Casual Astronomy, Spaceflight News and Lower California Weather

Meteors before Dawn (see comments 305, 310 and 317) ••••• Jupiter SE after Sunset, Sets WSW before Dawn ••••• Mars East after Midnight ••••• Venus and Saturn East and Mars Overhead before Sunrise (see comment 241)

By: LowerCal, 6:01 PM GMT on September 24, 2009

Scroll down for current & future dates, farther down for past dates.

Today - SpaceWeather.com
also Earth & Sky | Tonight & 365 Days of Astronomy
This Week - SkyandTelescope.com - This Week's Sky at a Glance
also Jack Horkheimer - Star Gazer, Current Scripts
This Month - SkyandTelescope.com - Sky Tour Podcasts
also HubbleSite - Tonight's Sky: Your guide to constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and events
& International Year of Astronomy Monthly Discovery Guides
Anytime - Stellarium
also Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart

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.

Lunar Apogee (Greek apo, away from + Greek Gaia, Earth)

Exact at
October 25
2319 GMT
7:19pm EDT
4:19pm PDT.

The Moon is at its farthest distance in its non circular orbit around Earth. The Moon is about 12% farther than at its closest distance (perigee - Greek peri, near + Greek Gaia, Earth) and the Moon's gravitational influence on Earth and its oceans is about 20% less (due to the inverse square law).


◐ First Quarter Moon

Exact at
October 26
0042 GMT
October 25
8:42pm EDT
5:42pm PDT.

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




Image from: Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy
The gravitational pull of the Moon accounts for about 2/3 of the influence on Earth's tides with the Sun accounting for the remaining 1/3. On this date 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.)

Also see The Moon And Tides.


Moon near Jupiter
October 26
The very bright cream colored light near the moon is the planet Jupiter.


Ares I-X Launch

Image credit: NASA TV
Mission & Launch Vehicle: Ares I-X (suborbital test flight)
Launch from Kennedy Space Center, Florida
October 27
1200-1600 GMT
8:00am-12:00pm EDT (local time)
5:00am-9:00am PDT.

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

You can follow the progress of the Ares I-X mission online at
Spaceflight Now | Ares 1-X | Mission Status Center
and NASA - NASA's Ares I-X Rocket.

Live online coverage of the mission will be on NASA TV - see the NASA TV Schedule.


HTV-1 Undocking, Sightings and Reentry

Image credit: JAXA
Undocking from ISS
October 30

Reentry
November 4

JAXA's HTV-1 cargo ship was unloaded and then filled with trash from the International Space Station. It will be deorbited to burn up on reentry.

Between undocking from the ISS and reentry it may be possible to sight both craft in the sky at the same time.

Check satellite pass predictions at
Heavens-Above
or try the simpler tool at
Satellite Flybys by SpaceweatherPhone.com.


Switch from Daylight Saving Time, U.S.

Image credit: MT0
November 1
2:00am DT = 1:00am ST

This day will have 25 hours in most areas of the United States. Set your clock back one hour the evening before and you can use that extra hour for sleep. 3^)


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 *****

Cape Canaveral Delta II Launch

Photo credit: NASA
Mission: STSS (Space Tracking and Surveillance System) Demonstration
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920
Launch from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida
September 25
1200-1300 GMT
8:00-9:00am EDT (local time)
5:00-6:00am PDT.

Launch status updates are at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule
and more details may appear on a launch blog at
Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center
as the launch approaches.

You may also find more information as the launch date approaches at
United Launch Alliance
along with a live webcast of the launch.


◐ First Quarter Moon

Exact at
September 26
0450 GMT
12:50am EDT
September 25
9:50pm PDT.

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




Image from: Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy
The gravitational pull of the Moon accounts for about 2/3 of the influence on Earth's tides with the Sun accounting for the remaining 1/3. On this date 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.)

Also see The Moon And Tides.


Lunar Apogee (Greek apo, away from + Greek Gaia, Earth)

Exact at
September 28
0334 GMT
September 27
11:34pm EDT
8:34pm PDT.

The Moon is at its farthest distance in its non circular orbit around Earth. The Moon is about 12% farther than at its closest distance (perigee - Greek peri, near + Greek Gaia, Earth) and the Moon's gravitational influence on Earth and its oceans is about 20% less (due to the inverse square law).


Moon near Jupiter
September 29
The very bright cream colored light near the moon is the planet Jupiter.


Launch of ISS Expedition 21 Crew

Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Mission: Expedition 21 to the International Space Station (ISS)
Spacecraft: Soyuz TMA-16
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz FG
Launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
September 30
12:14pm AQTT (Aqtobe Time, local time)
0714 GMT
3:14am EDT
12:14am PDT.

Docking with ISS
October 2
12:36pm MSD (Moscow Summer Time)
0836 GMT
4:36am EDT
1:36am PDT.

Updates at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule.

You can follow the progress of the mission at NASA - Expedition 21.

Live coverage of the launch and docking will appear on NASA TV - see the NASA TV Schedule.

Between launch and docking with the ISS it may be possible to sight both craft in the sky at the same time.

Check satellite pass predictions at
Heavens-Above
or try the simpler tool at
Satellite Flybys by SpaceweatherPhone.com.


○ Full Moon

WunderPhoto: Sunrise Moon by CecileWNC Friday September 4, 2009
Exact at
October 4
0610 GMT
2:10am EDT
October 3
11:10pm PDT.

Rises near sunset and sets near sunrise. At those times the Moon may seem huge (the Moon illusion) and unusually colored. The yellow/orange/red appearance of the moon at the horizon is at least partly for the same reason the sky appears blue!




Image from: Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy
The gravitational pull of the Moon accounts for about 2/3 of the influence on Earth's tides with the Sun accounting for the remaining 1/3. On this date 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.)

Also see The Moon And Tides.


Moon Passes the Pleiades

Moon in Pleiades, April 8, 2008 by hadrianus
Late October 7 or Early October 8
This night the Moon will pass near the Pleiades star cluster. For the Middle East and parts of Asia and Africa the Moon will pass across the Pleiades.


Saturn Nearest Mercury

Image created with Stellarium
Dawn October 8
Low above the eastern horizon this morning the yellowish planet Saturn passes nearest the golden planet Mercury on it's climb of the pathway of the planets. Just above Saturn and Mercury the brilliant white planet Venus will be easy to spot. You may need binoculars to see Saturn and maybe even Mercury too.


Draconid Meteor Shower Peaks

WU Photo: Searching for Shooting Stars by johnlanoue Monday October 8, 2007
Evening October 8 or 9
The Draconid meteor shower has produced unexpected short outbursts. Best visibility this year will be after dusk in the hour or two before moonrise.

This is a Northern Hemisphere event. The possible peaks range from October 8 0845 GMT to October 9 0130 GMT. This presents no good watching times for western North America and the eastern Pacific. The evening of October 9 will be the best time to watch for the western Pacific and the evening of October 8 will be the best time elsewhere.
Source and more information at
Draconids, IMO Meteor Shower Calendar 2009 | International Meteor Organization

For Better Viewing
Find a Dark Location
A dark country location without "security" lights is best. If that's not convenient try to find a location where you can't see any lights or lighted surfaces. A nearby park or maybe even your backyard would qualify. On a beach facing the water could be a good alternative.

Where to Look
Meteors can appear in any part of the sky. To see the most meteors face the darkest part of your sky and look at least 45° above the horizon.

Be Comfortable
A reclining chair will keep you from getting a stiff neck and tired feet. A sleeping bag will keep you warm. (Even in the summertime you can get chilly at night if you are just lying still.) Insect repellent will keep you from being distracted by those little pests.

General Meteor Shower Information
An easy to read introduction to meteors with an interesting summary of annual showers is
Astronomy - Meteors and meteor showers - Francis Reddy.

The two primary sources of most of what you'll read about meteor showers are
The American Meteor Society and
The International Meteor Organinzation.


Vandenberg Delta II Launch

Image credit: USAF/Michael Stonecypher
Satellite: WorldView 2 (commercial Earth-imaging)
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920
Launch from Vandenberg AFB, California
October 8
1838-1852 GMT
2:38-2:52pm EDT
11:38-11:52am PDT (local time).

Launch status updates are at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule
and more details appear on a launch blog at
Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center.

You can find more information at
United Launch Alliance
along with a live webcast of the launch.


LCROSS Lunar Impacts

Image credit: NASA
October 9
approximately
1131 GMT
7:31am EDT
4:31am PDT.

The impacts of the LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite) mission into the Moon's surface will be covered live on NASA TV along with pre-impact and post-impact news conferences. See the NASA TV Schedule.

BTW this is only a naked eye event if you are watching NASA TV. You won't see it with binoculars and mission scientists recommend a 10 to 12 inch aperture (diameter) telescope - LCROSS - Observation Campaign.


◑ Last (or Third) Quarter Moon

Exact at
October 11
0856 GMT
4:56am EDT
1:56am PDT.

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




Image from: Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy
The gravitational pull of the Moon accounts for about 2/3 of the influence on Earth's tides with the Sun accounting for the remaining 1/3. On this date 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.)

Also see The Moon And Tides.


Moon & Mars, Pollux & Castor

Image created with Stellarium
Early Morning October 11


Image created with Stellarium
Early Morning October 12
Rising in the east after midnight and nearly overhead as dawn brightens the Moon appears near the reddish planet Mars with the stars Pollux and Castor of the constellation Gemini (the Twins) nearby.


Saturn Nearest Venus

Image created with Stellarium
Before Sunrise October 13
Low above the eastern horizon this morning the yellowish planet Saturn passes nearest the brilliant white planet Venus on it's climb of the pathway of the planets. Just below Saturn and Venus is the bright golden planet Mercury. Venus will be easy to spot. You may need binoculars to see Saturn and Mercury.


Lunar Perigee (Greek peri, near + Greek Gaia, Earth)

Exact at
October 13
1229 GMT
8:29am EDT
5:29am PDT.

The Moon is at its closest distance in its non circular orbit around Earth. The Moon is about 10.5% closer than at its farthest distance (apogee - Greek apo, away from + Greek Gaia, Earth) and the Moon's gravitational influence on Earth and its oceans is about 25% greater (due to the inverse square law).


Moon Near Regulus

Image created with Stellarium.
Early Morning October 14
This morning the crescent moon is near the bright bluish star Regulus, the heart of and the brightest star in the constellation Leo. Regulus is the "dot" on a backward question mark pattern that marks the mane and chest of the Lion.


Resupply Mission to ISS

Image credit: NASA
Mission: Flight 35P to ISS (cargo/resupply)
Spacecraft: Progress M-03M
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U
Launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
October 15
6:14am AQTT (Aqtobe Time, local time)
0114 GMT
October 14
9:14pm EDT
6:14pm PDT.

Docking with ISS
October 18
5:48am MSD (Moscow Summer Time)
0143 GMT
October 17
9:43pm EDT
6:43pm PDT.

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

Live coverage of the docking will be on NASA TV - see the NASA TV Schedule.

Between launch and docking with the ISS it may be possible to sight both craft in the sky at the same time.

Check satellite pass predictions at
Heavens-Above
or try the simpler tool at
Satellite Flybys by SpaceweatherPhone.com.


Crescent, Venus, Saturn & Mercury

Image created with Stellarium
Dawn October 16
Low above the eastern horizon this morning the thin crescent moon stands beside the brilliant white planet Venus. Above Venus is the yellowish planet Saturn and below Venus is the bright golden planet Mercury. The Moon and Venus will be easy to spot. You may need binoculars to see Saturn and Mercury.


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

Exact at
October 18
0533 GMT
1:33am EDT
October 17
10:33pm PDT.

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




Image from: Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy
The gravitational pull of the Moon accounts for about 2/3 of the influence on Earth's tides with the Sun accounting for the remaining 1/3. On this date 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.)

Also see The Moon And Tides.


Vandenberg Atlas V Launch

Image credit: NASA
Mission: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F-18 (polar orbit)
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 401
Launch from Vandenberg AFB, California
October 18
1612-1622 GMT
12:12-12:22pm EDT
9:12-9:22am PDT (local time).

Launch status updates are at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule.
and more details appear on a launch blog at
Spaceflight Now | Atlas Launch Report | Mission Status Center.

You can find more info on the mission at
United Launch Alliance
and a live webcast of the launch beginning at 8:52am PDT on launch day.


Early Orionid Meteors?
Before Dawn October 17-20
See the Orionid Meteor Shower Maximum section at October 21.


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

WunderPhoto: One day old Moon by LaddObservatory Friday June 15, 2007
October 18, 19 or 20
Low in the western sky soon after sunset.

October 18 it may be possible to spot the the very thin new moon from southern South America and the eastern South Pacific.

October 19 it should be possible to find the thin crescent from everywhere except northern Asia, Europe and and northern North America.

By October 20 the thin crescent should be fairly easy to find from almost everywhere on Earth.


Moon near Antares
October 21
This evening the crescent moon appears near the bright reddish star Antares.


Orionid Meteor Shower Peak

WU Photo: Searching for Shooting Stars by johnlanoue Monday October 8, 2007
Before Dawn October 21
The Orionid meteor shower is expected to produce about 30 meteors per hour visible from ideal locations. The best visibility will begin after midnight and increase until the until the first light of dawn.

This shower can be seen from both the Northern & Southern Hemisphere with better visibility in the tropics. If October 21 isn't convenient for weather or other reasons the Orionid meteor shower has submaximum peaks beginning as early as the morning of October 17.
Source and more information at
Orionids, IMO Meteor Shower Calendar 2009 | International Meteor Organization

For Better Viewing
Find a Dark Location
A dark country location without "security" lights is best. If that's not convenient try to find a location where you can't see any lights or lighted surfaces. A nearby park or maybe even your backyard would qualify. On a beach facing the water could be a good alternative.

Where to Look
Meteors can appear in any part of the sky. To see the most meteors face the darkest part of your sky and look at least 45° above the horizon.

Be Comfortable
A reclining chair will keep you from getting a stiff neck and tired feet. A sleeping bag will keep you warm. (Even in the summertime you can get chilly at night if you are just lying still.) Insect repellent will keep you from being distracted by those little pests.

General Meteor Shower Information
An easy to read introduction to meteors with an interesting summary of annual showers is
Astronomy - Meteors and meteor showers - Francis Reddy.

The two primary sources of most of what you'll read about meteor showers are
The American Meteor Society and
The International Meteor Organinzation.




Visitor Map
Create your own visitor map!

Updated: 1:55 AM GMT on October 24, 2009

Permalink

Cape Canaveral Delta II Launch September 25 8:00-9:00am EDT ••••• Evening Crescent Moons ••••• Milky Way Overhead after Dark (see comments 245 & 248) ••••• Jupiter SE after Sunset, Sets WSW before Dawn ••••• Mars East before Dawn (see comment 53) ••••• Venus East before Sunrise (see comment 53) ••••• Mt. Wilson Fire Threat (see comment 249)

By: LowerCal, 4:36 PM GMT on September 01, 2009

Scroll down for current & future dates, farther down for past dates.

Today - SpaceWeather.com
also Earth & Sky | Tonight & 365 Days of Astronomy
This Week - SkyandTelescope.com - This Week's Sky at a Glance
also Jack Horkheimer - Star Gazer, Current Scripts
This Month - SkyandTelescope.com - Sky Tour Podcasts
also HubbleSite - Tonight's Sky: Your guide to constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and events
& International Year of Astronomy Monthly Discovery Guides
Anytime - Stellarium
also Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart

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.

Cape Canaveral Delta II Launch

Photo credit: NASA
Mission: STSS (Space Tracking and Surveillance System) Demonstration
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920
Launch from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida
September 18
TBD (To Be Determined)
September 23
September 24

September 25
1200-1300 GMT
8:00-9:00am EDT (local time)
5:00-6:00am PDT.

Launch status updates are at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule
and more details may appear on a launch blog at
Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center
as the launch approaches.

You may also find more information as the launch date approaches at
United Launch Alliance
along with a live webcast of the launch.


◐ First Quarter Moon

Exact at
September 26
0450 GMT
12:50am EDT
September 25
9:50pm PDT.

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




Image from: Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy
The gravitational pull of the Moon accounts for about 2/3 of the influence on Earth's tides with the Sun accounting for the remaining 1/3. On this date 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.)

Also see The Moon And Tides.


Vandenberg GBI Launch

Image credit: MDA (Missle Defense Agency)
Launch Vehicle: GBI (Ground Based Interceptor)
Launch from Vandenberg AFB, California
September 27
time to be announced.

delayed, date to be announced.


Lunar Apogee (Greek apo, away from + Greek Gaia, Earth)

Exact at
September 28
0334 GMT
September 27
11:34pm EDT
8:34pm PDT.

The Moon is at its farthest distance in its non circular orbit around Earth. The Moon is about 12% farther than at its closest distance (perigee - Greek peri, near + Greek Gaia, Earth) and the Moon's gravitational influence on Earth and its oceans is about 20% less (due to the inverse square law).


Moon near Jupiter
September 29
The very bright cream colored light near the moon is the planet Jupiter.


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 *****

Shuttle Discovery Launch, Mission & Landing

Photo credit: NASA TV
Mission: STS-128
Spacecraft & Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Discovery
Launch from Kennedy Space Center, Florida
August 29
0359 GMT ±5min
August 28
11:59pm EDT ±5min (local time)
8:59pm PDT ±5min.

Docking with ISS (International Space Station)
August 31
0103 GMT
September 1
August 30
9:03pm EDT
6:03pm PDT.

Undocking from ISS
September 8
1927 GMT
3:27pm EDT
12:27pm PDT.

Landing at Kennedy Space Center
September 10
2308 GMT
7:08pm EDT (local time)
4:08pm PDT.
2305 GMT
7:05pm EDT (local time)
4:05pm PDT.


Landing at Kennedy Space Center or Edwards AFB
September 11

Find (when published) landing options at NASA - Launch and Landing
and the landing paths (when published) at NASA - STS-128 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-128 Shuttle Report | Mission Status Center
and NASA - Space Shuttle.

You can dig for more info at
Spaceflight Now - Index of /shuttle/sts128 and
CBS News Space Place - Space Shuttle Status Report.

Live online coverage of the mission will be on NASA TV - see the NASA TV Schedule.


Moon near Jupiter
September 1-2
The very bright cream colored light near the moon is the planet Jupiter.


○ Full Moon

WunderPhoto: Vegas Lights by AKAirman Wednesday August 5, 2009
Exact at
September 4
1603 GMT
12:03pm EDT
9:03am PDT.

Rises near sunset and sets near sunrise. At those times the Moon may seem huge (the Moon illusion) and unusually colored. The yellow/orange/red appearance of the moon at the horizon is at least partly for the same reason the sky appears blue!




Image from: Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy
The gravitational pull of the Moon accounts for about 2/3 of the influence on Earth's tides with the Sun accounting for the remaining 1/3. On this date 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.)

Also see The Moon And Tides.


Cape Canaveral Atlas V Launch

Photo credit: NASA
Mission: PAN (classified)
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 401
Launch from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida
September 8
2135-2345 GMT
5:35-7:45pm EDT (local time)
2:35-4:45pm PDT.

Launch status updates are at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule.
More details on the launch blog might appear at
Spaceflight Now | Atlas Launch Report | Mission Status Center
as the launch approaches.

There is currently no information on the launch at the usual source for ULA launches
You can find more info on the mission at
United Launch Alliance, Launch Information
and there might be no live webcast.
and a live webcast of the launch will begin at 5:15 EDT at
United Launch Alliance, Web Cast.


Tanegashima H-IIB Launch

Photo credit: JAXA
Mission: HTV-1 cargo transport to the International Space Station (ISS)
Launch Vehicle: H-IIB
Launch from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
September 11
2:01am JST (Japan Standard Time, local time)
September 10
1701 GMT
1:01pm EDT
10:01am PDT.

Launch status updates are at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule.
More details on the mission are at
JAXA | HTV/H-IIB Special Site.

Live launch day reporting is at
JAXA | Countdown Report.
Live launch webcast is at
JAXA | Live Broadcast - SPACE@NAVI-Kibo SPECIAL LIVE
starting
September 11
1:30am JST (Japan Standard Time, local time)
September 10
1630 GMT
12:30pm EDT
9:30am PDT.


◑ Last (or Third) Quarter Moon

Exact at
September 12
0216 GMT
September 11
10:16pm EDT
7:16pm PDT.

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




Image from: Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy
The gravitational pull of the Moon accounts for about 2/3 of the influence on Earth's tides with the Sun accounting for the remaining 1/3. On this date 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.)

Also see The Moon And Tides.


Moon, Mars & Two Red Stars

Image created with Stellarium.
Dawn September 13
As dawn breaks the reddish planet Mars stands high in the ESE a little below the crescent moon. To the right is the brightest reddish star in the sky Betelgeuse. To the upper right of Mars and the crescent moon is the second brightest reddish star in the sky Aldebaran. Binoculars will be needed to see Mars, Aldebaran and Betelgeuse as dawn brightens the sky.


Crescent Moon with Venus & Regulus

Image created with Stellarium.
Dawn September 16
The crescent moon appears with the brilliant white planet Venus above the bright bluish star Regulus. After its recent heliacal rising Regulus will not be visible to the naked eye for very long. Binoculars will be needed to see Regulus as dawn brightens the eastern sky.


Lunar Perigee (Greek peri, near + Greek Gaia, Earth)

Exact at
September 16
0757 GMT
3:57am EDT
12:57am PDT.

The Moon is at its closest distance in its non circular orbit around Earth. The Moon is about 10.5% closer than at its farthest distance (apogee - Greek apo, away from + Greek Gaia, Earth) and the Moon's gravitational influence on Earth and its oceans is about 25% greater (due to the inverse square law).


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

Exact at
September 18
1844 GMT
2:44pm EDT
11:44am PDT.

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




Image from: Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy
The gravitational pull of the Moon accounts for about 2/3 of the influence on Earth's tides with the Sun accounting for the remaining 1/3. On this date 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.)

Also see The Moon And Tides.


Venus near Regulus

Image created with Stellarium.
Before Sunrise September 20
The brilliant white planet Venus appears very close to the bright bluish star Regulus making Regulus easy to find with the naked eye. Closer to sunrise as the sky on the eastern horizon becomes bright binoculars will be needed to see Regulus.


Thin Crescent near Spica

Image created with Stellarium.
After Sunset September 20
If you can see the very thin crescent Moon this evening the bright bluish star Spica is nearby on the right. If the sky above the western horizon is too bright binoculars will be needed to reveal Spica.


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

WunderPhoto: One day old Moon by LaddObservatory Friday June 15, 2007
September 19, 20 or 21
Low in the western sky soon after sunset.

September 19 it may be possible to spot the the very thin new moon from the southern Africa and South & Central America.

September 20 it should be possible to find the thin crescent from all but the more northern latitudes.

By September 21 the thin crescent should be fairly easy to find from almost everywhere on Earth.


Equinox Day

Image credits
September 22
2118 GMT
5:18pm EDT
2:18pm PDT.

The Sun crosses the equator on its way to the Southern Hemisphere marking the beginning of spring there. It marks the beginning of autumn for the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun directly east and set directly west everywhere on Earth and the length of day will nearly equal (Latin equi-) night (Latin -noct).

Satellite Outages

One effect of equinoctial periods is the temporary disruption of communications satellites. For all geostationary satellites, there are a few days near the equinox when the sun goes directly behind the satellite relative to Earth (ie, within the beamwidth of the groundstation antenna) for a short period each day. The Sun's immense power and broad radiation spectrum overload the Earth station's reception circuits with noise and, depending on antenna size and other factors, temporarily disrupt or degrade the circuit. The duration of those effects varies but can range from a few minutes to an hour. (For a given frequency band, a larger antenna has a narrower beamwidth, hence experience shorter duration "Sun outage" windows).
Cultural aspects of the Equinox


Moon near the Scorpion's Heart

Image created with Stellarium.
September 23
This evening the Moon is near the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion, reddish star Antares.

To the east is the constellation Sagittarius the Archer. Sagittarius is a centaur, half human and half horse, who holds a bow and arrow aimed at the Scorpion. If you don't have dark skies the only stars of the Archer you may see form his bow, arrow and arm. This collection of stars can also be imagined as the Teapot.





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Updated: 3:02 PM GMT on September 24, 2009

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APRSWXNET Woodland Hills CA US
Calabasas, CA
Elevation: 984 ft
Temperature: 51.0 °F
Dew Point: 34.0 °F
Humidity: 53%
Wind: Calm
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Updated: 5:33 AM PST on December 01, 2013
At Gonzales Drive
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Elevation: 984 ft
Temperature: 66.1 °F
Dew Point: 56.8 °F
Humidity: 72%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Updated: 4:02 AM PDT on August 20, 2014

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