The Full Moon will disturb the night sky after the weekend for the majority of the night and it will be hard to observe deep sky or dim objects. Best time for observing dim objects will be between midnight and 5 am. The Milky Way is best seen at the zenith around 10 pm. The observation is affected by the Moon. The phase is 76% and past First Quarter. After the weekend, the observation is affected by the Full Moon.
Due to the Moon, also the Gegenschein will be hard to see. The faint glowing patch of sky relatively is good for observation 37° above the Southern horizon at about 1 am. The Zodiacal Light is good for observation low above the Eastern horizon at around 5 am.
The planet Venus is best seen from 3.20 am to 6.50 am in the constellation Cancer and moves into the constellation Leo. Mars is best seen from 3.50 am to 6.20 am in the constellation Leo. The giant planet Jupiter is best seen from 4.50 am to 6.40 am in the constellation Leo. Saturn, the planet with the rings, is best seen from 7.35 pm to 9.10 pm in the constellation Libra. For Uranus you will need a binocular or smaller telescope and the planet is best seen from 9.20 pm to 5.20 am in the constellation Pisces.
The Sun rises in the East at 6.54 am and sets in the West at 7.04 pm. The Sun rises 11 minutes later after a week and sets 17 minutes earlier. Wednesday 23 September at 9.20 am it is September Equinox. Full Moon, Super Moon and Lunar Eclipse is on Monday early morning 28 September. See Special on this.
Wednesday 23 September
Today in 1973 the world's first Ceefax teletext service began on BBC Television.
At 9.20 am it is September Equinox.
The Golden Handle on the Moon is visible from 4.25 pm to 10.10 pm. The Sun rises on the Jura Mountains, while Sinus Iridium is still in the shadow. Use a binocular to observe. Moon rise in the East South East in the constellation Sagittarius and at 4.22 pm. The Sun sets at 7 pm in the West.
At 9.27 pm an Iridium flare appears in the East at an altitude of 65° and in the constellation Lacerta.
The International Space Station (ISS) appears at 5.09 am in the South West at 37° altitude. Culmination at 5.09 am in the South South West at 43° high. ISS passes the stars Alnilam and Alnitak very close, both in the constellation Orion. ISS disappears at 5.15 am in the East South East horizon.
Thursday 24 September
Pluto is stationary and getting prograde.
At 8.41 pm a bright Iridium flare appears in the East South East at an altitude of 56° in the constellation Pegasus.
The planet Mars passes less than 1 degree from Regulus at 5 am. They will be low above the Eastern horizon. Mars will be above the star.
ISS appears at 5.48 am in the West South West at 16° altitude. Culmination at 5.50 am in the South South West at 21° high and ISS disappears at 5.55 am in the South Eastern horizon.
Friday 25 September
The Sun Equilux is at 7 pm. Equal length of day and night for our location.
A very bright flare at 8.13 pm in the North at altitude 39° in the constellation Camelopardalis.
Saturday 26 September
Today in 1818 the first transfusion in Great Britain using human blood took place at Guy's Hospital in London by Dr. James Blundell. Before that, animal blood was used.
A flare at 8.07 pm in the North at 41° high in the constellation Camelopardalis. And another flare a minute later at about the same spot at 8.08 pm at altitude 40°.
You will need a small telescope to see at 5.59 am the Jupiter Moon Io shadow moving over the planet.
Sunday 27 September
A few Iridium flares. One very bright at 8.01 pm in the North at altitude 42° in the constellation Camelopardalis. At 8.28 pm a flare in the East South East at altitude 56° in the constellation Pegasus. An at 9.48 pm in the North North West at altitude 26° in the constellation Ursa Major.
Harvest Moon and a Total Lunar Eclipse occur centered after midnight at 3.48 am, visible from the Pacific, the Americas and Eastern Europe. This is as well Super Moon 2 of 3 for 2015 and the Moon reaches Full at 3.52 am, approximately an hour from perigee. This marks the closest Full Moon of the year.
At 2.06 am the Partial Lunar Eclipse begins. The Moon is at 35° in the South South West.
At 2.51 am the Moon in Perigee. This is the nearest perigee of the year. Former closer perigee was on 19 March 2011. The next closer perigee is on 14 November 2016.
At 3.10 am the Lunar Eclipse reaches Totality. The Moon is at 30° in the South West.
At 3.47 am the Lunar Eclipse is at its greatest eclipse. The duration of the total phase is 72.8 minutes, the duration of the partial phase is 200.6 minutes, and the duration of the penumbral phase is 313.6 minutes.
At 3.50 am it is Full Moon. This is the biggest Full Moon of the year. Former larger full moon was on 19 March 2011. The next larger Full Moon is on 14 November 2016.
At 4.23 am the Lunar Eclipse Totality ends. The Moon is at 23° in the West South West.
At 5.27 am the Partial Lunar Eclipse ends. The Moon is at 15° in the West South West.
You will need a small telescope to see at 5.58 am the Jupiter Moon Io reappearing from an occultation.
The Sun rises at 7.02 am in the East and the Moon sets at 7.16 am.
Monday 28 September
Today in 1865 Elizabeth Anderson became the first female licensed physician in Britain. Elizabeth Anderson, née Garrett, was born 9 June 1836 and died 17 December 1917.
At 1.20 pm the planet Mercury has its closest approach.
A bright Iridium flare at 7.55 pm in the North at altitude 44° in the constellation Camelopardalis.
At 4.30 am the Minor Plant Vesta is in opposition. The distance to the Sun is 2.418 AU, and the distance to the Earth is 1.430 AU. One AU, Astronomical Unit is the distance Sun - Earth. The diameter if the Minor Planet is 530 km and is visible in the constellation Cetus.
Tuesday 29 September
Take a break …
Wednesday 30 September
Today in 1881 the Godalming town council in Surrey voted to have the world's first public electricity supply. The contract expired that day with a gas company that lit the community's high street.
At 3.35 pm the planet Mercury is in conjunction and is only 3° separated from the Sun. The planet is not visible.
A few Iridium flares are visible. One at 7.42 pm in the North at altitude 47° in the constellation Cepheus. One at 8.06 pm in the South East at altitude 32° in the constellation Aquarius. A very bright flare at 8.14 pm in the South East at altitude 58° in the constellation Cygnus. After midnight in the early morning at 5.15 am a bright flare in the South West at 50° in the constellation Aries.
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Super Blood Harvest Lunar Eclipse Moon …
Not sure how to call it now … This month’s Full Moon will be Harvest Moon, but as well a Super Moon, a Blood Moon and a Total Lunar Eclipse. A mouth full, but what is it all about?
On the night from 27 to 28 September the Moon is passing behind the Earth's shadow. That’s when we call it a Lunar Eclipse. Lunar Eclipses only happen when it is Full Moon. This month’s Full Moon is called Harvest Moon because it is the nearest Full Moon to the September Equinox. On top of this all, this Full Moon is a Super Moon. The Moon appears 14% larger in diameter due to the distance of the Moon to the Earth.
This is visible in the morning of 28th September for Europe, Africa and Western Asia. For North and South America it will be still 27 September. The eclipse will last for 3 hours and 20 minutes from beginning to end. The Moon will be totally eclipsed for about 1 hour and 12 minutes. This Lunar Eclipse is the fourth and last in a tetrad. A tetrad is a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses in 2014 and 2015. Regions seeing at least some parts of the eclipse are Europe, South and East Asia, Africa, much of North America, much of South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Arctic, and if you are a penguin Antarctica.
Lunar eclipses look approximately the same all over the world and happen at the same time. The Moon is above the horizon during this eclipse, so with good weather conditions the entire eclipse is visible.
For our local time:
Penumbral Eclipse begins 28 September at 01.11 am
Partial Eclipse begins 28 September 02.07 am
Total Eclipse begins 28 September 03.11 am
Maximum Eclipse 28 September 03.47 am
Total Eclipse ends 28 September 04.23 am
Partial Eclipse ends 28 September 05.27 am
Penumbral Eclipse ends 28 September 06.22 am
This combination has not been seen since 1982 and will be visible until 2033.
The term Blood Moon has recently become popular when referring to the Total Lunar Eclipses in the 2014 and 2015 lunar tetrad. While the term has no technical or astronomical basis, many people believe that it comes from the Bible, and that the occurrence of the lunar tetrad is a fulfillment of a biblical prophecy.
Because it will be the Full Moon closest on the calendar to the autumnal equinox, it will be called as the Harvest Moon, and because the Moon arrives at perigee that same night it will be the biggest Full Moon of 2015.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes within Earth's umbra (shadow). As the eclipse begins, the Earth's shadow first darkens the Moon slightly. Then, the shadow begins to "cover" part of the Moon, turning it a dark red-brown color. This is quite typically. The color can vary based on atmospheric conditions. The Moon appears to be reddish because of what we call the Rayleigh scattering. It is the same effect that causes Sunsets to appear reddish and the refraction of that light by the Earth's atmosphere into its umbra.
The timing of total lunar eclipses is determined by its contacts:
P1 (First contact): Beginning of the penumbral eclipse. The Earth's penumbra touches the Moon's outer limb.
U1 (Second contact): Beginning of the partial eclipse. The Earth's umbra touches the Moon's outer limb.
U2 (Third contact): Beginning of the total eclipse. The Moon's surface is entirely within the Earth's umbra.
Greatest eclipse: The peak stage of the total eclipse. The Moon is at its closest to the center of the Earth's umbra.
U3 (Fourth contact): End of the total eclipse. The Moon's outer limb exits the Earth's umbra.
U4 (Fifth contact): End of the partial eclipse. The Earth's umbra leaves the Moon's surface.
P4 (Sixth contact): End of the penumbral eclipse. The Earth's penumbra no longer makes contact with the Moon.
The eclipse is the one of four lunar eclipses in a short-lived series at the descending node of the Moon's orbit. The lunar year series repeats after 12 lunations, or 354 days. Shifting back about 10 days in sequential years. Because of the date shift, the Earth's shadow will be about 11 degrees West in sequential events.
Watch the full-looking Moon on the night of September 27 to rise in the East as the Sun goes down. Like any Full Moon, the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon will shine all night long. It will soar highest in the sky around midnight and will set in the West around Sunrise. The Moon moves from West to East across the Earth’s shadow. The greatest eclipse takes place on 28 September at 3.47 am.
The narrow angle of the ecliptic means the Moon rises noticeably farther North on the horizon, from one night to the next. So there is no long period of darkness between Sunset and Moonrise.
How is the Harvest Moon different from other Full Moons? The Harvest Moon is the Full Moon falling closest to the autumn equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere it usually falls in September, although it can come as late as early October. In the Southern Hemisphere a Full Moon with Hunter’s Moon characteristics comes in April or May.
Autumn Full Moons, like the Hunter’s Moon or Harvest Moon, are different from other Full Moons. That’s because in autumn the ecliptic, or path of the Sun, Moon and planets, makes a narrow angle with the evening horizon. That fact causes several sky phenomena. For example, the location of the Moonrise on your horizon, for several nights around a Northern Hemisphere autumn Full Moon, is noticeably farther North along the Eastern horizon for several nights in succession.
It’s this Northward movement of the Moon along the Eastern horizon at Moonrise, for several days in a row, around the time of Full Moon that gives the Harvest Moon its magic.
These more Northerly Moonrises assure us of earlier than usual Moonrises around the time of Full Moon. On average, the Moon rises 50 minutes later daily. But at Mid Northern latitudes around now, the Moon is rising about 30 to 35 minutes later. And farther North, the effect is even more pronounced. For instance, at latitudes close to the Arctic Circle the Moon actually rises around 15 to 20 minutes later for several days in a row.
Meanwhile, in the months of September, October and November as seen from the Southern Hemisphere, it’s springtime. In the spring, there is a particularly long time between successive Moonrises, around the time of Full Moon.
What is rare?
The total lunar eclipse of 28 September 2015 the time difference between perigee and the total lunar eclipse is the smallest. The Moon is in perigee at 02.46 am and mid totality at 03.47 am. The Moon will be totally eclipsed within 15 hours of an apogee on 27 July 2018 and it will be totally eclipsed within 15 hours of a perigee on 21 January 2019.
Following examples of total lunar eclipses where perigee or apogee occurs when some part of the Moon is still in the umbral shadow. On 8 October 2033 the greatest eclipse is at 10.55 am and perigee is at 12.11 pm. The umbral phase of the eclipse does not end until 12.36 pm. On 18 August 2054 the greatest eclipse is at 09.25 am and apogee is at 10.18 am. The umbral phase of the eclipse does not end until 11.18 am.
Super Moons occur because the Moon's orbit around Earth is elliptical rather than circular. While the Moon's average distance from our planet is about 239 000 miles or 384 600 kilometers, the natural satellite roams as far away as 252 000 miles or 405 600 km at apogee and gets as close as 226 000 miles or 363 700 km at perigee.
A Super Moon is a Full Moon that occurs at, or very near, perigee and appears abnormally big in the sky as a result. In fact Super Moons appear about 14 percent larger and 30 brighter than apogee Full Moons, which are also known as Mini Moons.
Super Moon eclipses are special. They have occurred just five times since 1900. In 1910, 1928, 1946, 1964 and in 1982. "Normal" lunar eclipses are much more common. In fact, an observer at any particular location around the globe can expect to see a total lunar eclipse about once every 2.5 years on average.
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