Casual Astronomy, Spaceflight News and Lower California Weather

International Space Station (ISS) Flyovers (see comment 81) ••••• Venus WSW after Sunset ••••• Orion Hunting (see comment 1)

By: LowerCal, 3:01 AM GMT on January 21, 2009

Today - SpaceWeather.com
***** Earth & Sky | Tonight
***** 365 Days of Astronomy
This Week - SkyandTelescope.com - This Week's Sky at a Glance
***** Jack Horkheimer - Star Gazer, Current Scripts
This Month - SkyandTelescope.com - Sky Tour Podcasts
***** International Year of Astronomy Monthly Discovery Guides

Visible Satellites:
Simplest - Satellite Flybys by SpaceweatherPhone.com
More satellites and more info - Heavens-Above.com

Launches - Spaceflight Now - Worldwide Launch Schedule
Reentries - Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies - Upcoming & Recent Reentries

All events described below can be viewed with your naked eye. Occasionally simple binoculars will improve the view and that will be noted. Scroll down for future dates, farther down for past dates.

○ Full Moon

WunderPhoto: Moon over ABQ by darnold Saturday January 10, 2009
Exact at
February 9
1449 UT/GMT
9:49am EST
6:49am PST.

Rises near sunset and sets near sunrise.

The gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun are aligned resulting in stronger tides - higher highs, lower lows and faster flows (see SPRING-TIDES). (Due to the huge mass and volume of the ocean's water the tidal effect lags behind the phases of the Moon. The delay can be as long as three days at some times and places.)


◑ Last Quarter Moon

Exact at
February 16
2137 UT/GMT
4:37pm EST
1:37pm PST.

Rises near midnight and sets near noon. Morning crescent moons for a week after. Each one thinner and closer to the horizon.

The gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun are at right angles resulting in weaker tides - lower highs, higher lows and slower flows (see NEAP-TIDES). (Due to the huge mass and volume of the ocean's water the tidal effect lags behind the phases of the Moon. The delay can be as long as three days at some times and places.)


Launch of Shuttle Discovery

Photo credit: NASA/Troy Cryder
Mission: STS-119
Spacecraft & Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Discovery
Launch from Kennedy Space Center, Florida
February 12
1232 GMT
7:32am EST (local time)
4:32am PST.

Docking with ISS
February 14
0857 GMT
3:57am EST
12:57am PST.

Undocking from ISS
February 24
0230 GMT
February 23
9:30pm EST
6:30pm PST.

Landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida
February 26
1148 GMT
6:48am EST (local time)
3:48pm PST.


Launch from Kennedy Space Center, Florida
February 19
0941 GMT
4:41am EST (local time)
1:41am PST.

Docking with ISS
February 21
0606 GMT
1:06am EST
February 20
10:06pm PST.

Undocking from ISS
March 2
1139 GMT
6:39pm EST
3:39pm PST.

Landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida
March 5
0357 GMT
March 4
10:57pm EST (local time)
7:57pm PST.
(Find later landing options at NASA - Launch and Landing
and the landing paths at NASA - STS-119 Landing Ground Tracks.)

Launch status updates at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule.

You can follow the progress of the Space Shuttle mission online at
Spaceflight Now | STS-119 Shuttle Report | Mission Status Center and
NASA - Space Shuttle.
There are links in the "WATCH NASA TV NOW" section of the NASA page where you can watch video (sometimes live).

You can dig for more info at
Spaceflight Now - Index of /shuttle/sts119 and
CBS News Space Place - STS-119 Status Report.

Live online coverage of the launch on NASA TV starts one hour or more before launch -
NASA TV Schedule.


Summaries of Sky Events for the Year
2009
SkyandTelescope.com - Observing Highlights - Eclipses in 2009
SkyandTelescope.com - Observing Highlights - Meteor Showers in 2009


***** Past Dates *****

Dark Moon (a.k.a. astronomical new moon)

Exact at
January 26
0755 UT/GMT
2:55am EST
January 25
11:55pm PST.

Lower and thinner morning crescent moons the week before. Higher and thicker evening crescent moons the week after.

The gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun are aligned resulting in stronger tides - higher highs, lower lows and faster flows (see SPRING-TIDES). (Due to the huge mass and volume of the ocean's water the tidal effect lags behind the phases of the Moon. The delay can be as long as three days at some times and places.)

Annular Solar Eclipse

January 26
Starts
0457 UT/GMT
Ends
1101 UT/GMT

This month the alignment of the Sun and Moon is so nearly exact that the Moon will block part of the Sun for areas in and around the Indian Ocean.

Shadow & Substance Home Page - Animated eclipse maps.

NASA Eclipse Time Table for many affected locations.

Moonshadow - Live satellite images, animation, and more.


) Thinnest Evening Crescent Moon (the original meaning of "new moon")

WunderPhoto: One day old Moon by LaddObservatory Friday June 15, 2007
January 27
Low in the western sky soon after sunset.
Moonsighting.com


Venus & Crescent Moon after Sunset
January 27-30
On successive evenings the crescent moon will climb the pathway of the planets up to and past the planet Venus.

Image of the WSW Sky after Sunset January 27-30 from SkyandTelescope.com - This Week's Sky at a Glance.


◐ First Quarter Moon

Exact at
February 2
2313 UT/GMT
6:13pm EDT
3:13pm PDT.

Rises near noon and sets near midnight. Evening crescent moons for a week before. Each one thicker and higher above the horizon.

The gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun are at right angles resulting in weaker tides - lower highs, higher lows and slower flows (see NEAP-TIDES). (Due to the huge mass and volume of the ocean's water the tidal effect lags behind the phases of the Moon. The delay can be as long as three days at some times and places.)


Vandenberg Delta II Launch

Mission: NOAA-N Prime
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7320
Launch from Vandenberg AFB, California
February 4
February 5

February 6
1022-1032 GMT
5:22-5:32am EDT
2:22-2:32am PDT (local time).

Launch status updates at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule
with more details on the launch blog at
Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center.

As the launch date grows closer you can find more information and a live webcast of the launch at
United Launch Alliance. Live web and TV coverage to begin at 12:15am PST, 3:15am EST.




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Updated: 11:52 PM GMT on February 06, 2009

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