star, moon, planet gazing 2/10/14

Heyya Pals,
I was just out walking about watching the sunset and all…
… then it gets dark and I noticed tonight’s sky was going to be fun.
Then I got to wondering if any of you folks were under “clear skies”
because tonight is going to be one of them wonderful nights when you can watch the moon’s progression through the sky…
Check it out. Jupiter is almost exactly in line with Orion’s bright Betelguese and Rigel stars,
At darkening the moon had just passed to the east of that line.
To make it more fun, looking at the moon as though it were a clock - at about 3:30 there’s a fairly bright star.
All of which helps dramatize the movement of the moon over hours - which makes it a really cool night to be camping and howling at the moon til all hours, {or if you were young and crazy you could go bar hopping with your babe - remembering to check out the sky before stepping into the next bar. Nice thing about small towns}
Well I’m neither camping nor young, nor did I remember the names of those stars before goggling them. Still I know it’s a beautiful show and I was wondering if any of you folks could see it too.
:slight_smile:

Hey CC. I just came back from a meeting and our sky is super clear. And I see everything you described. I wondered what that bright star was. Man, I need a good refracting telescope about now. Reading your post reminds me of a time when me and my buds were in a local bar swilling beer when someone outside said that there was a lunar eclipse. We took the pitcher outside, sat on the curb and watched it happen. Funny, I hadn’t thought about that in years.
Cap’t Jack

I like watching how the Moon changes night-to-night. Even small binoculars will show you a lot of detail in craters. Be careful, though, as the Moon waxes and gets brighter looking at it through binocs or a small telescope can hurt. The best time to view the Moon up close is when it is ¼ or less full. It isn’t as bright and the shadows show more depth in the craters. But even naked eye viewing is fascinating. I love seeing how it marches across the sky.
Later this month Venus and the Moon will be close to each other before sunrise. If you happen to wake up early go outside and treat yourself.

Yea Cap’t, thems were the days. Cheers.
It’s been a beautiful spring like night, again, so I’ve gotten out a bunch, but I think my next trip will be to the bedroom.
Thanks for the heads up Darron, it’s cool here in that the horizon is low and we have South and East facing windows so we get all those views.

If your sky is clear tonight (Feb. 10), be sure to check out the southeast sky about an hour or so after sundown for an eye-catching site: Jupiter and the moon shining together.
Weather permitting, stargazers can find the celestial meet-up on about halfway up in the southeastern evening sky. You’ll immediately see the moon, which will be at its waxing gibbous phase, en route to becoming a full moon on Valentine’s Day (Friday, Feb. 14).
This evening, observers may notice a very bright, silvery “star” shining with a steady glow to the right or lower right of the moon. That’s not a star, however, but in reality, the biggest planet in our solar system: Jupiter. Both moon and planet will keep each other company as they move across the night sky through the course of the night. [Jupiter Reigns in February’s Night Sky]
There is a video on the website
http://www.space.com/24624-see-jupiter-near-moon-tonight.html

Later this month Venus and the Moon will be close to each other before sunrise. If you happen to wake up early go outside and treat yourself.
Thanks for the hint. I would even say, very close, according to Stellarium]. This is what it shows at February, 26th, in the early morning.

It’s 9:15 here and I’m standing on my front porch staring at the very scene Lois described. The moon is almost directly overhead now and Jupiter is approx. 2:00 from the moon. A spectacular sight despite the extreme cold! It’s 15 degrees and my IPad is freezing.
Cap’t Jack

33 degrees and light rain here.

. . . :cheese:

It's 9:15 here and I'm standing on my front porch staring at the very scene Lois described. The moon is almost directly overhead now and Jupiter is approx. 2:00 from the moon. A spectacular sight despite the extreme cold! It's 15 degrees and my IPad is freezing. Cap't Jack
Jack, It would take more than a look at Jupiter and the moon to get me out at night in 15 degree weather! If I couldn't see it through a window, at least, I would have to miss it. Of course it never gets anywhere near that cold where I live. I admire your pluck. Lois

I was told by a High School Science teacher that you can distinguish planets from stars easily because planets don’t twinkle. This seems to be true, at least from my observations. To add to the confusion, Venus is called the Evening Star. It doesn’t twinkle and neither does Mercury.
Lois

That is a common misconception. The stars will twinkle sooner than planets under adverse seeing conditions, but when the atmosphere gets roiling the planets do twinkle.

Jack, It would take more than a look at Jupiter and the moon to get me out at night in 15 degree weather! If I couldn’t see it through a window, at least, I would have to miss it. Of course it never gets anywhere near that cold where I live. I admire your pluck.
I'm one of those polar bears who enjoys the cold weather and always have. Fall and Winter are my favorite seasons. Now you know why I hate AGW! Cap't Jack
That is a common misconception. The stars will twinkle sooner than planets under adverse seeing conditions, but when the atmosphere gets roiling the planets do twinkle.
Only the gay ones! ;)

Well, it was a bit cloudy, but I was lucky.
First picture is of yesterday.

Beautiful shots GdB. It’s been too overcast here to see the Moon the past couple of days. And it appears that you have an ideal area for stargazing. No ground clutter!
Cap’t Jack

Love the photos. After a nice interlude of spring weather, it is once again 33 degrees and raining in Central Texas. We had clear skies for the Full Moon. Not so great for astronomy, but it did remind me of my childhood when my friends and I would go out at night during the Full Moon. We’d poke around in the woods imagining wolves and werewolves making all the scratching and snuffling noises we heard, which were most likely armadillo and deer. But I digress. I really, really want to get back pout to the club observatory, but alas this weekend’s forecast calls for thunderstorms. Between school and bad weather I haven’t looked through a telescope in months.

Later this month Venus and the Moon will be close to each other before sunrise. If you happen to wake up early go outside and treat yourself.
Thanks for the hint. I would even say, very close, according to Stellarium]. This is what it shows at February, 26th, in the early morning. As the fates would have it, predawn on Wednesday the 26, we were up and packing the car for a long trip and I got to watch that crescent moon and Venus rise. First it was a beautiful rusty color, then as it rose through the lower horizon it's color changed to ivory. Very wonderful morning, and though it's nice to be home, the trip was a pure joy. To put the bow on the whole experience, as we were arriving home yesterday we could see the new crescent moon rising on the western horizon and welcoming us home.
As the fates would have it, predawn on Wednesday the 26, we were up and packing the car for a long trip and I got to watch that crescent moon and Venus rise. First it was a beautiful rusty color, then as it rose through the lower horizon it's color changed to ivory. Very wonderful morning, and though it's nice to be home, the trip was a pure joy.
Great that you saw it.
To put the bow on the whole experience, as we were arriving home yesterday we could see the new crescent moon rising on the western horizon and welcoming us home.
Rise in the west??? >:-(
As the fates would have it, predawn on Wednesday the 26, we were up and packing the car for a long trip and I got to watch that crescent moon and Venus rise. First it was a beautiful rusty color, then as it rose through the lower horizon it's color changed to ivory. Very wonderful morning, and though it's nice to be home, the trip was a pure joy.
Great that you saw it.
To put the bow on the whole experience, as we were arriving home yesterday we could see the new crescent moon rising on the western horizon and welcoming us home.
Rise in the west??? >:-( hehehe Well every day that crescent moon gets a little higher and fatter in the sky because it is progressing across the sky Guess I could have used a better term, but none comes to mind right now. :cheese: http://www.orion-drustvo.si/MBKTeam/eclipses/lecl01jan.htm