Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.

New Moon

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Moon feed

Objects: The Moon
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The sky at

The Moon will pass close to the Sun and become lost in the its glare for a few days.

The Moon's orbital motion carries it around the Earth once every four weeks, and as a result its phases cycle from new moon, through first quarter, full moon and last quarter, back to new moon once every 29.5 days.

This motion also means that the Moon travels more than 12° across the sky from one night to the next, causing it to rise and set nearly an hour later each day. More information about the Moon's phases is available here.

At new moon, the Earth, Moon and Sun all lie in a roughly straight line, with the Moon in the middle, appearing in front of the Sun's glare. In this configuration, we see almost exactly the opposite half of the Moon to that which is illuminated by the Sun, making it doubly unobservable because the side we see is unilluminated.

Observing the Moon in the days after new moon

Over coming days, the Moon will become visible in the late afternoon and dusk sky as a waxing crescent which sets soon after the Sun. By first quarter, in a week's time, it will be visible until around midnight.

Its daily progress is charted below, with all times are given in Fairfield local time.

Date Sun
sets at
Moon
sets at
Altitude of Moon
at sunset
Direction of Moon
at sunset
16 Sep 201219:0218:33-6°west
17 Sep 201219:0219:04west
18 Sep 201219:0119:37west
19 Sep 201219:0020:1612°south-west
20 Sep 201218:5521:0018°south-west
21 Sep 201218:5421:5023°south-west
22 Sep 201218:5422:4826°south

The exact moment of new moon

At the moment of closest approach, it will pass within 4°34' of the Sun, in the constellation Leo. The celestial coordinates of the Sun and Moon will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
The Moon 11h28m40s 1°35'S Leo 32'10"
Sun (centre) 11h35m +02°36' Leo 31'49"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 15 September 2012
Sunrise
06:34
Sunset
19:02
Twilight ends
20:38
Twilight begins
04:58

29-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

0%

29 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:56 13:07 19:18
Venus 02:56 10:01 17:06
Moon 06:03 12:22 18:33
Mars 11:02 16:04 21:05
Jupiter 22:48 06:13 13:39
Saturn 09:28 15:01 20:34
All times shown in EDT.

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

15 Sep 2012  –  New Moon
22 Sep 2012  –  Moon at First Quarter
29 Sep 2012  –  Full Moon
08 Oct 2012  –  Moon at Last Quarter

Image credit

Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.

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