LUNAR CALENDAR; MAY 2014
Photo Credit: ME (I’m horrible at Moon photography) – Information on this month’s lunar phases, conjunctions etc. Check out NASA’s Lunar Phase & Libration video below. I have also 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 peak of the Eta Aquarids meteor shower as well as the possible 209P/LINEAR meteor shower. Saturn also reaches opposition this month so if you have a thing for the ring, then break out the scope because NOW is the time to see Saturn.
MAY 1st (Thu) – Entering the month the Moon is 2 days old in its 29.53 day Synodic Cycle and 6% illuminated in its waxing crescent phase.
MAY 1st (Thu) through 4th (Sun) – Entering the month we are coming out of April’s 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.
MAY 2nd (Fri) – The Moon reaches its Greatest Northern Declination of +18.8 degrees.
MAY 6th (Tue) – LUNAR-X also known as the PURBACH or WERNER CROSS is scheduled to begin forming the “X” at 1950 UTC (1550 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).
MAY 6th (Tue) – APOGEE MOON occurs this month at 1023 UTC (0623 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 404,318 km (251,231 mi).
MAY 6th (Tue) – The Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaks on the night of May 5th and especially the morning of May 6th before twilight. The moon will be 42% iluminated in its waxing crescent phase but should be setting early enough to not cause too much of an issue at all. This shower should be a treat for southern hemisphere observers with a possible hourly rate around 50. Peak night is usually a given night and next morning with the “next morning” being the absolute best time to watch. In fact the close 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.
MAY 7th (Wed) – FIRST QUARTER MOON is the Moon watchers paradise. Occurring at 0316 UTC (2316 EDT on the 6th), 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.
MAY 7th (Wed) – MAGINUS SUNRISE RAY will occur at 1506 UTC (1106 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.
MAY 10th (Sat) – Saturn reaches opposition at 1800 UTC (1400 EDT). The Moon will be 82% full in its waxing gibbous phase and should be setting around 0730 UTC (0330 EDT).
MAY 12th (Mon) – The Moon reaches Ascending Node at 2206 UTC (1806 EDT).
MAY 14th (Wed) – The Full Moon will occur at 1918 UTC (1518 EDT). Full Flower Moon: In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time, thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.
MAY 16th (Fri) – The Moon is at its Greatest Southern Declination of -18.6 degrees.
MAY 18th (Sun) – PERIGEE MOON occurs at 2359 UTC (1959 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 367,098 km (228,104 mi).
MAY 21st (Wed) – The brilliant Walther Sunset Ray will occur at 1659 UTC (1259 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.
MAY 21st (Wed) – Last Quarter (3rd Quarter) Moon occurs this month at 1300 UTC (0900 EDT).
MAY 22nd (Thu) – The CURTISS CROSS, a shadowing effect along craters Gambart and Parry which create an “X” shaped formation and will occur at 2157 UTC (1757 EDT).
MAY 24th (Sat) – There may be a meteor shower peaking around 0700 UTC (0300 EDT) from Comet 209P/LINEAR. The Moon should be around 21% full in its waning crescent phase and should be setting in time to catch some decent meteors if the shower pans out as it’s still a big unknown but has potential for a dramatic display.
MAY 24th (Sat) – JUNE 2nd (Mon) As of the 24th we are on the verge of the May new moon (Lunation 1131), 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.
MAY 25th (Sun) – The Moon reaches Descending Node at 1756 UTC (1356 EDT).
MAY 28th (Wed) – New Moon (LUNATION 1131) occurs at 1843 UTC (1443 EDT).
MAY 30th (Fri) – The Moon once again reaches its Greatest Northern Declination of +19.01 degrees.
MAY 31st (Sat) – Leaving the month the Moon is 3 days old in its 29.53 day Synodic Cycle and 8% 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
2014 Moon phase & illumination calendar: http://www.calendar-12.com/moon_calendar/2014/june
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
Kilometers (km) to miles (mi.) converter: http://www.metric-conversions.org/length/kilometers-to-miles.htm