight is almost two hours longer than at the beginning of spring. Note in the figure that, by … Continue reading

“Blood Moon” — Round 3

Blood Moon – Round 3 Friends, I’ve already discussed the “Blood Moon” craze in detail in previous newsletters, along with my skepticism.  These articles are archived as follows…. “Blood Moon?” (April 7, 2014) “Blood Moon: Round 2 (October 5, 2014) If you haven’t already done so, you might want to read those commentaries, since they are not repeated here in … Continue reading

The Waxing Moon of March/April 2015

  THE CURRENT LUNAR MONTH happens to be particularly interesting during the waxing phases (lunation 1141 according to Brown’s series of 1923): FRI MAR 20: The equinox total eclipse of the Moon over northern Europe, perigean spring tide raising an 18 year supertide at Mont Saint-Michel in France; SUN MAR 22: High-elevation conjunction of the two-day old waxing crescent Moon … Continue reading

Seasonal Twilight

  Twilight is the shortest during the spring and fall. In the morning, before sunrise, daylight comes on quickly closest to the equinoxes. In the evening, after sunset, night falls quickly, as the sky fades after sunset. Equinoctial twilights can be 45 minutes in the mid-temperate latitudes of North America. However, summer twilights are the longest of the year! In … Continue reading

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