LUNAR CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 2013.
Photo by: ME – Information on this month’s lunar phases, any lunar conjunctions, the Orionids Meteor Shower and the October 18th Penumbral Lunar Eclipse as well as links and a video below.
WERE YOU BORN ON A FULL MOON?! This great page from Moon Giant shows you what phase the Moon was in when you were born; check it out: http://www.moongiant.com/birthday_moon/
OCTOBER 1st (Tue) – Entering the month the Moon is 26 days old in its 29.53 day Synodic Cycle and 13% illuminated in its waning crescent phase.
OCTOBER 1st – 9th (Tuesday to following Wednesday) – As of the 1st we are on the verge of the New Moon (Lunation 1123), this week presents nights that are the absolute BEST nights to get out and observe Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) because you won’t have to look through the spotlight that is the Moon. Night skies without the Moon are significantly more productive for viewing and photography ANY night sky object (besides the Moon itself of course). For the lucky ones, this week offers the amazing spectacle of the extreme Crescent Moon, both waning in the east & waxing in the west.
OCTOBER 4th (Fri) – LONGITUDINAL LIBRATION (see definition below) is at MINIMUM (-4.8 degrees).
OCTOBER 5th (Sat) – New Moon (LUNATION 1123) occurs at 0035 UTC (2035 EDT on the 4th).
OCTOBER 6th (Sun) – The Moon is at Ascending Node.
OCTOBER 9th (Wed) – The Moon is at its Greatest Southern Declination of -19.3 degrees. It’s in waxing crescent phase and 24% illuminated.
OCTOBER 10th (Thu) – PERIGEE MOON occurs at 2307 UTC (1907 EDT) and is when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit. It will be subtending at 33’arc minutes from a distance of 369,811 km (225,101 mi).
OCTOBER 11th (Fri) – LUNAR-X also known as the PURBACH or WERNER CROSS is scheduled to reach a fully formed “X” at 1950 UTC (1550 EDT) which means the Pacific Islands and the Americas will be in daylight conditions. Western Asia, most of Europe & Australia will have a better chance this month. The Lunar-X is the big, more prominent brother to the Curtiss Cross. This “X” is created by the effect of shadows along rims and ridges of craters LaCaille, Blanchinus and Purbach. The “X” formations occur along the Terminator (where “day” meets “night” along the Moon).
OCTOBER 12th (Sat) – FIRST QUARTER MOON is the Moon watchers paradise. Occurring at 2302 UTC (1902 EDT), First Quarter Moons and the waxing crescent phase leading up to it offer some of the most visually stunning views the Moon has to offer. Most of us will take the beautiful curves, valleys and shadows of a 1st Quarter Moon over a Full Moon ANY day.
OCTOBER 12th (Sat) – MAGINUS SUNRISE RAY will occur at 1511 UTC (1111 EDT). At the right times and as the Sun rises over the Crater Maginus (Near the terminator) a beautiful sun ray shines through a break in the craters eastern wall. The result is a vast triangle or “V” formation of light cast upon the crater floor for a period of a few hours. Maginus Crater (Named after Italian astronomer Giovanni Antonio Magini) is a pre-Nectarian impact crater located in the southern lunar highlands and to the south east of Tycho Crater. It’s 110 miles (177km.) and has been extremely eroded by subsequent impacts on or near the site through the millennia. Its selenographic coordinates (Definition below) are Latitude: 50.5°S / Longitude: 6.3°W.
OCTOBER 13th (Sun) – LATITUDINAL LIBRATION (see definition below) is at MINIMUM of (-6.8 degrees).
OCTOBER 18th (Fri) – The Full Moon will occur at 2338 UTC (1938 EDT). THE FULL HUNTER MOON = this is the month when the leaves are falling and the game is fattened. Now is the time for hunting and laying in a store of provisions for the long winter ahead. October’s Moon is also known as the Travel Moon and the Dying Moon.
This months Full moon on October 18 will also be part of a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse which is honestly a non-event as the Moon just lightly passes within Earths shadow. If you wish to learn more check this link for a rough summary of eclipses for 2013. Go to the bottom of the post for numerous links to read more in detail: http://danspace77.com/2013-eclipses/
OCTOBER 18th (Fri) – LONGITUDINAL LIBRATION (see definition below) is at a MAXIMUM of (+5.3 degrees).
OCTOBER 19th (Sat) – The Moon is at Descending Node.
OCTOBER 21-22nd ORIONIDS Meteor Shower: The Orionids meteor shower peak this month on the night of October 21 and the morning of October 22 though you may see them any time from October 4 through November 14. This year were looking at a peak rate of about 20-25 per hour and the Moons role will be significant as it will just be leaving full moon phase (92% full) so many of the meteors will be washed out due to the extra light. Here’s my write up on 2013 meteor showers, again, go to the bottom of the post so see links where you can learn more: http://danspace77.com/2013-meteor-showers/
OCTOBER 23rd (Wed) – The Moon is at its Greatest Northern Declination of +19.3 degrees.
OCTOBER 25th (Fri) – APOGEE MOON occurs this month at 1426 UTC (1026 EDT) where the Moon is at its furthest point from Earth in its current orbit and will be subtending at 29’ arc minutes from a distance of 404,560km (251,225mi).
OCTOBER 26th (Sat) – Last Quarter Moon occurs this month at 2340 UTC (1940 EDT).
OCTOBER 26th (Sat) – The brilliant Walther Sunset Ray will occur at 1654 UTC (0054 EDT). Located in the ancient 145 kilometer (90 mile) Necterian age crater named Walther (Formerly Walter or Valtherus) is a special treat that occurs monthly for a matter of a few hours. On the western rim of the crater there’s a notch and when the Sun is setting low on the lunar horizon (When the crater is near the terminator) light penetrates the notch, creating a vast triangle or “V” shaped light ray across the craters floor that ends as it illuminates the central peak of the crater. Walther Crater a heavily eroded crater located in the Lunar Southern Highlands at the Selenographic Coordinates (Definition below) of Latitude: 33.1°S / Longitude: 1.0°E. It’s named after German astronomer Bernhard Walther. This crater also has a sunrise ray that instead of a light ray is a long shadow cast by the central peak.
OCTOBER 27th (Fri) – LATITUDINAL LIBRATION (see definition below) is at MAXIMUM (+6.9 degrees).
OCTOBER 27th (Sun) – The CURTISS CROSS, a shadowing effect along craters Gambart and Parry which create an “X” shaped formation and will occur at 2238 UTC (1838 EDT). This month it will be viewable from the Europe and points east due to darkness while the Americas and points west will be in daylight.
OCTOBER 30 (Wed) – As of the 30th we are on the verge of the November New Moon (Lunation 1124), this week presents nights that are the absolute BEST nights to get out and observe Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) because you won’t have to look through the spotlight that is the Moon. Night skies without the Moon are significantly more productive for viewing and photography ANY night sky object (besides the Moon itself of course). For the lucky ones, this week offers the amazing spectacle of the extreme Crescent Moon, both waning in the east & waxing in the west.
OCTOBER 31st (Thu) – LONGITUDINAL LIBRATION (see definition below) is once again at MINIMUM (-5.7 degrees).
OCTOBER 31st (Thu) – Leaving the month the Moon is 26 days old in its 29.53 day Lunar Cycle and 11% illuminated in its waning crescent phase.
***Definition of LIBRATION (basically) – Is an oscillation of an orbiting body relative to another. OK, so…We know the Earth/Moon system is tidally locked so we always see the same side of the moon. Due to libration, we ACTUALLY see about 60% of the Moon instead of what you may intuitively think of as a 50% measurement. That’s because the Moon oscillates slightly as it rotates and orbits Earth. So, on occasion and with a keen eye we can see a little further “around the corner” north, south, east and west on the moon by a couple degrees.
***SUBTENDING Explained – Definition: The angle formed by an object at a given external point. The moon subtends an angle of approximately 0.54° (32 arc minutes) to an observer on the Earth. Of course, the moon’s orbit is not constant or exactly circular, so this varies a little, but not by very much.
If you hold up your thumb at arm’s length, you can easily cover the full moon. This means your thumb subtends a larger angle to your eye at arm’s length than the moon does at 380,000 kilometers.
In general, the closer you are to a particular object the larger that subtending angle.
***SELENOGRAPHIC COORDINATES Defined – Selenographic coordinates are used to refer to locations on the surface of Earth’s Moon. Any position on the lunar surface can be referenced by specifying two numerical values, which are comparable to the latitude and longitude of Earth. The longitude gives the position east or west of the Moon’s prime meridian, which is the line of longitude passing through the point on the lunar surface directly facing Earth. (See also Earth’s prime meridian.) This can be thought of as the midpoint of the visible Moon as seen from the Earth. The latitude gives the position north or south of the lunar equator. Both of these coordinates are given in terms of degrees. Astronomers defined the fundamental location in the selenographic coordinate system by the small, bowl-shaped satellite crater ‘Mösting A’. The coordinates of this crater are defined as:
Latitude: 3° 12′ 43.2″ South / Longitude: 5° 12′ 39.6″ West.
The coordinate system has become precisely defined due to the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment. Anything past 90°E or 90°W would not be seen from Earth, except for libration, which makes 59% of the Moon visible.