Skip to comments.Observing Challenge: The Moon Brushes Past Venus and Covers Mercury This Week
Posted on 06/23/2014 11:48:34 AM PDT by BenLurkin
The summer astronomical action heats up this week, as the waning crescent Moon joins the inner planets at dawn. This weeks action comes hot on the tails of the northward solstice which occurred this past weekend, which fell on June 21st in 2014, marking the start of astronomical summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern. This also means that the ecliptic angle at dawn for mid-northern latitude observers will run southward from the northeast early in the morning sky. And although the longest day was June 21st, the earliest sunrise from 40 degrees north latitude was June 14th and the latest sunset occurs on June 27th. Were slowly taking back the night!
The dawn patrol action begins tomorrow, as the waning crescent Moon slides by Venus low in the dawn sky Tuesday morning. Geocentric (Earth-centered) conjunction occurs on June 24th at around 13:00 Universal Time/9:00 AM EDT, as the 8% illuminated Moon sits 1.3 degrees just shy of three Full Moon diameters from -3.8 magnitude Venus. Also note that the open cluster the Pleiades (Messier 45) sits nearby. Well, nearby as seen from our Earthbound vantage point
the Moon is just over one light second away, Venus is 11 light minutes away, and the Pleiades are about 400 light years distant.
(Excerpt) Read more at universetoday.com ...
So how did the face in the moon get turned?
“Run fer da’ hills...we’re all gonna’ die!
So does that mean Mercury is in retrograde and whatever you do won’t work out?
Observe his flame,
That placid dame,
The moon’s Celestial Highness;
There’s not a trace
Upon her face
Of diffidence or shyness:
She borrows light
That, through the night,
Mankind may all acclaim her!
And, truth to tell,
She lights up well,
So I, for one, don’t blame her!
Don't die running, just walk.
Mercury will be occulted by the moon, but the event will be hard to see for most observers. It just passed inferior conjunction on June 19. The best time to view it will be in mid-July (greatest elongation from the sun in the morning sky on July 12; 6.2 degrees from Venus on July 16).
Thanks mikrofon, extra to APoD.