LUNAR CALENDAR FOR APRIL 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/
This month sees the first two eclipses of 2014; a total lunar eclipse and an annular solar eclipse. We’re also breaking the meteor shower layoff with the Lyrids and the Eta Aquarids. We also have Mars and 2 major asteroids at opposition as well, and you can bet, the Moon has something to say about all of the above.
APRIL 1st (Tue) – Entering the month the Moon is 2 days old in its 29.53 day Synodic Cycle and 4% illuminated in its waxing crescent phase.
APRIL 1st (Tue) through 4th (Fri) – Entering the month we are coming out of March’s new moon (Lunation 1129 or the Black Moon). 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.
APRIL 1st (Tue) – The Moon is at Descending Node.
APRIL 4th (Fri) – LIBRATION will show you Mare Humboldtianum.
APRIL 5th (Sat) – The Moon is at its Greatest Northern Declination of +18.5 degrees.
APRIL 7th (Mon) – LUNAR-X also known as the PURBACH or WERNER CROSS is scheduled to begin forming the “X” at 0828 UTC (0428 EDT). 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).
APRIL 7th (Mon) – FIRST QUARTER MOON is the Moon watchers paradise. Occurring at 0831 UTC (0431 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.
APRIL 7th (Mon) – LIBRATION will show you Cusanus Crater.
APRIL 8th (Tue) – Mars reaches opposition and the Moon will be 8 days old, just past first quarter and 60% illuminated. For more info on the Mars opposition here ya go: https://danspace77.com/2014/03/23/now-is-the-time-to-observe-mars/
APRIL 8th (Tue) – MAGINUS SUNRISE RAY will occur at 0452 UTC (0052 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.
APRIL 8th (Tue) – APOGEE MOON occurs this month at 1453 UTC (1053 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 404,501 km (251,345 mi).
APRIL 13th (Sun) – Asteroid 4-Vesta reaches opposition and will reach a naked eye visibility of about 5.8. The Moon doesn’t appear impressed as it will be nearly full during peak opposition. NOTE: you must know where to look to spot asteroids as they appear star-like. The myth that you will see them move before your eyes is untrue unless it’s very close to Earth.
APRIL 14th (Mon) – Mars reaches perigee (closest point to Earth in its orbit) at 92.4 million km (57.4 million miles).
APRIL 15th (Tue) – The Full Moon will occur at 0745 UTC (0345 EDT). THE FULL PINK MOON = This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.
FULL LUNAR ECLIPSE of APRIL 15th: Viewable in the Americas with partials in eastern Australia and New Zealand. Mars will be in the area as well so you will see the red moon in the sky with the red planet. For full details of this nights eclipse check above or just hit the link here: https://danspace77.com/2014-eclipses-2/
APRIL 15th (Tue) – The Moon is at Ascending Node.
APRIL 15 (Tue) – Asteroid 1-Ceres (Dwarf Planet) reaches opposition at a non-naked eye visibility of about 7. Moon will be full this night so viewing will be hindered but get out with binos and telescopes anyway. NOTE: you must know where to look to spot asteroids as they appear star-like. The myth that you will see them move before your eyes is untrue unless it’s very close to Earth.
APRIL 16th (Wed) – LIBRATION will show you Lacus Veris.
APRIL 16th (Wed) – 25th (Thu) LYRIDS Meteor Shower: Beginning on or near the 16th and ending on or around the 25th is the LYRIDS meteor shower. Peak night will be the night of the 21st and morning of the 22nd and max rate will be roughly 20 per hr. That rate will be reduced due to the 50% illuminated last (3rd) quarter moon.
Peak night is usually a given night and next morning with the “next morning” being the absolute best time to watch. In fact the closer to morning twilight you can get, the better…..here’s why. If you view the solar system from the top, planets orbit the Sun in a counter clockwise motion, we also rotate in a counter clockwise motion. That means just before sunrise the Earth is pointed in the direction of travel of the Earth itself and meteors are mere “bugs (Or if you prefer; “snowflakes”) hitting the windshield” of Spaceship Earth. For more info on this shower hit the link: https://danspace77.com/2014-meteor-showers/
APRIL 18th (Fri) – LIBRATION will show you Vallis Bouvard.
APRIL 19th (Sat) – The Moon is at its Greatest Southern Declination of -18.5 degrees.
APRIL 19th (Sat) – MAY 26th (Mon) ETA AQUARIDS Meteor Shower: I’m not going into too much detail with this because peak night/morning isn’t until early May but as of the 19/20 look for meteors coming from the constellation Aquarius (or in that region). As always check here for more info: https://danspace77.com/2014-meteor-showers/
APRIL 22nd (Tue) – The brilliant Walther Sunset Ray will occur at 0417 UTC (0017 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.
APRIL 22nd (Tue) – Last Quarter (3rd Quarter) Moon occurs this month at 0753 UTC (0353 EDT).
APRIL 23rd (Mon) – The CURTISS CROSS, a shadowing effect along craters Gambart and Parry which create an “X” shaped formation and will occur at 1001 UTC (0601 EDT).
APRIL 23rd (Wed) – PERIGEE MOON occurs at 0028 UTC (2028 EDT on the 22nd) 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 369,764 km (229,760 mi).
APRIL 24th (Thu) – May 4th (Sun) As of the 24th we are on the verge of the April new moon (Lunation 1130), 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.
APRIL 28th (Mon) – The Moon is once again at Descending Node.
APRIL 29th (Tue) – New Moon (LUNATION 1130) occurs at 0617 UTC (0217 EDT).
APRIL 29th (Tue) – ANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE: The second eclipse of the year happens a couple weeks after the first and will be visible to eastern Australia and Antarctica. As the full moon swings around to become a new moon, it meets up with the sun in the sky for yet another eclipse. This time it’s the sun that takes center stage as it is eclipsed by the moon. If you notice, lunar perigee falls 6 days prior so the sun will be slightly larger than the moon on the daytime sky, creating the famous “Ring of Fire” annular eclipse. For details, as always, here ya go: https://danspace77.com/2014-eclipses-2/
APRIL 30th (Wed) – Leaving the month the Moon is 1 day old in its 29.53 day Synodic Cycle and 2% illuminated in its waxing 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