2016: A Year of Lunar and Planetary Conjunctions

Friends, 2015 was a very interesting year for conjunctions of the Moon and planets.  Long-time readers of this newsletter and other experienced sky observers understand that the classical planets are among the brightest objects in the sky, and are brighter that the actual fixed stars. The planet Venus is blazingly bright, the third brightest object in the sky, exceeded in … Continue reading

CHRISTMAS FULL MOON

  And the popular movie in question was NOT “Saturday Night Fever”! 2015 will have the first Christmas Full Moon since 1977, 38 years ago. No one under the age of 40 can remember the last time this happened. That famous movie came out in 1977, the year of the last Christmas Full Moon, and the latest Disney-produced sequel in … Continue reading

CLOSE CONJUNCTION/ OCCULTATION OF VENUS BY THE MOON!

  Before sunrise on Monday morning, December 7, there will be a VERY CLOSE conjunction of the “Old Moon” with the blazingly bright planet Venus in the constellation Virgo! The Moon and this bright planet will be sharing the morning sky with the planets Mars and Jupiter! ALASKA AND NW CANADA… But on Monday morning, the waning crescent Moon will … Continue reading

Venus, Mars and the Moon

MOON AND PLANETS THIS WEEKEND! Mars has put on quite a show in 2016, and the year ends with an extended “visitation” with the bright planet Venus. Spot these blazing “stars” as the waxing crescent Moon passes by this weekend. And then keep your eyes on Venus and Mars as they draw closer and remain close until February, 2017. These … Continue reading

CONJUNCTIONS OF THE MOON WITH JUPITER AND MARS!

Keep your eye on the sky before sunrise on the morning of Friday, December 4, as the waning crescent Moon lines up with the bright planet Jupiter in the constellation Leo! Over the weekend, the waning Moon moves into the constellation Virgo and passes by the red planet Mars! But the weekend dance of the planets is just a prelude … Continue reading

LUNAR OCCULTATION!!! THANKSGIVING BEFORE SUNRISE!

In the early morning hours of Thursday, November 26, the Moon will COVER OVER the bright star Aldebaran in Taurus, as seen from the northern USA. This is called an “occultation,” from the Latin word “to hide.” (And no, it has nothing to do with “the occult”!) Occultations are amazing events, and though common enough, it’s rare to have them … Continue reading

AMAZING ECLIPSE VIDEO

ECLIPSE is the latest episode of Salomon Freeski, an online documentary series of beautifully photographed Xtreme skiing videos, now in its 9th season. In this episode, our heroes venture to Svalbard, a frozen rock in the Arctic, to ski while observing the TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE of March 20, 2015. The early part is mostly about skiing and the adventures along … Continue reading

MORNING LUNAR CONJUNCTIONS OF NOVEMBER

MORNING LUNAR CONJUNCTIONS OF NOVEMBER!!!! The waning crescent Moon will swing back into the scene in the first week of November. By then, Venus will be below Mars. Look for the Moon to line up with Jupiter on the morning of Friday, November 6, and with Venus and Mars on Saturday, November 7. KEEP WATCHING CLASSICAL ASTRONOMY TO LEARN ABOUT … Continue reading

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