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Astronomy Information

Astronomy Information


Finding the Moon in 2016

Full Moon labelled (2)

Finding the Moon can be difficult. Here are a few things that you should know:

  • Sometimes the Moon is visible during the day eg. at 9:30am and 2:30pm.
  • Once every 24 hours the Moon rises in the east and sets in the west due to Earth’s rotation.
  • Every 24 hours, the moon also moves one hand’s width to the left (towards the east) due to Moon moving in orbit.

Open our Find the Moon 2016 document to know  where and when you can observe the various lunar phases

Planet Watch

Most planets are bright and easy to see, at least some of the time. Contrary to stars planets don’t twinkle, they shine with a steady light.

As planets move, it can be tricky to spot them so here is  a brief description of how to find them in the near future.

Mercury
Mercury

is usually too close to the Sun to be easily seen.

 

 

Venus

 

Venus

Venus is the brilliant “Morning Star” and  “Evening Star”. In January, Venus is low in the SE at 7:30am. Then, it goes behind the Sun, and re-merges on the other side as an Evening Star in October

Mars

 

 

Mars

Mars is a bright amber “star” visible in the middle of the night low in the south (Jan-June 2016)

Jupiter

Jupiter

Use binoculars to observe its 4 big moons.
January 2016: Jupiter rises at 11pm in the east, up all night, in SW at 7am.
February 2016: Jupiter rises at 9pm in the east, up all night in SW at 7am

 

 

Saturn

Saturn

You need a telescope of 50X to see its rings.
April 2016, Saturn is briefly visible at 2-4 am in the south
May 2016, Saturn is briefly visible at midnight to 3am in the south

Uranus

 

Uranus

You need binoculars.

 

 

Neptune

 

Neptune

You need a telescope.

 

 

Pluto

 

Pluto

You need a big telescope!

Other interesting Links

  1. Aberdeen Astronomical Society: Observe the night sky from around the Granite City
  2. www.spaceweather.com: See if the northern lights are active
  3. www.heavens-above.com: Look for the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS looks like a bright star in the south, moving from west to east at the apparent speed of an airplane, just after sunset or before sunrise.
  4. http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/: A shuttle flight simulator
  5. http://joshworth.com/: If the Moon were one pixel: a tediously accurate map of the solar system
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