LUNAR CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 2014
Photo Credit: ME – Information on this month’s lunar phases, conjunctions etc. Check out NASA’s Lunar Phase & Libration video below and below that video I have listed all resources used to generate these monthly calendars!
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/
The most prominent detail this month is that, because of January and March having 5 lunar phases each, February has only 3 to include no new moons at all.
FEBRUARY 1st (Sat) – Entering the month the Moon is 2 days old in its 29.53 day Synodic Cycle and 4% illuminated in its waxing crescent phase.
FEBRUARY 1st (Sat) through the 4th (Tue)– We start the month returning from New Moon (Lunation 1127), 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.
FEBRUARY 4th (Tue) – Lunar Libration: Crater Schorr visible.
FEBRUARY 5th (Wed) – The Moon is at Descending Node.
FEBRUARY 5th (Wed) – Lunar Libration: Mare Smythii visible.
FEBRUARY 6th (Thu) – FIRST QUARTER MOON is the Moon watchers paradise. Occurring at 1922 UTC (1422 EST), 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.
FEBRUARY 7th (Fri) – LUNAR-X also known as the PURBACH or WERNER CROSS is scheduled to reach a fully formed “X” at 0632 UTC (0132 EST). 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).
FEBRUARY 8th (Sat) – MAGINUS SUNRISE RAY will occur at 0440 UTC (2340 EST on the 7th). 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.
FEBRUARY 9th (Sun) – The Moon is at its Greatest Northern Declination of +19.18 degrees.
FEBRUARY 10th (Mon) – On the evening of the 10th the Moon is in the constellation Gemini and in close proximity to Jupiter.
FEBRUARY 12th (Wed) – APOGEE MOON occurs this month at 0511 UTC (0011 EST) 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 406,231 km (252,420 mi).
FEBRUARY 14th (Fri) – The Full Moon will occur at 2354 UTC (1854 EST). THE FULL SNOW MOON = Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult.
FEBRUARY 15th (Sat) – Lunar Libration: Pythagoras Crater visible.
FEBRUARY 19th (Wed) – Before dawn (About 1hr before sunrise) on the 19th the Moon is in close proximity to Spica and Mars.
FEBRUARY 20th (Thu) – The Moon is at Ascending Node.
FEBRUARY 20th (Thu) – Lunar Libration: Olbers Crater visible.
FEBRUARY 22nd (Sat) – The brilliant Walther Sunset Ray will occur at 0019 UTC (1919 EST on the 21st). 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.
FEBRUARY 22nd (Sat) – Last Quarter Moon occurs this month at 1716 UTC (1216 EST).
FEBRUARY 23rd (Sun) – The CURTISS CROSS, a shadowing effect along craters Gambart and Parry which create an “X” shaped formation and will occur at 0747 UTC (0247 EST).
FEBRUARY 24th (Mon) – The Moon is at its Greatest Southern Declination of -19.1 degrees.
FEBRUARY 25th (Tue) – MARCH 5th (Wed) As of the 25th we are on the verge of the MARCH New Moon (Lunation 1128), 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.
FEBRUARY 26th (Wed) – About 30 minutes before sunrise the Moon will be in close proximity to Venus.
FEBRUARY 27th (Thu) – About 30 minutes before sunrise the Moon will be in close proximity to Mercury.
FEBRUARY 27th (Thu) – PERIGEE MOON occurs at 1953 UTC (1453 EST) 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 360,438 km (223,966 mi).
FEBRUARY 28th (Fri) – Leaving the month the Moon is 28 days old in its 29.53 day Lunar Cycle and 03% 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.
NASA | Moon Phase and Libration North Up 2014: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKRtZ89AMts
2014 Moon phases with TIMES: http://www.calendar-12.com/moon_phases/2014
FULL YEAR of Lunar Cycles: Previous and Future years as well: http://kalender-365.de/lunar-calendar.php?yy=2014
February 2014 Moon phase & illumination calendar: http://www.calendar-12.com/moon_calendar/2014/february
Full & New Moon Calendar: http://www.moongiant.com/Full_Moon_New_Moon_Calendar.php
BLUE MOON Calendar: http://www.moongiant.com/Blue_Moon_Calendar.php
SUPERMOON Calendar: http://www.astropro.com/features/tables/cen21ce/suprmoon.html
2014 Perigee & Apogee DATES, TIMES & DISTANCES as well as Full & New Moon dates & times: http://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/pacalc.html
2014 Perigee & Apogee: http://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/distance.html
Lunar Ray predictions: http://www.lunar-occultations.com/rlo/rays/rays.htm
Sun/Moon Rise & Set times: http://www.40-below.com/sunmoon/
Sun/Moon Rise & Set times for the DAY: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneDay.php
Sun/Moon Rise & Set times for the YEAR: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.php
Farmer’s Almanac Full Moon Names: http://www.farmersalmanac.com/full-moon-names/
Lunar ASCENDING & DESCENDING Nodes: http://astropixels.com/ephemeris/moon/moonnodes2001.html
Greatest NORTHERN & SOUTHERN Declinations of the Moon: http://www.astropro.com/features/tables/cen21ce/mo-dcl-2014.html
Moon Phases for ANY date: http://www.moonpage.com/
NASA GODDARD Moon NOW: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a004100/a004118/
Moon right NOW: http://www.calculatorcat.com/moon_phases/phasenow.php
Moon right NOW: http://www.die.net/moon/
Moon right NOW: http://www.calendar-365.com/moon/current-moon-phase.html
NASA JPL Ephemeris Calculator: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?horizons
Lunar Ephemeris Calculator: http://www.lunar-occultations.com/rlo/ephemeris.htm