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/AT -Astronomical Twilight
Cal - Callisto
Civ Twi/CT - Civil Twilight
Cr - Crescent
Disap - Disappear
Dbl Tr - Double Tansit
E - End/Exit
Ec/Ecl - Eclipse
EcD - Eclipse disappearance
EcR - Eclipse reappearance
Eur - Europa
Ex - Exit
Gan - Ganymede
Gr El - Greatest Elongation
Jup - Jupiter
Lun - Lunar
Max - Maximum
Mer - Mercury
Min - Minimum
Mn - Moon
Naut Twi/NT - Nautical Twilight
Nr - Near
Occ - Occultation
OcD - Occultation disappearance
OcR - Occultation reapparance
Opp - Opposition
Pen - Penumbral
Reap - Reappear
Qtr - Quarter
Sat - Saturn /Satellite
Sh - Shadow
S/St - Start
Stat - Stationary
Tot - Total
Tr - Transit
V Nr - Very Near
Ven - Venus
Zod Lt - Zodiacal Light

 

Observing

Upcoming Observing Highlights

February 2018
  • Thursday, 2/1/2018 - Occ of psi Leo - Time: 01:00
    • At about 1:14am the mag 5.4 star psi Leonis will reappear from behind the moon's dark limb at axis angle 252° (or about 76° from the south cusp).
  • Thursday, 2/1/2018 - Mn vnr Regulus - Time: 05:00
    • The moon is very near the bright blue star Regulus.
  • Thursday, 2/1/2018 - Algol min - Time: 21:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 2111.
  • Saturday, 2/3/2018 - Zod Light in W thru 2/16 - Time: 19:00
    • Look for the zodiacal light in the west after twilight from a dark site without western light pollution. Best times to look are from about 1915 to 1955.
  • Sunday, 2/4/2018 - Algol min - Time: 18:00
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 1800.
  • Wednesday, 2/7/2018 - Mn nr Jup - Time: 05:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 2/7/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 08:00
    • -
  • Friday, 2/9/2018 - Mn nr Mar - Time: 03:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 2/11/2018 - CrMn vnr Sat - Time: 05:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 2/15/2018 - New Moon - Time: 13:00
    • -
  • Friday, 2/16/2018 - Algol min - Time: 05:30
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 0516.
  • Friday, 2/16/2018 - 1.5% CrMn - Time: 18:00
    • Look for an ultra-thin 1.5% crescent moon 6° high 17° south of due west 30 minutes after sunset (or at 1819 calculated for the RFO site). Use binoculars.
  • Saturday, 2/17/2018 - 5% CrMn - Time: 18:30
    • A thin 5% crescent moon is in the west.
  • Monday, 2/19/2018 - Algol min - Time: 02:00
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 0205.
  • Wednesday, 2/21/2018 - Algol min - Time: 23:00
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 2254.
  • Thursday, 2/22/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 24:00
    • First quarter is actually at 12:08am on 2/23.
  • Saturday, 2/24/2018 - Algol min - Time: 19:30
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 1943.
  • Saturday, 2/24/2018 - Occ of 64 Ori - Time: 20:30
    • At about 8:59pm the mag 5.1 star 64 Orionis will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 36° from the north cusp. 64 Ori is an extreme close double so this event may be non-instantaneous for those with suitable equipment. (Calculated with Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Sunday, 2/25/2018 - Io Sh/Sat Tr - Time: 24:00
    • Jupiter rises around midnight with Io's shadow in transit. Then,
      0112 Io begins to transit
      0210 Io's shadow transit ends
      0321 Io's transit ends
  • Wednesday, 2/28/2018 - Mn Vnr Regulus - Time: 22:00
    • The moon is very near the bright blue star Regulus. Use binoculars.

March 2018
  • Thursday, 3/1/2018 - Eur OcR - Time: 01:00
    • Europa reappears from behind Jupiter's SE limb at 0116.
  • Thursday, 3/1/2018 - "Worm" Moon - Time: 17:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 3/3/2018 - Gan Sh Tr - Time: 01:00
    • Ganymede's shadow transits Jupiter's north polar region from 0127 to 0315.
  • Sunday, 3/4/2018 - Mer in W thru 3/23 - Time: 18:30
    • Mercury provides its best evening apparition of 2018, reaching a maximum altitude on 1/15, 9° 45 minutes after sunset (or at 8:02pm PDT calculated for the RFO site). Mercury is near Venus throughout, especially at first.
  • Monday, 3/5/2018 - Io Sh/Sat Tr - Time: 01:30
    • Io's shadow transits Jupiter from 0153 to 0403, followed by Io itself from 0303 to 0512.
  • Monday, 3/5/2018 - Zod Light in W thru 3/18 - Time: 19:30
    • Look for the zodiacal light in the west after twilight from a dark site without western light pollution. Best times to look are from about 1940 to 2020 PST (or an hour later in PDT).
  • Tuesday, 3/6/2018 - Io OcR - Time: 02:00
    • Io reappears from behind Jupiter's E limb at 0221.
  • Wednesday, 3/7/2018 - Mn nr Jup - Time: 00:30
    • -
  • Friday, 3/9/2018 - Jup stat - Time: 02:00
    • Jupiter begins retrograde motion.
  • Friday, 3/9/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 03:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 3/11/2018 - DST begins - Time: 02:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 3/11/2018 - Algol min - Time: 05:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0448.
  • Sunday, 3/11/2018 - Mn nr Sat - Time: 05:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 3/13/2018 - Io EcD/OcR - Time: 01:30
    • Io disappears into Jupiter's shadow 0.5 Jupiter diameter W of Jupiter at 0155 and reappears from behind Jupiter's E limb at 0510.
  • Tuesday, 3/13/2018 - Io Sh/Sat Tr & Gan Oc - Time: 24:00
    • Jupiter rises around midnight with Io's shadow, followed by Io, both in transit. Then, Ganymede passes behind Jupiter's south polar region from 0110 to 0224. Meanwhile, Io's shadow transit ends at 0125 and Io's transit ends at 0228.
  • Wednesday, 3/14/2018 - Algol min - Time: 01:30
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 0137.
  • Thursday, 3/15/2018 - Eur OcD - Time: 01:30
    • At 0147 Europa disappears into Jupiter's shadow 1.0 Jupiter diameter W of Jupiter.
  • Friday, 3/16/2018 - Algol min - Time: 22:30
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 2226.
  • Friday, 3/16/2018 - Eur Tr - Time: 24:00
    • Jupiter rises around midnight with Europa in transit, which ends at 0118.
  • Saturday, 3/17/2018 - New Moon - Time: 06:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 3/18/2018 - 2.7% CrMn nr Ven & Mer - Time: 20:00
    • A very thin crescent moon is 8° high 40 minutes after sunset (or at 8:00pm calculated for the RFO site) almost due west, with Venus and Mercury in a line to the north.
  • Monday, 3/19/2018 - Algol min - Time: 19:30
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 1915.
  • Tuesday, 3/20/2018 - Vernal Equinox - Time: 09:00
    • The equinox occurs at 0915.
  • Tuesday, 3/20/2018 - Gan Ec - Time: 24:00
    • Ganymede disappears into Jupiter's shadow 0.9 Jupiter diameter W of Jupiter at 0028 and reappears 0.4 diameter W at 0217 (during the Io transits).
  • Wednesday, 3/21/2018 - Io Sh/Sat Tr - Time: 01:00
    • Io's shadow transits Jupiter's disk from 0108 to 0319, followed by Io itself from 0208 to 0417. Ganymede reappears from eclipse 0.4 Jupiter diameter W of Jupiter at 0217.
  • Thursday, 3/22/2018 - Io OcR - Time: 01:00
    • Io reappears from behind Jupiter's E limb at 0125.
  • Thursday, 3/22/2018 - Mn nr Aldebaran - Time: 20:30
    • The moon is near the bright red-orange star Aldebaran.
  • Friday, 3/23/2018 - Eur Sh/Sat Tr - Time: 23:30
    • Note: Jupiter rises just moments before this event begins.
      Europa's shadow transits Jupiter from 2336 to 0152 followed by Io from 0132 to 0341.
  • Saturday, 3/24/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 08:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 3/28/2018 - Mn nr Regulus - Time: 04:00
    • The moon is near the bright blue star Regulus.
  • Wednesday, 3/28/2018 - Io EcD/OcR - Time: 24:00
    • Io disappears into Jupiter's shadow 0.3 Jupiter diameter W of Jupiter at 0010 then reappears from behind Jupiter's E limb at 0312.
  • Thursday, 3/29/2018 - Io Sh/Sat Tr - Time: 23:30
    • Jupiter rises with both Io and its shadow in transit. Io's shadow transit ends at 2340 (at RFO, Jupiter's altitude will be 7° at this time) and Io's transit ends at 0031.
  • Saturday, 3/31/2018 - Eur Sh/Sat Tr - Time: 02:00
    • Europa's shadow transits Jupiter from 0210 to 0425, followed by Europa itself from 0353 to 0601 (which is during civil twilight).
  • Saturday, 3/31/2018 - "Blue" Moon - Time: 05:30
    • -

April 2018
  • Sunday, 4/8/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 00:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 4/15/2018 - New Moon - Time: 19:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 4/22/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 14:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 4/29/2018 - "Pink" Moon - Time: 18:00
    • -

May 2018
  • Monday, 5/7/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 19:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 5/15/2018 - New Moon - Time: 05:00
    • -
  • Monday, 5/21/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 21:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 5/29/2018 - "Flower" Moon - Time: 07:30
    • -

June 2018
  • Wednesday, 6/6/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 11:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 6/13/2018 - New Moon - Time: 12:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 6/20/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 04:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 6/27/2018 - "Strawberry" Moon - Time: 22:00
    • -

July 2018
  • Friday, 7/6/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 01:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 7/12/2018 - New Moon - Time: 20:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 7/19/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 13:00
    • -
  • Friday, 7/27/2018 - "Buck" Moon - Time: 13:30
    • -

August 2018
  • Saturday, 8/4/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 11:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 8/11/2018 - New Moon - Time: 03:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 8/12/2018 - Perseids Peak - Time: 19:00
    • The peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower is expected sometime between about 1pm 8/12 and 1am 8/13, but this shower remains active for many days before and after peak. Over 100 meteors per hour are typical at the peak. The Perseids become viewable after about 11pm and are best during the a.m. hours. Conditions are ideal this year with no moonlight interference.
  • Saturday, 8/18/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 01:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 8/26/2018 - "Sturgeon" Moon - Time: 05:00
    • -

September 2018
  • Sunday, 9/2/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 19:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 9/9/2018 - New Moon - Time: 11:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 9/16/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 16:00
    • -
  • Monday, 9/24/2018 - "Harvest" Moon - Time: 20:00
    • -

October 2018
  • Tuesday, 10/2/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 02:30
    • -
  • Monday, 10/8/2018 - New Moon - Time: 21:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 10/16/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 11:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 10/24/2018 - "Hunter's" Moon - Time: 09:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 10/31/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 09:30
    • -

November 2018
  • Wednesday, 11/7/2018 - New Moon - Time: 08:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 11/15/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 07:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 11/22/2018 - "Beaver" Moon - Time: 21:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 11/29/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 16:30
    • -

December 2018
  • Thursday, 12/6/2018 - New Moon - Time: 23:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 12/15/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 04:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 12/22/2018 - "Cold" Moon - Time: 10:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 12/29/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 01:30
    • -

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