RFO

What's Up in the Night Sky

Here's a month-by-month listing of astronomical predictions for the year, compiled by
Jack Welch, RFO astronomy instructor.

 

Abbreviations

Astr Twi - Astronomical Twilight
Civ Twi - Civil Twilight
Cr - Crescent
Dbl Tr - Double Tansit
Ex - Exit
Gr El - Greatest Elongation
Jup - Jupiter
Mer - Mercury
Min - Minimum
Naut Twi - Nautical Twilight
Nr - Near
Occ - Occultation
Opp - Opposition
Reap - Reappear
Qtr - Quarter
Sat - Saturn
Sh - Shadow
Stat - Stationary
V Nr - Very Near
Ven - Venus
Zod Lt - Zodiacal Light

 

Observing

2014 Observing Highlights

September 2014
  • Tuesday, 9/2/2014 - 1st Qtr - Time: 04:00
    • -
  • Friday, 9/5/2014 - Occ of Dabih - Time: 24:00
    • Mag 3.1 Dabih (beta Cap) is an extremely close double. It is preceded by the mag 6.1 very close double ZC2968. The first and third events require large aperture scopes. All events are on the morning of 9/6.

      At about 12:28am ZC2968 will disappear behind the dark limb 18° from the north cusp.
      At about 12:32am Dabih will disappear behind the dark limb 24° from the north cusp.
      At about 1:14am Dabih will reappear from behind the bright limb 49° from the north cusp.

      Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Times and positions will vary as distance from RFO increases.
  • Sunday, 9/7/2014 - Lrg Tides thru 9/10 - Time: 00:00
    • Full moon occurs 22 hours after perigee.
  • Sunday, 9/7/2014 - Occ of Ancha - Time: 21:30
    • At about 9:39pm mag 4.2 Ancha (theta Aquarii) will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 49° from the south cusp.
      Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Time and position will differ as distance from RFO increases.
  • Monday, 9/8/2014 - "Harvest" Moon - Time: 18:30
  • Monday, 9/15/2014 - Last Qtr - Time: 19:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 9/17/2014 - Occ of 26 Gem - Time: 03:30
    • At about 3:51am the mag 5.2 extremely close equal double 26 Geminorum will reappear from behind the moon's dark limb at axis angle 304° (55° from the north cusp).
      Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Time and position will vary as distance from RFO increases.
  • Thursday, 9/18/2014 - Occ of 68 Gem - Time: 04:00
    • At about 4:27am the mag 5.3 extremely close double 68 Geminorum will reappear from behind the moon's dark limb at axis angle 211° (34° from the south cusp).
      Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Time and position will vary as distance from RFO increases.
  • Saturday, 9/20/2014 - Cr Mn nr Jup - Time: 05:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 9/21/2014 - Zod Lt in E thru 10/4 - Time: 05:00
    • The Zodiacal Light is visible in the east before astronomical twilight. Look for it between 5:00 and 5:30am.
  • Monday, 9/22/2014 - Equinox - Time: 19:30
    • The Autumnal Equinox occurs at 7:29pm PDT.
  • Tuesday, 9/23/2014 - New Moon - Time: 23:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 9/27/2014 - Mars nr Antares - Time: 20:30
    • For many days around late September Mars is near its "rival" the bright red supergiant star Antares in Scorpius. Use binoculars to compare these two objects.
  • Saturday, 9/27/2014 - Cr Mn v nr Sat - Time: 20:30
    • -

October 2014
  • Wednesday, 10/1/2014 - Zod Lt in E thru 10/4 - Time: 05:00
    • The Zodiacal Light is visible in the east before astronomical twilight. Look for it between 5:00 and 5:30am.
  • Wednesday, 10/1/2014 - 1st Qtr - Time: 12:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 10/5/2014 - Algol min - Time: 19:00
    • Algol minimum is at 2:33am.
  • Tuesday, 10/7/2014 - Ura opp - Time: 14:00
    • Uranus is at opposition in Pisces at mag 5.7 and disk size of 3.7".
  • Tuesday, 10/7/2014 - Algol min - Time: 23:30
    • Algol minimum is at 11:21pm.
  • Wednesday, 10/8/2014 - Total Lunar Eclipse - Time: 02:00
    • 01:16 Moon enters penumbra
      02:15 Moon enters umbra
      03:25 Start of totality
      04:23 End of totality
      05:33 Moon exits umbra
      05:45 Astro twilight starts
      06:32 Moon exits penumbra
      NOTE: The planet Uranus will be very close to the moon moon (just slightly to the south) during the eclipse.
  • Wednesday, 10/8/2014 - "Hunter's" Moon - Time: 04:00
  • Friday, 10/10/2014 - Algol min - Time: 23:30
    • Algol minimum is at 8:10pm.
  • Sunday, 10/12/2014 - Mn v nr Aldebaran - Time: 02:00
    • -
  • Monday, 10/13/2014 - Occ of 115 Tau - Time: 01:00
    • At about 1:19am the mag 5.4 star 115 Tauri, an extreme close double, will reappear from behind the moon's dark limb at axis angle 252° (69° from the south cusp). Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will vary as distance from RFO increases.
  • Wednesday, 10/15/2014 - Occ of lambda Gem - Time: 04:00
    • This is a 2-part event, the first of which requires a larger aperture scope. Mag 3.6 lambda Geminorum is an extreme close double. At about 3:56am it will disappear behind the moon's bright limb 86° from the south cusp. Then, at about 5:22am it will reappear from behind the dark limb at axis angle 263° (83° from the south cusp). Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will vary as distance from RFO increases.
  • Wednesday, 10/15/2014 - Cal occ Eur - Time: 06:00
    • This is a Jovian mutual satellite event. From 6:21 to 6:23am Callisto, moving east to west, will partially occult Europa. The E to W Jovian arrangement just before occultation is:
      Gan - Cal/Eur - Jup - Io
      Start observing by 6:00am.
  • Wednesday, 10/15/2014 - Last Qtr - Time: 12:00
    • -
  • Friday, 10/17/2014 - Occ of lambda Gem - Time: 05:30
    • This is a 2-part event, the first of which requires a larger aperture scope. Mag 4.3 Acubens (alpha Cancri) is an extreme close equal double. At about 5:47am it will disappear behind the moon's bright limb 79° from the north cusp. Then, at about 7:14am it will reappear from behind the dark limb at axis angle 286° (72° from the north cusp). Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will vary as distance from RFO increases.
  • Saturday, 10/18/2014 - Cr Mn nr Jup - Time: 03:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 10/21/2014 - Zod Lt in E thru 11/3 - Time: 05:30
    • The Zodiacal Light is visible in the east before astronomical twilight. Look for it between 5:30 and 6:00am PDT (or 4:30 and 5:00am PST).
  • Thursday, 10/23/2014 - Partial Solar Eclipse - Time: 13:30
    • Partial solar eclipse occurs from 1:50pm until 4:31pm. Eclipse maximum is 51% at 3:14pm. These details were calculated for the RFO site and will vary as distance from RFO increases. RFO will be open to the public for this event. CAUTION: Use approved safe techniques to observe the eclipse!
  • Thursday, 10/23/2014 - New Moon - Time: 15:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 10/25/2014 - Algol min - Time: 04:00
    • Algol minimum is at 4:14am.
  • Tuesday, 10/28/2014 - Algol min - Time: 01:00
    • Algol minimum is at 1:03am.
  • Thursday, 10/30/2014 - 1st Qtr - Time: 20:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 10/30/2014 - Algol min - Time: 22:00
    • Algol minimum is at 9:52pm.

November 2014
  • Saturday, 11/1/2014 - Cal occ Io - Time: 04:30
    • This is a Jovian mutual satellite event. From 4:49 to 4:52am Callisto, moving east to west, will partially occult Io. The E to W Jovian arrangement just before occultation is:
      Cal/Io - Jup(Gan) - Eur
      Ganymede and its shadow are both in transit across Jupiter at this time! Start observing by 4:30am.
  • Saturday, 11/1/2014 - Zod Lt in E thru 11/3 - Time: 05:30
    • The Zodiacal Light is visible in the east before astronomical twilight. Look for it between 5:30 and 6:00am PDT (or 4:30 and 5:00am PST).
  • Sunday, 11/2/2014 - DST Ends - Time: 02:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 11/2/2014 - Cal occ Io - Time: 05:00
    • This is a Jovian mutual satellite event. From 5:36 to 5:44am Callisto, moving east to west, will totally occult Io. Dimming of the combined light should be noticeable during peak occultation. The E to W Jovian arrangement just before occultation is:
      Eur - Jup - Cal/Io - Gan
      Start observing before 5:00am.
  • Monday, 11/3/2014 - Cal occ Gan - Time: 04:30
    • This is a Jovian mutual satellite event. From 4:51 to 4:58am Callisto, moving east to west, will partially occult Ganymede. The E to W Jovian arrangement just before occultation is:
      Io - Eur - Jup - Cal/Gan
      Europa's shadow is in transit across Jupiter starting at 4:35. Start observing by 4:15.
  • Tuesday, 11/4/2014 - Eur occ Gan - Time: 00:30
    • This is a Jovian mutual satellite event. From 1:04 to 1:14am Europa, moving east to west, will occult Io. This is an annular occultation with 26% maximum dimming (a subtle difference). The E to W Jovian arrangement just before occultation is:
      Jup - Io - Eur/Gan - Cal
      Start observing by 12:30am if possible: Jupiter's altitude is only 6° at this time (in the ENE), and 12° at 1:04am.
  • Tuesday, 11/4/2014 - Occ of 88 Psc - Time: 19:30
    • At about 7:53pm mag 6.0 88 Piscium will disappear behind the dark limb of the 96% moon 59° from the south limb. This event requires a larger aperture scope. Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.
  • Wednesday, 11/5/2014 - Io occ Gan - Time: 02:00
    • This is a Jovian mutual satellite event. From 2:19 to 2:22am Io, moving east to west, will partially occult Ganymede. The E to W Jovian arrangement just before occultation is:
      Io/Gan - Jup - Cal
      (Europa is eclipsed/occulted by Jupiter during this time.) Start observing by 2:00am.
  • Thursday, 11/6/2014 - "Beaver" Moon - Time: 14:30
  • Saturday, 11/8/2014 - Occ of lambda Gem - Time: 20:30
    • At about 8:38pm mag 3.6 lambda Geminorum, an extreme close double, will reappear from behind the dark limb of the 92% moon at axis angle of 236° of 47° from the south cusp. The moon will be 14° high in the east. Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will vary as distance from RFO increases.
  • Friday, 11/14/2014 - Algol min - Time: 05:00
    • Algol minimum is at 4:57am.
  • Friday, 11/14/2014 - Mn nr Jup - Time: 05:00
    • -
  • Friday, 11/14/2014 - Last Qtr - Time: 17:30
    • -
  • Monday, 11/17/2014 - Algol min - Time: 02:00
    • Algol minimum is at 1:46am.
  • Monday, 11/17/2014 - Leonids peak - Time: 14:00
    • This is expected to be a poor year for Leonid meteors, with a rate of 10 to 15 per hour at peak predicted. The peak time of 2pm is also unfavorable. Some predict the peak as early as 8am, which is not much better. Local observing windows are between midnight and 2am or so on 11/17 or midnight and 3am or so on 11/18, limited by waning crescent moon rise.
  • Wednesday, 11/19/2014 - Algol min - Time: 22:30
    • Algol minimum is at 10:35pm.
  • Saturday, 11/22/2014 - New Moon - Time: 04:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 11/22/2014 - Algol min - Time: 19:30
    • Algol minimum is at 7:24pm.
  • Sunday, 11/23/2014 - 3.1% Cr Mn - Time: 17:30
    • An ultra-thin 3.1% crescent moon is 8° high 33° south of due west at 5:30pm. Use binoculars.
  • Monday, 11/24/2014 - Occ of Y Sgr - Time: 18:00
    • At about 6:19pm mag 5.8 Y Sagittarii will disappear behind the dark limb of an 8% crescent moon 66° from the north cusp. The moon will be at an altitued of 9° in the WSW. Y Sgr is an extreme close equal double and also a delta Cepheid variable (from mag 5.3 to 6.2 with a period of 5.8 days). Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will vary as distance from RFO increases.
  • Tuesday, 11/25/2014 - Occ Miss of rho Sgr - Time: 19:00
    • At about 7:07pm the south end of the 15% crescent moon will just miss occulting the mag 3.9 star rho Sagittarii. The moon will be 11° high in the WSW. This should be very nice to watch with binoculars. Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.
  • Wednesday, 11/26/2014 - Occ of Dabih - Time: 19:30
    • This is an interesting multi-part event. Dabih (beta Capricorni) is a wide double star. Beta-A is mag 3.1; beta-B is mag 6.1. At about 7:29pm beta-B will disappear behind the dark limb of the crescent moon 33° from the north cusp. At about 7:33pm beta-A will disappear behind the dark limb 39° from the north cusp. At about 8:17pm beta-A will reappear from behind the bright limb at axis angle 312° or 46° from north cusp. This last event requires a larger aperture scope. Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.
  • Saturday, 11/29/2014 - 1st Qtr - Time: 02:00
    • -

December 2014
  • Saturday, 12/6/2014 - "Cold" Moon - Time: 04:30
  • Sunday, 12/7/2014 - Algol min - Time: 03:30
    • Algol minimum is at 3:29am.
  • Monday, 12/8/2014 - Occ of lambda Gem - Time: 20:30
    • At about 8:38pm mag 3.6 lambda Geminorum, an extreme close double, will reappear from behind the dark limb of the 92% moon at axis angle of 236° of 47° from the south cusp. The moon will be 14° high in the east. Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will vary as distance from RFO increases.
  • Wednesday, 12/10/2014 - Algol min - Time: 00:30
    • Algol minimum is at 12:18am.
  • Friday, 12/12/2014 - Algol min - Time: 21:00
    • Algol minimum is at 9:07pm.
  • Saturday, 12/13/2014 - Geminid Meteors - Time: 22:00
    • Consistently one of the year's best meteor showers, more than 100 per hour are possible near the peak, which might occur any time from 11am 12/13 to 9am 12/14. Best local observing window is 7:30pm to midnight on 12/13. (There is also a possibility of a second peak on the morning of 12/15. Best local window for this is 7:30pm 12/14 to 1am 12/15.)
  • Sunday, 12/14/2014 - Last Qtr - Time: 05:00
    • -
  • Monday, 12/15/2014 - Dbl Sh Tr / Dbl Tr of Jup - Time: 22:00
    • Europa's shadow will be in transit when Jupiter rises at about 9:30pm. Jupiter will be 9° high when the next event occurs and rise higher thereafter:
      10:12p Sh Tr Beg Io - Start Dbl Sh Tr
      10:18p Tr Beg Europa
      11:02p Sh Tr End Europa - End Dbl Sh Tr
      11:15p Tr Beg Io - Start Dbl Tr
      12:29a Sh Tr End Io
      01:12a Tr End Europa - End Dbl Tr
      01:32a Tr End Io
  • Sunday, 12/21/2014 - Solstice - Time: 09:00
    • The Winter Solstice occurs at 3:03pm PST.
  • Sunday, 12/21/2014 - New Moon - Time: 17:30
    • -
  • Monday, 12/22/2014 - 1.6% Cr Mn - Time: 17:30
    • An ultra-thin 1.6% crescent moon is 6° high 29° south of due west at 5:30pm. Use binoculars.
  • Wednesday, 12/24/2014 - Occ of 8 Aqr - Time: 18:00
    • At about 6:23pm mag 6.6 8 Aquarii will disappear behind the crescent moon's dark limb 71° from the south cusp. Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will vary as distance from RFO increases.
  • Saturday, 12/27/2014 - Algol min - Time: 05:00
    • Algol minimum is at 5:13am.
  • Sunday, 12/28/2014 - 1st Qtr - Time: 10:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 12/30/2014 - Occ of Torcularis Septentrionalis - Time: 00:30
    • At about 12:35am the mag 4.3 beautifully named star Torcularis Septentrionalis (omicron Piscium) will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 39° from the south cusp. Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will vary as distance from RFO increases.
  • Tuesday, 12/30/2014 - Algol min - Time: 02:00
    • Algol minimum is at 2:03am.
  • Tuesday, 12/30/2014 - Occ of 31 Ari - Time: 23:30
    • At about 11:31pm the mag 5.6 extreme close equal double star 31 Arietis will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 23° from the south cusp. This event requires a larger aperture scope. Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.

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