Tag Archives: Astronomy

January Night Sky and Moon Phases

Happy New Year. It’s Stephen Wolfing with some Sky news. Bright sky in Britain today offers the opportunity to view Venus under a thin crescent moon soon after sunset. Here’s what the One Minute Astronomer website reported:

January Night Sky

2-3 Jan.  A thin crescent Moon shares the southwestern sky with Venus after sunset.  The planet is on its way to inferior conjunction on the 11th, lying roughly between the Earth and the Sun, so it appears in a telescope as a slender crescent more than 60″ across, larger than Jupiter.

Moon_Venus_010214

The slender crescent Moon and Venus, along with the stars Altair and Vega, as seen looking west about 30 minutes after sunset on Jan 2, 2014.

If there’s a bright sky on January 24th you will be able to see a crescent moon waning, as well as Mars, Saturn and Venus.

Planets_012414

Mars, the waning crescent Moon, Saturn, Venus, and the bright stars Spica and Antares as seen looking SSE on Jan. 24, 2014.

Moon Phases Explained

Wikipedia features clear explanations of the lunar phases. The waxing and waning times are seen oppositely in the Southern hemisphere, so when the northern is seeing the right of the moon, the southern is seeing the left.

Phase Northern Hemisphere Visibility Mid-phasestandard time
New moon Not visible (too close to the Sun)Later to be followed by theMoon’s first visible crescent (too close to Sun) (too close to Sun)
Waxing (young)’crescent moon’ Right side, 1–49% lit disc late afternoon andpost-dusk 3 pm
First quarter ‘moon’ Right side, 50%-lit disc afternoon andearly evening 6 pm
Waxing ‘gibbousmoon’ Right side, 51–99% lit disc late afternoon andmost of night 9 pm
Full moon Completely illuminated disc Sunset to sunrise(all night) sunset to sunrise(all night)
Waning ‘gibbous moon’ Left side, 51–99% lit disc most of night and early morning 3 am
Last (third) quarter moon Left side, 50%-lit disc late night and morning 6 am
Waning (old)crescent moon Left side, 49-1% lit disc. Diminishing to the Moon’s last visible crescent pre-dawn and morning 9 am
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Poem about Changing Views and Perceptions

Images of the spiral galaxy Messier_100 demons...
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem was inspired by seeing the above image while writing a blog about humanity’s place in the grand scheme of things; and the explanation about how the improving of a lens can dramatically alter what we see, and what we perceive. What is true for space is also of course true for our world. Here’s the poem:
Orbital Perceptions
What we see is never
likely to be all there is.
It depends on what eyes tell brain,
the power and clarity of lens or media,
or the position of Earth and Sun.
Look to the sky and see the colours of day
when the planet’s axis tilts one half towards light
the other side of the world is viewing the stars.
How much of the cosmos is seen
could depend on whether in city or country
and whether an expert or novice astronomer.
Our mind often misses what’s there
and makes up what’s not.
Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk).

Poem Written where Space and Mind Mingle

 Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem compares space and brain, which are both better understood now than in the past. This is because of advances in technology and the accumulation of evidence over the centuries. However, there are still many mysteries remaining, with the majority of knowledge about how both space and brain work beyond the reach of science at the moment.
Image of the known universe, from Wikipedia.
SAGAS
Solipsistic A
stronaut Gravitates Agnostic Space
Once upon time sky was mystery?
Filled only by the imagination?
no solar systems, galaxies and nebulae
lenticular, spiral, starburst
until technology was developed
telescopes delving into space
to the limits of observable
before the stars disappear
infinity beyond finite science
our origins unobservable in the unknown
oval enclosure
universe is mine, mind is universal
egg hatches
we are happiest living within unconscious
cruising in a daydream
trying to enjoy memories
stored in the primal psyche
scientists scan the brain
finding how thought interacts
cerebellum, amygdala, hypothalamus
with nervous systems, life and world
Do we remember our creation?
Does it drive our desired destiny?
Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...
Brain scanning technology is quickly approaching levels of detail that will have serious implications (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk)

Equinox Poem for the March Celebrations

English: Kukulkan at its finest during the Spr...
Image via Wikipedia
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem celebrates the March equinox, which is due to take place at 05.14 on March 20th, 2012, UT.
Shadowless Seconds on Earth’s Equator
Equinox celebrations
for being upright twice a year
no tilt to the north
my axis is straight
I favour neither hemisphere
in March it is the beginning of summer
for those above the equator
more hours of light than dark
centre of Earth – Subsolar – and Sun correlate
sunrise sunset either side of midday
balancing the world in seasons
September is the end of winter for people
living in planet’s south
each year I deliver
equal time to each half
trust has been earned over time
calendars earmarked
Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk)

Colour of the Moon is Greenygrey?

Hi, it’s Wolfgang.  I looked up the colour of the moon after reading Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror nature poem about how moonlight sails the ocean night on a goldshine silverline.

Goldshine, Silverline, the Moon is Greenygrey

I was surprised that the first image I found showed the moon to be as much greenygrey as anything:

Copied from: http://www.mikeoates.org/mas/projects/mooncolour/intro.htm

All these years of howling at the moon and I never noticed!

Maybe Neil Young will now follow up Harvest Moon with Greenygrey Moon?

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City Mirrors Sky When You Look From Up on High

360° panorama of Racetrack Playa in Death Vall...
Image via Wikipedia
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem looks up and down as the light leaves the Earth with the sun, and describes the mirror effect that can emerge as city lights are turned on at the same time that stars start to sparkle in the sky.
Between City and Sky, Let Your Mind Fly
in nocturnal sky
stars shine eternally
in milky way zodiac signs
looking like a climbing frame
sunset on plateau ridge
city streets resemble landing strips
for ancient gods or aliens
never embering neon
on valley floor