News: Astronomical Observing News (12/27 to 1/3)

Astronomical Observing News (12/27 to 1/3)

This week's AON may be a little short, but the ones to come will be packed full with information. I am really hoping for the skies to clear so I can observe soon!

  • Through March 2012—The Garradd comet is getting brighter! It will peak in February. Here's how to observe it!
  • January 1, 2012—First quarter moon
  • January 2, 2012—The moon is at its apogee of 404,579 kilometers.
  • January 1-5, 2012: The quadrantids meteor shower peaks on the third and fourth. I will probably write an article on how to observe them. Don't miss it!Astronomical Observing News (12/27 to 1/3)

In 2012, I will be including some new features like the eclipses, transits, and occultations of Jupiter's three brightest moons: Io, Europa, and Ganymede.

Here are some of the events I will be notifying you about over the course of this repeating feature:

  • Moon Phases—It can be fun observing different phases of the moon. These are what fraction of the moon is dark. It is also fun observing the dark side.
  • Conjunctions—Two (or more) bright objects in one field of view! This is when two or more astronomical objects are relatively close. Sometimes it is cool to see planets or bright stars pass by or behind the moon.
  • Apogee or Perigee—This is when the moon is closest or furthest away from Earth. Not really for observing, but it can be interesting to view the moon when it is large and small.
  • Meteor Showers—Easily observed by the naked eye or by binoculars.
  • Comets—Not very often do these come around, but are amazing to watch.
  • Lunar and Solar Eclipses—Mainly these are lunar eclipses, but if you get to see a solar eclipse you are very lucky!
  • Solstices—This is when the Earth wobbles, or from Earth this is how the northernmost or southernmost point the sun is at. There are two each year. This is mainly for information.
  • Equinoxes—This is when the earth is in the middle of its southernmost and northernmost position and it is equal. Again, this is mainly for knowledge.
  • Declination of Moon—More information. This is when the moon's path around the Earth is slightly tilted up or down. The declination is the furthest up or down it will go.

There may be more to come. When these are included, I will explain what they are.

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