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Monday 21 August 2017  •   29 Hazel Moon 2017


Viewing the night sky in Hazel Moon 2017

24 July - 21 August 2017

Map of night sky at full moon: 7 August, 18:11 UTC
Northern hemisphere perspective, aligned on the ecliptic. Morning sky to the left, evening to the right.

night sky map for Hazel Moon 2017

At dark moon on 21 August, there is a total eclipse of the sun visible from the USA. The total eclipse can be seen in
Salem and Albany, Oregon at 10:18 (17:18 UTC) (Eugene is too far south, and Portland just too far north)
Just north of Boise, Idaho at 11:28 (17:28 UTC)
Idaho Falls, Idaho 11:35 (17:35 UTC)
Casper, Wyoming at 11:44 (17:44 UTC)
North Platte, Nebraska at 12:56 (17:56 UTC)
Lincoln, Nebraska at 13:04 (18:04 UTC) (just on the northern edge of the shadow)
St Joseph, Missouri at 13:08 (18:08 UTC)
Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri at 13:10 (18:10 UTC) (just on the southern edge)
Columbia, Missouri at 13:14 (18:14 UTC)
St Louis, Missouri at 13:19 (18:19 UTC) (just on the northern edge)
Carbondale, Illinois at 13:22 (18:22 UTC)
Madisonville, Kentucky at 13:26 (18:26 UTC)
Nashville, Tennessee at 13:30 (18:30 UTC) (on the southern edge)
just south of Knoxville, Tennessee at 14:36 (18:35 UTC)
Greenville, South Carolina at 14:40 (18:40 UTC)
Columbia, South Carolina at 14:44 (18:44 UTC)
Charleston and Georgetown, South Carolina at 14:48 (18:48 UTC) (southern and northern edge, coast)

A partial eclipse is visible throughout the United States, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Britain & Ireland, SW Norway, western Brittany, NW Galicia, the Azores, Madeira, NW Cape Verde Islands, Bermuda, all of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Guyana, French Guinea, Surinam, NE Peru and northern Brazil, as far south as Brasília. Also far NE Siberia and much of the Arctic.
In San Francisco, 75% of the sun is covered at 10:18 (17:18 UTC)
Vancouver 86% of the sun covered at 10:21 (17:21 UTC)
Ciudad de México 27% at 13:16 (18:16 UTC)
Chicago 87% of sun covered at 13:21 (18:21 UTC)
New Orleans 75% of the sun covered at 13:29 (18:29 UTC)
Reykjavik 2% at 18:44 UTC
New York 71% at 14:47 (18:47 UTC)
Glasgow 2% at 19:56 (18:56 UTC)
Miami 78% at 14:47 (18:57 UTC)
Leeds 3% at 19:58 (18:58 UTC)
Dublin 4% at 20:00 (19:00 UTC)
London 4% at 20:02 (19:02 UTC) at sunset
Cardiff 4% at 20:03 (19:03 UTC)
Cork 5% at 20:03 (19:03 UTC)
Penzance 6% at 20:05 (19:05 UTC)
Quimper 7% at 21:08 (19:08 UTC) near sunset
Kingston, Jamaica 58% at 14:16 (19:16 UTC)
Santiago de Compostela 13% at 21:18 (19:18 UTC) near sunset
Georgetown, Guyana 53% at 15:57 (19:57 UTC)
Brasília 2% at 17:16 (20:16 UTC)

At full moon on 7 August, there is a partial eclipse of the moon best seen from Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as eastern parts of Europe and Africa. From Britain and Ireland, the eclipse is almost over by moonrise, but you may just be able to detect some darkening on the moon’s southern limb. The penumbral eclipse starts 16:50 (15:50 UTC) and ends 21:50 (20:50 UTC), and near those ties it will be hard to detect anything unusual; the partial phase lasts 18:22 to 20:18 (17:22 to 19:18 UTC); there is no total phase, as the moon is a bit too far north.

On 30 July, Mercury reaches 27.20°E of the sun in the western evening sky, a really excellent view from Earth’s southern hemisphere, where the planet can be seen for a few weeks. Despite Mercury’s great elongation from the sun, the view from the north is very poor, as the planet is south of the ecliptic, which, in any case, here falls at a very low angle to the horizon. Jupiter shines brightly in the early and mid-evening sky, slowly moving towards Spica in Virgo. The moon is nearby on 28 July. Saturn is in the evening sky in the south of Ophiuchus, setting earlier and growing fainter as the month goes on. The moon is nearby on the evenings of 2 & 3 Aug. Venus is the bright morning planet. On 2 August, it passes 2.4°S of Ceres. The moon is near on 19 August. Mars is out of view behind the sun. Look out for the Perseid meteors on 12 & 13 August, somewhat difficult this year because of the bright moon from mid-evening onwards.



The month ahead: Apple Moon 2017

22 August - 20 September 2017

Map of night sky at full moon: 6 September, 07:03 UTC
Northern hemisphere perspective, aligned on the ecliptic. Morning sky to the left, evening to the right.

night sky map for Apple Moon 2017

Neptune comes to opposition on 5 Sep, and its nearest to Earth on 4 Sep, when it is 4329 million kilometres or 4 light hours away.
Like Uranus, it is an ice giant, and its diameter is about four times as large as Earth’s. Despite its size, it is too far away to be visible from Earth with the naked eye, but you can see it through a telescope or good binoculars.

Venus is the bright morning planet. During the month, Mercury and Mars come out of the dawn to join it. On 12 Sep, Mercury reaches 17.93°W of the sun. The planet, in its eccentric orbit, does not come very far out from the sun this time, but it is very favourable to be seen from Earth’s northern hemisphere, with the planet rising fairly vertically from the horizon, and the very bright Venus well above as a marker. If you have a good, clear view of the eastern horizon, you may be able to see the fainter Mars just below it, and the star Regulus just above it. The view from the south is poor. On 16 Sep, at around 17:51 UTC, Mercury passes within four minutes of arc north of Mars, best seen from the northern Pacific, but the planets rise soon after that in Japan, when they will still be close, and with Venus and then the moon above. On the morning of 18 Sep, there is a lovely view of the moon, Venus, Mercury and Mars, with the moon close to Venus and the bright star Regulus, and Mercury and the fainter Mars still close, nearer in towards the dawn. On the morning of 19 Sep, as seen from from Europe, the moon, Mercury and Mars are in a line in morning sky, with the moon nearest the sunrise. Further out are Venus and Regulus. On the morning of 20 Sep, Venus passes 0.5°N of Regulus.

Jupiter is now slipping towards the sunset, and much less bright than it was earlier in the year. On 25 August, the new crescent moon is nearby. By the end of the month, Jupiter is hard to see in the twilight, especially from the northern hemisphere.

Much further out from the sunset, round in Ophiuchus, is the fainter planet Saturn, setting mid-late evening. On 25 August, it resumes its eastward motion through the stars. The moon is nearby on 30 Aug.



William Morris
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