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 Seattle local time.

Date Sun
sets at
Moon
sets at
Altitude of Moon
at sunset
Direction of Moon
at sunset
21 Aug 201720:1320:22west
22 Aug 201720:1220:54west
23 Aug 201720:0721:2312°west
24 Aug 201720:0721:4816°west
25 Aug 201720:0622:1719°south-west
26 Aug 201720:0122:4222°south-west
27 Aug 201720:0123:1024°south-west

The exact moment of new moon

At the moment of closest approach, it will pass within 0°25' 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 10h03m40s 12°20'N Leo 32'05"
Sun (centre) 10h03m +11°56' Leo 31'37"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 21 August 2017
Sunrise
06:13
Sunset
20:13
Twilight ends
22:13
Twilight begins
04:13

29-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

0%

29 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:19 13:41 20:03
Venus 03:15 10:57 18:39
Moon 06:01 13:19 20:22
Mars 05:28 12:44 20:00
Jupiter 10:51 16:25 21:58
Saturn 16:09 20:28 00:47
All times shown in PDT.

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

21 Aug 2017  –  New Moon
29 Aug 2017  –  Moon at First Quarter
06 Sep 2017  –  Full Moon
12 Sep 2017  –  Moon at Last Quarter

Image credit

Simulated image courtesy of Tom Ruen.

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