LUNAR CALENDAR FOR SEPTEMBER 2013.
Photo by: ME – Information on this month’s lunar phases, equinox, what’s happening on this months Friday the 13th and events 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/
SEPTEMBER 1st (Sun) – Entering the month the Moon is 26 days old in its 29.53 day Synodic Cycle and 15% illuminated in its waning crescent phase.
SEPTEMBER 1st – 9th (Sunday to following Monday) – As of the 2nd we are on the verge of the New Moon (Lunation 1122), 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.
SEPTEMBER 2nd (Mon) – LATITUDINAL LIBRATION (see definition below) is at MAXIMUM (+6.7 degrees).
SEPTEMBER 5th (Thu) – New Moon (LUNATION 1122) occurs at 1136 UTC (0736 EDT).
SEPTEMBER 7th (Sat) – LONGITUDINAL LIBRATION (see definition below) is at MINIMUM (-4.7 degrees).
SEPTEMBER 9th (Mon) – The Moon is at Ascending Node.
SEPTEMBER 9th (Mon) – Saturn is 2 degrees N of the Moon at 1700 UTC (1300 EDT).
SEPTEMBER 12th (Thu) – LUNAR-X also known as the PURBACH or WERNER CROSS is scheduled to reach a fully formed “X” at 0642 UTC (0242 EDT) which means the Pacific Islands and the Americas will be in prime conditions (Weather Permitting). Western Asia, most of Europe & Australia will have likely be showered in daylight. 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).
SEPTEMBER 12th (Thu) – FIRST QUARTER MOON is the Moon watchers paradise. Occurring at 1009 UTC (0609 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.
SEPTEMBER 13th (Fri the 13th!) – The Moon is at its Greatest Southern Declination of -19.4 degrees. It’s in waxing gibbous phase and 64% illuminated.
SEPTEMBER 15th (Sun) – PERIGEE MOON occurs at 1635 UTC (0035 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 367,387 km (225,101 mi).
SEPTEMBER 15th (Sun) – MAGINUS SUNRISE RAY will occur at 0108 UTC (0908 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.
SEPTEMBER 16th (Mon) – LATITUDINAL LIBRATION (see definition below) is at MINIMUM of (-6.7 degrees).
SEPTEMBER 19th (Thu) – The Full Moon will occur at 1113 UTC (0713 EDT). THE FULL HARVEST MOON = This full moon’s name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon, which is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.
SEPTEMBER 21st (Sat) – LONGITUDINAL LIBRATION (see definition below) is at a MAXIMUM of (+5.9 degrees).
SEPTEMBER 22nd (Sun) – The Moon is at Descending Node.
SEPTEMBER 22nd (Sun) – Autumnal Equinox for Northern Hemisphere and Vernal Equinox for the Southern Hemisphere occurs at 2044 UTC (1644 EDT).
SEPTEMBER 26th (Thu) – Last Quarter Moon occurs this month at 0856 UTC (0456 EDT).
SEPTEMBER 26th (Thu) – The Moon is at its Greatest Northern Declination of +19.3 degrees.
SEPTEMBER 27th (Fri) – APOGEE MOON occurs this month at 1818 UTC (1418 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 404,308km (251,225mi).
SEPTEMBER 27th (Fri) – The brilliant Walther Sunset Ray will occur at 0458 UTC (0058 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.
SEPTEMBER 28th (Sat) – The CURTISS CROSS, a shadowing effect along craters Gambart and Parry which create an “X” shaped formation and will occur at 0952 UTC (0552 EDT). This month it will be hidden from the Europe and points east due to daylight while the Americas and points west should have no trouble viewing it.
SEPTEMBER 30th (Mon) – LATITUDINAL LIBRATION (see definition below) is at MAXIMUM once again this month (+6.8 degrees).
SEPTEMBER 30th (Mon) – Leaving the month the Moon is 25 days old in its 29.53 day Lunar Cycle and 21% 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.
Moon phase and libration for 2013: