Space Junk; JULY 2015

15-184

Photo Credit & Copyright: My attempt at imaging the 2,159 mile wide low albedo rock 240,000 miles away that’s lit by the nearly million mile wide fusion reactor 93 million miles away in the other direction.

Below I have listed most of the major night sky events for this month, birthdays, events in history etc. I have also listed all resources used to generate these monthly calendars at the bottom of the post so dig in, learn and enjoy! Also; if you notice something that I didn’t add that you think should be here, or if something’s incorrect definitely let me know!

Here’s a list of all major 2015 Celestial Events here: https://danspace77.com/2015-celestial-events/

Interested in Planetary Motions for 2015? Here ya go!: https://danspace77.com/2015-planetary-motions/

How about Meteor Showers for 2015? https://danspace77.com/2015-meteor-showers/

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. (This may not work on your phone): http://www.moongiant.com/birthday_moon/

All dates and times were calculated using Military Time & Universal Time (UTC) and I also throw in eastern U.S. time (EST or EDT depending on whether its Daylight Savings or not) but beware, early morning events for UTC will actually likely be late night events on the previous date for the US. For example if something is scheduled to occur at 02:00 UTC on the 14th, that’s 21:00 EST on the 13th.

Another important thing to remember is that a calendar day is actually daylight sandwiched between two darks so when an event says, March 29 for example, you’ve got to check the time because March 29 could very well be in the morning before sunrise and not that coming night.

Finally, calculating events on the Moon is that it’s not as simple as “Ok it’s 40% illuminated so we should see this.” I wish it was that easy but because of libration, locations on the disk of the moon move slightly as we see them. One month an event could occur at 52% illumination and the next month it could occur at 54% illumination etc.

JULY (All Month) – Jupiter is still looking great in July. Look for the Great Red Spot and the 4 Galilean moons as they will be eclipsing and occulting each other through summer in a process known as “mutual events.” Saturn is just past opposition so have a look it’s as good as it will get all year! Milky Way season is also under way as the core of our star city will be visible in the south through early Fall. The Delta Aquarids meteor shower takes place this month.

JULY 01 (Wed) – Entering the month the Moon is 14 days old in its 29.53 day Synodic Cycle and 99% illuminated in its waxing gibbous phase.

JULY 01 (Wed) – The Moon is at its Greatest Southern Declination of -18.26 degrees.

July 1, 2004: NASA’s Cassini spacecraft becomes the 1st to orbit Saturn.

JULY 02 (Thu) – The Full Moon will occur at 02:22 UTC (22:22 EDT on the 1st). Though the quarters of the Moon occur at exact times, as far as viewing goes you can call it the entire night and be close enough. (Name information provided by The Farmer’s Almanac). Full Buck Moon; July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.

Full Moon Note: Many people actually find observing the Full Moon through a telescope or binoculars almost painful due to its brightness. One way that we curb this issue (at least in telescopes) is with neutral density filters. ND filters range anywhere from 20% light block to 80% light block and they’re pretty cheap. I don’t usually use them but I have a 50% on hand in the event someone needs it. Just be careful because for some companies, an ND25 means 25% of the light is blocked while some mean 25% of light passes through so make sure before you buy.

July 2, 1937: Amelia Earhart disappears.

JULY 03 (Fri) My single favorite phase of the Moon occurs around 95 % illumination just after full phase. I call it the “Full Crater Chain” and it’s when the terminator runs right through Mare Crisium. The chain runs up through Cleomedes, Burckhardt, Geminus, Messala, Endymion and even more impressively below Crisium through Langrenus, Vendelinus, Petavius and Furnerius. If you catch it just right you can enjoy a secondary treat as Petavius’s central peak becomes illuminated and shines alone in the darkness of the crater itself. (NOTE: With libration it may not form properly month to month.).

July 3, 1935: Happy Birthday Jack Schmitt of Apollo 17 and the only Geologist to walk on the Moon.

July 4, 1776: Independence Day for the United States.

July 4, 1054: Supernova is observed in China. Today we catalog this object at Messier 1 (M1) or the Crab Nebula.

July 4, 1934: Death of Marie Curie.

July 4, 1997: NASA Pathfinder and Sojourner rover (1st Mars rover) land on Mars.

July 4, 2012 Higgs Boson discovery officially announced.

JULY 05 (Sun) – Perigee Moon occurs at 18:53 UTC (14:53 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 367,093 km (228,101 mi).

July 5, 1687: Isaac Newton’s Principa first published.

JULY 06 (Mon) – Earth reaches aphelion. At a distance of 94,506,400 mi. (152,093,475 km) this is our furthest point from the Sun in 2015.

JULY 06 (Mon) – Dwarf planet Pluto reaches opposition. At an apparent magnitude of +14 don’t expect to see much, even in a telescope.

JULY 07 (Tue) – The Moon reaches Descending Node at 23:58 UTC (19:58 EDT).

July 7, Launch of Mars Exploration Rover B (MER-B) Opportunity.

JULY 08 (Wed) – Last Quarter (3rd Quarter) Moon occurs this month at 20:26 UTC (16:26 EDT). Though the quarters of the Moon occur at exact times, as far as viewing goes you can call it the entire night and be close enough.

JULY 08 (Wed) – Sunset on the lunar scarp; Rupes Recta or the “Straight Wall” is visible about the day of or day after last quarter (about 45-50% illuminated) the setting Sun causes it to look white as it illuminates the slope.  Two weeks later, during lunar sunrise after first quarter it will appear black.

July 8, 2011: Launch of the final Space Shuttle: OV-104 Atlantis from KSC LC-39A.

JULY 09 (Thu) – The brilliant Walther Sunset Ray will occur around 01:18 UTC (21:18 EDT on the 8th). 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 when illumination is around 44%. 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.

JULY 09 (Thu) – Pico Mons Sunset.  The day of or day after last quarter (around 50% illuminated) the setting Sun hits Pico Mons in Mare Imbrium, near Crater Plato and casts a long shadow along the lunar plains.

July 9, 1962: Largest nuclear explosion in space; Starfish Prime.

July 9, 1975: Voyager 2, Jupiter flyby.

JULY 10 (Fri) – The CURTISS CROSS, is a creation of shadows throughout craters Gambart and Parry which create an “X” shaped formation and will occur around 05:30 UTC (01:30 EST).  The Curtiss Cross is associated with the third (last) quarter Moon and forms about 14 hours past the third quarter mark.

JULY 10 (Fri) – 22 (Wed) As of Thursday the 11th we are on the verge of June’s new moon (Lunation 1145). 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.

July 10, 1856: Birth on Nikola Tesla.

July 10, 1917: Birth of Don Herbert “Mr. Wizard.”

JULY 12 (Sun) – Manhattanhenge part 2! NYC

JULY 14 (Tue) – The Moon reaches its Greatest Northern Declination of +18.25 degrees.

JULY 14 (Tue) – New Horizons to make 1st ever Pluto flyby!

July 15, 1972: Pioneer 10 becomes the 1st manmade object to enter into the Main Asteroid Belt.

July 15, 1975: Launch of the American & Soviet Apollo Soyuz Test Project (ASTP).

JULY 16 (Thu) – New Moon (LUNATION 1145) occurs at 01:26 UTC (21:26 EDT on the 15th). Though the quarters of the Moon occur at exact times, as far as viewing goes you can call it the entire night and be close enough.

July 16, 1969: Launch of Apollo 11.

July 16, 1994: Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts Jupiter.

July 18, 1921: Happy Birthday John Glenn!

July 20, 1969: “One Small Step For A Man; One Giant Leap For Mankind.” Humans touch down on another planetary body for the first time in our existence (Apollo 11).

July 20, 1976: Viking 1 lands on Mars and takes 1st ever images from its surface.

JULY 21 (Tue) – Apogee Moon occurs at 11:00 UTC (07:00 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 404,843 km (251,558 mi).

JULY 21 (Tue) – The Moon reaches Ascending Node at 19:32 UTC (15:32 EDT).

JULY 23 (Thu) – LUNAR-X also known as the PURBACH or WERNER CROSS is scheduled to begin forming the “X” around 13:50 UTC (09:50 EDT). The Lunar-X is the big, more prominent brother to the Curtiss Cross. This “X” is created by shadowing throughout the rims and ridges of craters LaCaille, Blanchinus and Purbach. The “X” formations occur along the terminator (where “day” meets “night” across the Moon).  It typically begins just after first quarter when the Moon is approximately 53% illuminated.

July 23, 1999: Eileen Collins becomes 1st female Space Shuttle Commander with the launch of STS-93 Columbia.

JULY 24 (Fri) – First Quarter Moon is the Moon watchers paradise. Occurring at 04:05 UTC (00:05 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. Though the quarters of the Moon occur at exact times, as far as viewing goes you can call it the entire night and be close enough.

JULY 24 (Fri) – MAGINUS SUNRISE RAY will occur around 07:44 UTC (03:44 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.

JULY 24 (Fri) – Pico Mons Sunrise occurs the night of or the night after first quarter (around 62% illuminated) the rising Sun hits Pico Mons in Mare Imbrium, near Crater Plato and casts a long shadow along the lunar plains.

JULY 24 (Fri) – Sunrise on the lunar scarp; Rupes Recta or the “Straight Wall” is visible the night of or the night 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.

July 24, 1897: Birth of Amelia Earhart.

July 24, 1969: Splashdown of Apollo 11.

JULY 25 (Sat) – Dwarf Planet and home to Rosetta and Philae; Ceres reaches opposition. At an apparent magnitude of +7.7 it’s beyond naked eye visibility but if you’re in a dark location and you know what you’re looking for, have a go with a pair of binoculars.

July 26, 1971: Launch of Apollo 15.

JULY 28 (Tue) – The Moon is at its Greatest Southern Declination of -18.26 degrees.

July 28, 2061: Halley’s Comet reaches perihelion.

JULY 28 & 29 (Tue night & Wed morn): Southern Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower:  Peak viewing will be on the night of Tuesday the 5th and Wednesday the 6th before sunrise.  Peak rate this year will be a modest 20-ish per hour but the 87% waxing gibbous Moon will have great impact so unfortunately unless something dramatic happens, this show has flop potential.  With the name Southern Delta Aquarids, you will obviously want to look in the general direction of the constellation Aquarius and the parent body of this event is caused by Comet 96P/Macholz.  As always, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  Peak might be 28 & 29 but active dates should range from July 21st all the way out to August 23rd but the further from peak you get the less you will see however.   So if it’s clear, have a look!

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/2015-meteor-showers/

JULY 31 (Fri) – The Full Moon will occur at 10:46 UTC (06:46 EDT). Wait a minute…isn’t this the second Full Moon this month? That’s correct, and we call that a Blue Moon. A Calendar Blue Moon to be precise. Though the quarters of the Moon occur at exact times, as far as viewing goes you can call it the entire night and be close enough.

Full Moon Note: Many people actually find observing the Full Moon through a telescope or binoculars almost painful due to its brightness. One way that we curb this issue (at least in telescopes) is with neutral density filters. ND filters range anywhere from 20% light block to 80% light block and they’re pretty cheap. I don’t usually use them but I have a 50% on hand in the event someone needs it. Just be careful because for some companies, an ND25 means 25% of the light is blocked while some mean 25% of light passes through so make sure before you buy.

JULY 31 (Fri) – Leaving the month the Moon is 15 days old in its 29.53 day Synodic Cycle and 100% illuminated in its waxing gibbous 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 & Libration Northern Hemisphere 2015:

NASA | Moon Phase & Libration Southern Hemisphere 2015:

2015 Moon phases with TIMES: http://www.calendar-12.com/moon_phases/2015

2015 Moon phase & illumination calendar: http://www.calendar-12.com/moon_calendar/2015/june

2015 Perigee & Apogee DATES, TIMES & DISTANCES as well as Full & New Moon dates & times (John Walker’s Fourmilab): http://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/pacalc.html

2015 Perigee & Apogee: http://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/distance.html?year=2015&n=156

Lunar Ray predictions: http://www.lunar-occultations.com/rlo/rays/rays.htm

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 (Richard Nolle’s Astro Pro): http://www.astropro.com/features/tables/cen21ce/mo-dcl-2015.html

FULL YEAR of Lunar Cycles: Previous and Future years as well: http://kalender-365.de/lunar-calendar.php?yy=2015

Full & New Moon Calendar: http://www.moongiant.com/Full_Moon_New_Moon_Calendar.php

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

BLUE MOON Calendar: http://www.moongiant.com/Blue_Moon_Calendar.php

SUPERMOON Calendar (Richard Nolle’s Astro Pro): http://www.astropro.com/features/tables/cen21ce/suprmoon.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

Equinoxes/Solstices: http://wwp.greenwich-mean-time.eu/longest-day/

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

2015 Astronomical Events: http://www.astropixels.com/ephemeris/astrocal/astrocal2015pst.html

Occult Software: http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/occult4.htm

Greatest Elongations of Mercury & Venus:  http://www.jgiesen.de/skymap/MercuryVenus/

Steve Preston’s Asteroid Occultations: http://www.asteroidoccultation.com/2015-Best-Events.htm

US Naval Observatory Celestial Phenomena for 2015: http://asa.usno.navy.mil/

Seiichi Yoshida’s Weekly bright Comets: http://www.aerith.net/comet/weekly/current.html

International Meteor Organizations 2015 Information: http://www.imo.net/

Satellite Tracking: http://www.stoff.pl/

NASA Eclipses: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html

S&T Jupiter 2015 Observation Almanac: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/a-jupiter-almanac/

S&T Galilean Moon Mutual Events: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/sky-and-telescope-magazine/beyond-the-printed-page/mutual-events-jupiters-satellites-201415/

S&T Jupiter Moon Events 2015: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/sky-and-telescope-magazine/beyond-the-printed-page/mutual-events-jupiters-satellites-201415/

Northern Virginia Astronomy Club: Jupiter Moon Events for 2015: http://www.novac.com/wp/observing/jeffscorner/next-years-galilean-moon-events/

Advertisements
Image | This entry was posted in Astronomical Events, Astronomy (Learning), Images, News, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s