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

September 2016
  • Thursday, 9/1/2016 - New Moon - Time: 02:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 9/1/2016 - Zod Lt in E thru 9/12 - Time: 04:30
    • The Zodiacal Light is visible in the east before astronomical twilight. Look for it between 4:30 and 5:00am.
  • Friday, 9/2/2016 - Nep opp - Time: 10:00
    • Neptune is at opposition in Aquarius at mag 7.8 and a disk size of 2.4".
  • Saturday, 9/3/2016 - CrMn nr Ven - Time: 20:00
    • -
  • Friday, 9/9/2016 - 1st Qtr - Time: 05:00
    • -
  • Friday, 9/16/2016 - Occ of phi Aqr - Time: 00:30
    • At about 0033 the mag 4.2 star phi Aquarii will disappear behind the dark limb of a nearly full moon 86° from the south cusp. Start watching around midnight. (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Friday, 9/16/2016 - "Harvest" Moon - Time: 12:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 9/21/2016 - Mer in E thru 10/9 - Time: 06:00
    • Mercury has its best morning apparition of the year reaching a maximum altitude 45 minutes before sunrise of 8° on 9/29 when a thin crescent moon will be very near Mercury. Start looking for Mercury around 6:10am, and around 6:20am in October.
  • Thursday, 9/22/2016 - Autumnal Equinox - Time: 07:30
    • The equinox is at 7:21am.
  • Friday, 9/23/2016 - Last Qtr - Time: 03:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 9/25/2016 - Occ of ZC1198 - Time: 03:00
    • At about 0311 the mag 6.1 star ZC1198 will reappear from behind the moon's dark limb at axis angle 278° (or 79° from the north cusp). Note that the moon's altitude will be 14° slightly north of east. This star is an extreme close double so may be non-instantaneous for those with suitable equipment. (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Sunday, 9/25/2016 - Occ of 5 Cnc - Time: 04:30
    • At about 0439 the mag 6.0 star 5 Cancri will reappear from behind the moon's dark limb at axis angle 270° (or 86° from the north cusp). This star is an extreme close double so may be non-instantaneous for those with suitable equipment. (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Tuesday, 9/27/2016 - CrMn nr Regulus - Time: 05:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 9/29/2016 - Zod Lt in E thru 10/12 - Time: 05:00
    • The Zodiacal Light is visible in the east before astronomical twilight. Look for it between 5:00 and 5:40am.
  • Friday, 9/30/2016 - New Moon - Time: 17:00
    • -

October 2016
  • Saturday, 10/1/2016 - Zod Lt in E thru 10/12 - Time: 05:00
    • The Zodiacal Light is visible in the east before astronomical twilight. Look for it between 5:00 and 5:40am.
  • Sunday, 10/2/2016 - 4% CrMn nr Ven - Time: 19:00
    • Look for the thin crescent moon north of Venus. Both are 8° high in the west 30 minutes after sunset (or at 1920 for the RFO site).
  • Monday, 10/3/2016 - CrMn nr Ven - Time: 19:30
    • Ven is below the crescent moon near the horizon.
  • Saturday, 10/8/2016 - 1st Qtr - Time: 21:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 10/13/2016 - Occ of lambda Aqr - Time: 03:00
    • At about 0303 the mag 3.7 star lambda Aquarii will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 81° from the south cusp. Note that the moon's altitude will be 13° in the west. (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Saturday, 10/15/2016 - Ura Opp - Time: 04:00
    • Uranus is at opposition in Pisces at mag 5.7 and a disk size of 3.7".
  • Saturday, 10/15/2016 - "Hunter's" Moon - Time: 21:30
  • Monday, 10/17/2016 - Lrg Tides thru 10/20 - Time: 00:00
    • Large tides due to the full moon 20hr before perigee.
  • Tuesday, 10/18/2016 - Mn vnr Aldebaran - Time: 24:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 10/20/2016 - Ceres opp - Time: 22:00
    • The dwarf planet Ceres is at opposition in Cetus at mag 7.4. It is about 4° south of Alrisha (alpha Psc). Use a finder's chart.
  • Saturday, 10/22/2016 - Last Qtr - Time: 12:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 10/25/2016 - CrMn nr Regulus - Time: 06:00
    • -
  • Friday, 10/28/2016 - Algol min - Time: 04:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0435.
  • Friday, 10/28/2016 - 4% CrMn vnr Jup - Time: 06:30
    • A thin crescent moon is very near Jupiter this morning.
  • Sunday, 10/30/2016 - New Moon - Time: 10:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 10/30/2016 - Ven vnr Sat & nr Antares - Time: 18:30
    • Use binoculars to spot Saturn slightly above and north of bright Venus. The bright red star Antares is below this pair nearer the horizon.
  • Monday, 10/31/2016 - Algol min - Time: 01:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0124.

November 2016
  • Wednesday, 11/2/2016 - CrMn nr Ven & Sat - Time: 19:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 11/2/2016 - Algol min - Time: 22:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 2213.
  • Saturday, 11/5/2016 - Algol min - Time: 19:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 1902.
  • Sunday, 11/6/2016 - DST Ends - Time: 02:00
    • -
  • Monday, 11/7/2016 - 1st Qtr - Time: 12:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 11/9/2016 - Occ of phi Aqr - Time: 20:30
    • At about 2036 the mag 4.2 star phi Aquarii will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 48° from the north cusp. (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Sunday, 11/13/2016 - Occ of xi-1 Cet - Time: 01:30
    • At about 0156 the mag 4.4 star x-1i Ceti will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 67° from the north cusp.
      EARLIER this same night (on 7/12) there is a sequence of occultations requiring larger aperture scopes (at least 4 or 5") to observe:
      At about 2050 mag 6.4 ZC303 disappears behind the dark limb 66° from the south cusp. ZC303 is and extreme close double so this event might be non-instantaneous for those with suitable equipment.
      At about 2214 mag 6.3 WZ Piscium will disappear behind the dark limb 40° from the north cusp.
      At about 0049 mag 5.6 64 Ceti will disappear behind the dark limb 67° from the north cusp.
      (All of the above calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Monday, 11/14/2016 - Lrg Tides thru 11/17 - Time: 00:00
    • Large tides due to the full moon 3hr before perigee.
  • Monday, 11/14/2016 - "Beaver" Moon - Time: 06:00
  • Thursday, 11/17/2016 - Leonids Peak - Time: 03:00
    • This is a very unfavorable year for viewing the Leonid meteor shower since a gibbous moon is up all night when the meteors will be active and no special outburst is expected
  • Thursday, 11/17/2016 - Algol min - Time: 05:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0517.
  • Sunday, 11/20/2016 - Algol min - Time: 02:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0206.
  • Sunday, 11/20/2016 - Nep stat - Time: 02:00
    • Neptune ends retrograde motion.
  • Monday, 11/21/2016 - Last Qtr - Time: 00:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 11/22/2016 - Algol min - Time: 23:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 2255.
  • Friday, 11/25/2016 - CrMn nr Jup - Time: 04:30
    • -
  • Friday, 11/25/2016 - Algol min - Time: 19:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 1944.
  • Tuesday, 11/29/2016 - New Moon - Time: 04:30
    • -

December 2016
  • Friday, 12/2/2016 - CrMn nr Ven - Time: 18:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 12/3/2016 - CrMn nr Ven - Time: 18:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 12/6/2016 - Mer in W thru 12/19 - Time: 17:30
    • This is a poor evening apparition of Mercury, reaching a maximum altitude 45 minutes after sunset of just 6° on 12/14.
  • Wednesday, 12/7/2016 - 1st Qtr - Time: 01:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 12/7/2016 - Occ of 24 Psc - Time: 22:30
    • At about 2240 the mag 5.9 star 24 Piscium will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 73° from the south cusp. This event requires larger aperture scopes (at least 4 or 5") to observe. 24 Psc is an extremely close double so the event may be non-instantaneous for those with suitable equipment. (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Saturday, 12/10/2016 - Algol min - Time: 04:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0349.
  • Saturday, 12/10/2016 - Occ of 85 Cet - Time: 24:00
    • At about 0025 (on 12/11) the mag 6.3 star 85 Ceti (which is actually in Aries) will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 75° from the north cusp. This event requires larger aperture scopes (at least 4 or 5") to observe. (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Monday, 12/12/2016 - Occ of Aldebaran - Time: 19:00
    • This is the third occultation of this famous bright star viewable locally this year! At about 1907 the mag 0.9 red-orange star Aldebaran (alpha Tauri) will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 85° from the north cusp.
      Then, at about 2006, it will reappear from behind the bright limb at axis angle 285°, or 49° from the north cusp. Tracking scopes can remain tracking from the disappearance to capture the reappearance. (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Tuesday, 12/13/2016 - Algol min - Time: 00:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0038.
  • Tuesday, 12/13/2016 - Lrg Tides thru 12/16 - Time: 00:00
    • Large tides due to the full moon 25hr after perigee.
  • Tuesday, 12/13/2016 - "Cold" Moon - Time: 16:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 12/15/2016 - Algol min - Time: 21:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 2127.
  • Sunday, 12/18/2016 - Algol min - Time: 18:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 1816.
  • Wednesday, 12/21/2016 - Winter Solstice - Time: 02:30
    • The winter solstice is at 2:44am.
  • Wednesday, 12/21/2016 - Last Qtr - Time: 18:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 12/22/2016 - CrMn vnr Jup, nr Spica - Time: 05:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 12/28/2016 - New Moon - Time: 23:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 12/29/2016 - Ura stat - Time: 08:00
    • Uranus ends retrograde motion.

January 2017
  • Thursday, 1/5/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 12:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 1/12/2017 - "Wolf" Moon - Time: 03:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 1/19/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 14:00
    • -
  • Friday, 1/27/2017 - New Moon - Time: 16:00
    • -

February 2017
  • Friday, 2/3/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 20:30
    • -
  • Monday, 2/6/2017 - Jup stat - Time: 11:00
    • Jupiter begins retrograde motion.
  • Friday, 2/10/2017 - "Snow" Moon - Time: 16:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 2/18/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 11:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 2/26/2017 - New Moon - Time: 07:00
    • -

March 2017
  • Sunday, 3/5/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 03:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 3/12/2017 - DST begins - Time: 02:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 3/12/2017 - "Worm" Moon - Time: 08:00
    • -
  • Monday, 3/20/2017 - Vernal Equinox - Time: 03:30
    • The vernal equinox occurs at 3:28am.
  • Monday, 3/20/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 09:00
    • -
  • Monday, 3/27/2017 - New Moon - Time: 20:00
    • -

April 2017
  • Monday, 4/3/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 11:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 4/5/2017 - Sat stat - Time: 22:00
    • Saturn begins retrograde motion.
  • Friday, 4/7/2017 - Jup opp - Time: 14:00
    • -
  • Monday, 4/10/2017 - "Pink" Moon - Time: 23:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 4/19/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 03:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 4/26/2017 - New Moon - Time: 05:00
    • -

May 2017
  • Tuesday, 5/2/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 20:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 5/10/2017 - "Flower" Moon - Time: 14:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 5/18/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 17:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 5/25/2017 - New Moon - Time: 12:30
    • -

June 2017
  • Thursday, 6/1/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 05:30
    • -
  • Friday, 6/9/2017 - "Strawberry" Moon - Time: 06:00
    • -
  • Friday, 6/9/2017 - Jup stat - Time: 22:00
    • Jupiter ends retrograde motion.
  • Thursday, 6/15/2017 - Sat opp - Time: 03:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 6/17/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 04:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 6/20/2017 - Summer Solstice - Time: 21:30
    • The summer solstice occurs at 9:24pm.
  • Friday, 6/23/2017 - New Moon - Time: 19:30
    • -
  • Friday, 6/30/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 17:30
    • -

July 2017
  • Saturday, 7/8/2017 - "Buck" Moon - Time: 21:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 7/9/2017 - Plu opp - Time: 21:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 7/16/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 12:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 7/23/2017 - New Moon - Time: 02:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 7/30/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 08:30
    • -

August 2017
  • Thursday, 8/3/2017 - Ura stat - Time: 02:00
    • Uranus begins retrograde motion.
  • Monday, 8/7/2017 - "Sturgeon" Moon - Time: 11:00
    • -
  • Monday, 8/14/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 18:00
    • -
  • Monday, 8/21/2017 - New Moon - Time: 11:30
    • -
  • Friday, 8/25/2017 - Sat stat - Time: 07:00
    • Saturn ends retrograde motion.
  • Tuesday, 8/29/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 01:00
    • -

September 2017
  • Monday, 9/4/2017 - Nep opp - Time: 22:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 9/6/2017 - "Harvest" Moon - Time: 00:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 9/12/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 23:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 9/19/2017 - Ura Opp - Time: 10:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 9/19/2017 - New Moon - Time: 22:30
    • -
  • Friday, 9/22/2017 - Autumnal Equinox - Time: 13:00
    • The autumnal equinox occurs at 1:02pm.
  • Wednesday, 9/27/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 20:00
    • -

October 2017
  • Thursday, 10/5/2017 - "Hunter's" Moon - Time: 11:30
  • Thursday, 10/12/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 05:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 10/19/2017 - New Moon - Time: 12:00
    • -
  • Friday, 10/27/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 15:30
    • -

November 2017
  • Friday, 11/3/2017 - "Beaver" Moon - Time: 10:30
  • Sunday, 11/5/2017 - DST Ends - Time: 02:00
    • -
  • Friday, 11/10/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 12:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 11/18/2017 - New Moon - Time: 03:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 11/26/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 09:00
    • -

December 2017
  • Sunday, 12/3/2017 - "Cold" Moon - Time: 08:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 12/9/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 24:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 12/17/2017 - New Moon - Time: 22:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 12/21/2017 - Winter Solstice - Time: 08:30
    • The winter solstice occurs at 8:28am.
  • Tuesday, 12/26/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 01:30
    • -

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