Cumberland Times-News

Bob Doyle - Astronomy

June 30, 2012

Here are sky sights for the rest of the year

JULY — The moon is full on the evening of July 3, rising as the sun sets. This is the lowest full moon of the year, never getting higher than one third of the way up in the South in the middle of the night (about 1 a.m.).

The crescent moon appears near the two morning planets , bright Jupiter and brilliant Venus in the 5 a.m. eastern sky on July 15.

The moon returns to the western dusk on July 21, appearing near Mars on July 24 and close to Saturn on July 25. On the evening of July 25, the moon appears half full, offering the month’s best views of its craters and mountain ranges.            

AUGUST — The moon is full on the evening of Aug. 1 and again on the evening of Aug. 31. The second full moon in a month is called a “blue moon,” occurring about once every three years.

The Perseid meteor shower in the predawn hours of Aug. 12 has no moonlight interfering (as moon sets about 1:40 a.m.) . These meteors can be traced back to the star group Perseus.

A meteor shower occurs when the Earth crosses a comet’s orbit and gets bombed with comet grit, that burns up high in our atmosphere.

Dawn on Aug. 13 and 14 will see the moon near the bright planet Jupiter and the brilliant planet Venus.

The moon returns to the western dusk on Aug. 20, appearing near the planets Mars and Saturn on Aug. 22 and 23. On Aug. 24, the evening moon appears half full. August ends with a full moon.

SEPTEMBER — There will be a lot of early evening moonlight the first few days of September. This is a preview of the Harvest Moon that occurs on Sept. 29. The moon will appear near the planet Jupiter in the late evening sky of Sept. 7.

After moving into the morning sky, the crescent moon will appear near the brilliant planet Venus at dawn on Sept. 12. At dusk, the crescent moon appears near Saturn on Sept. 18 and near Mars on the next evening.

On Sept. 22, fall begins and the evening moon appears half full. The Harvest Moon occurs on the evening of Sept. 29, providing extra evening moonlight for the next four evenings.

OCTOBER — The moon will appear near the bright planet Jupiter on the evening of Oct. 5. At dawn the moon appears half full in the southern dawn sky on Oct. 7.

At dawn on Oct. 12, the crescent moon appears near the brilliant planet Venus. On Oct. 18 the crescent moon is near the planet Mars in the southwestern dusk. On Sunday, Oct. 21, the evening moon appears half full.

The moon is full on Oct. 29; this is the Hunter’s Moon, providing extra evening moonlight through month’s end.

NOVEMBER — On Nov. 1, the moon appears near the bright planet Jupiter in the eastern evening sky.

Clocks are set back an hour before retiring on Saturday, Nov. 3; on Nov. 4 the sunset occurs an hour earlier (about 5:15 p.m.) and the stars become visible a little after 6 p.m.

On the morning of Nov. 7, the moon appears half full in the southern dawn. On Nov. 11, the crescent moon appears to the right of the brilliant planet Venus in the 6:30 a.m. dawn.

The crescent moon returns to the western dusk after Nov. 14. The evening moon is half full on Nov. 20 and full on Nov. 28.

DECEMBER — On the evening of Dec. 2, the planet Jupiter is closest, rising at sunset and hanging in the sky all night long. In early Dec., the planet Mercury is underneath brilliant Venus in the southeastern dawn sky.

At dawn, the crescent moon is near Saturn on Dec. 10 and near Venus on the next morning. This is a good year for the Geminid meteor shower (can be traced back to Gemini) in the early morning hours of Dec. 13.

After Dec. 13, the moon reappears in the western dusk as a slender crescent. The evening moon is half full on Dec. 19. The evening moon will appear near the bright planet Jupiter on Dec. 25.

The moon is full on Dec. 27; this full moon has the highest sky path, cresting 80 per cent of the way up in the south around midnight. (Actual time of full moon is 5:22 a.m. on Dec. 28.)

Bob Doyle invites any readers comments and questions. E-mail him at rdoyle@frostburg.edu . He is available as a speaker on his column topics.

 

1
Text Only
Bob Doyle - Astronomy
  • FSU Planetarium has new outreach program

    Several years ago, the FSU planetarium acquired an iPad. Months later, we purchased an iPad projector with necessary cables. I purchased a number of astronomical apps this year for the iPad. So I’m interested in visiting schools in this county to teach the stars and planets to classes. The astronomical apps allow you to survey the current evening night sky and show the planets, bright stars and star groups. One of the apps shows the planets close up with wonderful surface detail (as if you were cruising by in a spaceship). The apps I’ll be using can be purchased from the iTunes app store for a few dollars.

    July 27, 2014

  • It’s hotter here than in D.C. or Baltimore

    At this time of the year, the weather is a frequent subject of conversation, particularly the temperatures. We are now in the “Dog Days,” usually the hottest days of the year. The term comes from our sun appearing to be near the “Dog Star” (Sirius) and the “Little Dog Star” (Procyon). In reality, the sun is now about 94.5 million miles away while Sirius is 8.6 light years away with Procyon at 11 light years distance. Sunlight takes only 507 seconds to reach us, while the two dog stars’ light takes about a decade to travel to our eyes. So our sun is in the same direction (but not distance) as these two bright winter evening stars.

    July 20, 2014

  • Fronts, highs, lows determine weather

    Weather news on television and internet focus on violent weather, extreme temperatures and flooding.

    July 13, 2014

  • A long and winding road faces our food

    Last week’s column dealt with organs you can do without, our DNA (molecular blueprint for our bodies) and hair. My reference is “Body: Discover What’s Beneath Your Skin,” a Miles Kelly Book, written by John Farndon and Nicki Lampon and published in 2010. This column will consider finger and toe nails, breathing and coughing, saliva, mucus and your food’s long and torturous journey. Most cities and mid sized towns have nail shops where you can have your finger nails and toe nails adorned. Nail painting can be traced back 5,000 years.

    July 6, 2014

  • Here’s a look at what goes on inside you

    In high school, my favorite science course was biology. I can remember Mr. Munley in his wheelchair. Our class went on a field trip to the University of Miami Medical School where we saw the cadavers used by the medical students.

    June 28, 2014

  • Moon-watching easy when you know how

    Long before the first writing (scratches on clay tablets) appeared, our early ancestors noticed that the moon went through a regular cycle of shapes in about 30 days.

    June 21, 2014

  • Here’s how you can tell the stars, planets

    How can one tell one star from another at night? It’s a matter of knowing the sky areas (constellations).

    June 15, 2014

  • Smithsonian guide to stars is a good one

    At a local book store, I yielded to temptation and bought “Stars and Planets,” a Smithsonian Nature Guide written by four authors. Dinwoodie, Gater, Sparrow and Stott. It’s another Dorling Kindersley product with ISBN 978-0-7566-9040-3 and a 2012 copyright. “Stars and Planets” is a trade size paperback that is beautifully illustrated with appealing diagrams. “Stars and Planets” begins with the biggest topic, the Universe. There is a striking visual showing the known universe on the hugest scale, a delicate lacework of superclusters of galaxies with large voids. It resembles a bubble bath!

    June 8, 2014

  • Think a little more and be less frazzled

    Last Sunday’s column dealt with using technology carefully in education. What about technology in everyday life? There is a marvelous book “The Thinking Life,” by P.M. Forni, of The Johns Hopkins University which addresses this issue as well as timeless suggestions for living by Greek and Roman thinkers. “The Thinking Life: How To Thrive in the Age of Distraction” was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2011 with ISBN 978-0-312-62571-9. Dr. Forni also wrote “Choosing Civility” and “The Civility Solution”.

    May 25, 2014

  • Technology helps with learning, but take care

    Since I have been involved in teaching, two different technologies have been applied to learning at the secondary and collegiate level. The first was video (from videocassettes to DVDs) where a student or class might watch a presentation of some historical event, or a set of scientific principles or even a simulated exploration of the human body.

    May 18, 2014

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads