Photo Credit & Copyright: ME of the Mooooon.
Check out NASA’s Lunar Phase & Libration video below. I have also listed all resources used to generate these monthly calendars at the bottom of the post!
This month fall is in full swing and the night sky has some noticeable changes as the Orion neighborhood aka Winter Hexagon region rises earlier and earlier as the month moves on. We will also be treated to 2 eclipses, one lunar, one solar and a meteor shower.
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 01 (Wed) – Entering the month the Moon is 7 days old in its 29.53 day Synodic Cycle and 47% illuminated in its waxing crescent phase.
OCTOBER 01 (Wed) – First Quarter Moon is the Moon watchers paradise. Occurring at 1933 UTC (1533 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 01 (Wed) – LUNAR-X also known as the PURBACH or WERNER CROSS is scheduled to begin forming the “X” at 0450 UTC (0050 EDT). The Lunar-X is the big, more prominent brother to the Curtiss Cross. This “X” is created by 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 02 (Thu) – MAGINUS SUNRISE RAY will occur at 00:22 UTC (20:22 EDT on the 1st). 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 02 (Thu) – Sunrise on the lunar scarp; Rupes Recta or the “Straight Wall” is visible tonight. Shortly after first quarter (around 60% illuminated) the rising Sun causes it to look black as its shadow is cast. Two weeks later, during lunar sunset it will appear white.
OCTOBER 06 (Mon) – Perigee Moon occurs at 09:42 UTC (05:42 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 362,480 km (225,234 mi).
OCTOBER 07 (Tue) – The 3rd Gas Giant and 1st of the Ice Giants, Uranus reaches opposition at 20:44 UTC (16:44 EDT).
OCTOBER 08 (Wed) – The Full Moon will occur at 10:50 UTC (06:50 EDT). Full Hunters Moon: This full Moon is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.
OCTOBER 8 (Wed) – The final Lunar Eclipse takes place on the 8th. It will be a total lunar eclipse and viewing will favor Hawaii, the west coast of the U.S., most of Japan, the east coast of Australia and all of New Zealand. Those are just the locations that will witness the eclipse from start to finish. Really, anyone but Africa and Europe should at least partially see this eclipse. Where I am on the east coast of the United States it should be a brilliant show as the red, fully eclipsed moon will be setting in the west on a blanket of Earth Shadow and the Belt of Venus. How about a special treat? Uranus is at opposition of the 7th and very close to the full moon on the 8th. At a magnitude of 5.7 you won’t be able to see Uranus next to that full moon however see if you can make out that dim green disk during the eclipse. East coast you probably won’t have any luck with this as we will be in twilight. Want more eclipse info: https://danspace77.com/2014-eclipses-2/
OCTOBER 08 (Wed) – The Moon reaches Descending Node at 17:44 UTC (13:44 EDT).
OCTOBER 13 (Mon) – The Moon reaches its Greatest Northern Declination of +18.31 degrees.
OCTOBER 15 (Wed) – Last Quarter (3rd Quarter) Moon occurs this month at 19:13 UTC (15:13 EDT).
OCTOBER 16 (Thu) – Sunset on the lunar scarp; Rupes Recta or the “Straight Wall” is visible tonight. At last quarter (about 50% illuminated) the setting Sun causes it to look white as it illuminates the slope. Two weeks later, during lunar sunrise after 1st quarter it will appear black.
OCTOBER 16 (Thu) – The brilliant Walther Sunset Ray will occur at 01:12 UTC (21:12 EDT on the 15th). 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 17 (Fri) – The CURTISS CROSS, a shadowing effect along craters Gambart and Parry which create an “X” shaped formation and will occur at 0710 UTC (0310 EDT).
OCTOBER 18 (Sat) – 28 (Tue) As of the 18th we are on the verge of October’s new moon (Lunation 1136), 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 18 (Sat) – Apogee Moon occurs at 06:06 UTC (02:06 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 404,897 km (251,591 mi).
OCTOBER 19 (Sun) – Mars gets a close shave as Comet C/2013/A1 Siding Spring makes a flyby at 18:28 UTC (14:28 EDT). https://danspace77.com/2014/08/22/comet-to-give-mars-a-close-shave-this-october/
OCTOBER 20 & 21 (Mon & Tue): The Peak of the Orionids meteor shower hits on the night of the 20th and morning of the 21st. This shower peaks at about 30 per hour from the general direction of the constellation Orion. The Moon will be gracious enough to be in its waning crescent phase and only about 3% illuminated thus will be rising just before sunrise and will have very little impact in brightness when it does. The parent body of the Orionids Meteor Shower is the one and only Comet 1P/Halley.
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/.
OCTOBER 23 (Thu) – New Moon (LUNATION 1136) occurs at 21:56 UTC (17:56 EDT).
OCTOBER 23 (Thu) – The Moon reaches Ascending Node at 00:46 UTC (20:46 EDT on the 22nd).
OCTOBER 23 (Thu) – The final eclipse of 2014 takes place on the 23rd and it’s a Partial Solar Eclipse. This eclipse is pretty much only for the United States although the east coast will be racing sunset. Alaska, 90% of the U.S. and all of Mexico should see this event in its entirety. Want more eclipse info?: https://danspace77.com/2014-eclipses-2/
OCTOBER 25 (Sat) – Venus reaches superior conjunction which means it’s opposite the sun from us here on Earth. That also means it begins apparition and transitions from Phosphorus, the Morning Star to Hesperus, the Evening Star.
OCTOBER 28 (Tue) – The Moon is at its Greatest Southern Declination of -18.32 degrees.
OCTOBER 30 (Thu) – LUNAR-X also known as the PURBACH or WERNER CROSS is once again scheduled to begin forming the “X” at 1830 UTC (1430 EDT). The Lunar-X is the big, more prominent brother to the Curtiss Cross. This “X” is created by 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 31 (Fri) – The Moon once again reaches First Quarter. Time will be 02:48 UTC (22:48 EDT on the 3oth).
OCTOBER 31 (Fri) – MAGINUS SUNRISE RAY will occur for the second time this month at 15:23 UTC (11:23 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 31 (Fri) – Leaving the month the Moon is 8 days old in its 29.53 day Synodic Cycle and 55% 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/october
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
Sunrise & Sunset CHART: http://sunrisehour.com/sunrise-sunset/united_states/boston_ma
Kilometers (km) to miles (mi.) converter: http://www.metric-conversions.org/length/kilometers-to-miles.htm