Celestial Seasonings – December 2022

By Heather Durham | December 1, 2022

Happy holidays and winter solstice my friends! Welcome to the final edition of this blog for the year 2022. There is no shortage of meteor showers this month along with a planet that will glow in the evening sky as long as Mother Nature cooperates this time.

Winter solstice is near and as for me, I am happy about it for there is so much to enjoy whether you’re inside or out. I will be out and about as much and as often as possible!

Thanks everyone and enjoy yourselves New Year’s Eve as well!


December 1. The Moon and Jupiter will rise and travel close to each other.

December 6. The December φ-Cassiopeid meteor shower will be most prolific today. Coming from the Constellation Andromeda, the best prospects for viewing will be just before dawn on the 6th, but the brightness of the Moon might interfere.

December 7. The Puppid-Velid meteor shower will occur today, but once again, with the Moon so close to being full, they might not be easily visible. Today, the full Cold Moon should be viewable. The Moon and Mars will travel close to each other and rise to the right.

December 8. Tonight brings a special opportunity to view Mars. Mars will be opposite to the Sun. It will be at its largest and brightest this evening-weather dependent.

December 9. The Monocerotid meteor shower will be on display this evening. Coming from the Constellation Monoceros, this shower should put on its best display just before dawn.

December 12. The α-Hydrid meteor shower from the Constellation Hydra will peak on this date with the best show just before dawn. However, the Moon will be at last quarter and may be a viewing hindrance.

December 14. Today brings the Geminid meteor shower from the Constellation Gemini peaking at its best at 2:00 am.

December 16. The Comae Berenicid meteor shower will put on a show tonight. This one comes from the Constellation Leo may be visible from 11:30 pm the previous evening until the break of dawn. The Cold Moon will be in its final quarter.

December 20. Today brings our December Leonis Minorid meteor shower from Leo Minor. It should begin to be visible near 20:21 and remain active until the break of dawn around 6:35. am.

December 21. Mercury will travel to its furthest extent from the Sun during which time it should be very bright. This day also brings with it the December solstice, occurring as the Sun reaches its furthest southern point in the sky, a.k.a, the first day of winter.

December 22. The Ursid meteor shower from Ursa Minor will be at its peak, close to 17:00.

December 24. Mercury will shine very brightly tonight and will be at its highest in the sky.

December 26. The Moon and Saturn will rise and travel close to each other.

December 29. The Moon and Jupiter will rise to the right and orbit close to each other. The Moon will be at first quarter.


References:

Ford, D.F. (n.d.). November 2022. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org

YouTube. (14 November 2022). December 2022 Astronomical Events.Retrieved from https://youtu.be/bahPCu18hEU

Celestial Seasonings – November 2022

By Heather Durham | October 31, 2022

Autumn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain,
With banners, by great gales incessant fanned,
Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand,
And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain!
Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne,
Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand
Outstretched with benedictions o’er the land,
Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain!
Thy shield is the red harvest moon, suspended
So long beneath the heaven’s o’er-hanging eaves;
Thy steps are by the farmer’s prayers attended;
Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves;
And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid,
Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves!

November 1. The Beaver Moon will be at first quarter. The Moon and Saturn will rise and travel close to each other.

November 3. NASA will be providing an Artemis update today. (You can listen here: www.nasa.gov/live).

November 4. The Moon and Jupiter will rise to the right together and appear to travel close to each other.

November 8. There will be a total eclipse of the Moon, but our chances of viewing it are not great for the Moon will only be at -2 degrees on the horizon at the time of the beginning of the eclipse. Today also brings the full Beaver Moon.

November 11. Both the Moon and Mars will travel close to each other and seem to rise towards the right.

November 12. Today, the Northern Taurid meteor shower brighten up our evening sky with best viewing occurring around midnight. While normally a minor shower, this year will most likely be different for this particular shower becomes more prolific every 7 years and 2022 is the year. Fireballs may be seen throughout the night sky.

November 16. Our Beaver Moon will be in its final quarter today.

November 17. The Leonid meteor shower from Leo will liven up tonight’s sky. After 6:00 EST, this show will be at its best.

November 21. α-Monocerotid meteor shower from Canis Minor may be visible from 11:30 pm until the break of dawn.

November 23. Jupiter will stop appearing as if it were traveling backwards – commonly referred to as Retrograde. From today onwards, it will appear to travel towards the east.

November 28. The November Orionid meteor shower will be active. The best display should be around 1:00 EST, The Moon and Saturn will rise to the right today.

November 29. The Moon and Saturn will rise together.

November 30. The Moon will be at first quarter. Today will be the best day to view Mars.


References:

Ford, D.F. (n.d.). 2022. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org

Now Next. (2022, October 27). November 2022 Astronomical Events. Retrieved from youtu.be/Wixh93aiTo8

Celestial Seasonings – October 2022

By Heather Durham | September 30, 2022

Greetings, my friends and skywatchers!

Autumn has begun. October of this year will bring 7; yes, 7 meteor showers! And, as I’m sure you are aware, the first part of the DART mission was a resounding success. Hurricane Ian is in progress as of this writing and therefore, I am unsure as to the effect it will have on the Artemis mission. More about DART and Artemis in future editions. Now let’s review what we have in the skies this month. …


October 2. The new Moon will be at first quarter.

October 5. The Moon and Saturn will rise to the right and appear to orbit close to each other.

October 6. The October Camelopardalid meteor shower will be active this evening. Even though the Moon is just a few days away from being full, there still could be some good viewing.

October 8. Mercury will be at half phase and will orbit to its greatest elongation west. Both the Moon and Jupiter will rise to the right and appear close to one another.

October 9. The Draconid meteor shower will display today from the Constellation Draco. Mercury will have traveled to its highest altitude in the morning sky. The full Hunters Moon will appear this evening.

October 10. The Southern Taurid meteor shower will be on display this evening coming from the Constellation Cetus.

October 11. Today, will bring the δ-Aurigid meteor shower from the Constellation Auriga.

October 14. The Moon and Mars will closely approach one another.

October 15. The Moon and Mars will appear to rise towards the right in the sky.

October 17. The Moon will be in its final quarter today.

October 18. The ε-Geminid meteor shower will be on display tonight, coming from the Constellation Gemini.

October 21. The Orionid meteor shower will display tonight coming from the Constellation Orion.

October 24. The Leonis Minorid meteor shower will display tonight from the Constellation Leo Minor.

October 30. Mars enters retrograde motion which means that it will appear to orbit westward.


References:

Ford, D.F. (n.d.). 2022. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org.

NASA. (2022, September 20). DART. Retrieved from www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/dart/dart-news

Now Next. (2022, January 17). Don’t Miss! October 2022 Astronomy Events. Retrieved from youtu.be/SGRlm-8b0zo

Celestial Seasonings – September 2022

By Heather Durham | August 31, 2022

Hi there, folks!

Welcome to the eventful astronomical month of September 2022!

Along with the season of astronomical autumn north of the equator, we have three meteor showers and … if all goes as planned, the Artemis 1 liftoff, scheduled for September 2, will lift off. Unfortunately, the launch, scheduled for August 29 had engine issues and more…

This month’s equinox on the 22nd of the month, brings approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness to the whole planet. It also marks the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test, otherwise known as D.A.R.T. will occur on the 26th of this month. This will be the first test of NASA slamming an object the size of a dishwasher into an asteroid, directing it away from Earth. The success of this mission will prevent future asteroids from making contact with Earth and destroying humanity as it did with the dinosaurs.

On September 29, Spacex Crew 5 will send four people to the International Space Station. A few days later, the space crew that has been on the space station will return to Earth. The new crew will perform scientific experiments without gravity.

Wow!!! Now, let’s get into specific event dates …

September 1. Aurigid meteor shower will peak today. Your best chance of seeing any will be close to dawn.

September 3. The Moon will be at first quarter.

September 8. The Moon and Saturn will rise towards the right and will appear close to one another.

September 9. The September ε-Perseid meteor shower event occurs today with ideal viewing before dawn or after dusk today.

September 10. The full Harvest Moon should shine brightly this evening.

September 11. The Moon and Jupiter will rise to the right and appear close to each other.

September 16. The Moon and Mars will travel close to each other and will appear to rise to the right.

September 17. Our Harvest Moon will be in its final quarter.

September 22. Today is the first day of astronomical autumn.

September 26. Jupiter will be opposite of the Sun and should be visible all evening.

September 27. The Daytime Sextantid meteor shower will display this evening with prime viewing near dawn.

References:

Anonymous. (2022, August 29). Artemis. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_program

Dunbar, Brian. (2022, August 29). Artemis. Retrieved from www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis/

Ford, D.F. (n.d.). 2022. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org

Now Next. (2022, January 17). Don’t Miss! September 2022 Astronomy Events. Retrieved from youtu.be/Wixh93aiTo8

Celestial Seasonings – August 2022

By Heather Durham | July 30, 2022

Greetings from Heather and welcome to the August 2022 issue!CS-August 22-1

August is the primary month for the Perseid Meteor Showers as you may or may not remember.  This shower is as colorful as it is prolific!

There will also be the fourth and final Supermoon of this year 2022. This month’s Moon is commonly referred to as the Sturgeon Moon.  

CS-August 22-2I have included several very interesting and informative YouTube videos for you to see, including one specifically for the Perseid Shower. The others tend to go into more depth than I usually do that are just as intriguing as anything I could have written. I do hope that they add to your monthly view of astronomical events. As well, I have added some photos of the shower. (Photos by D.F. Ford).


August 5. The new moon will be at first quarter.

August 11. This will be the fourth Supermoon of 2022, named the Sturgeon Moon. Saturn and the Moon will rise towards the right.

August 12. The Moon and Saturn will appear close to one another.

CS-August 22-3August 13. This month’s major event is the Perseid meteor shower will perform at its peak today, but may be visible before and after this date. The meteors might be colorful. Coming from the Constellation Perseus, the display will happen all through the night.

August 14. Saturn, from the Constellation Capricornus will lie opposite to the Sun. This planetary position is commonly known as opposition.

August 15. The Moon and Jupiter will rise towards the right and will appear close to each other.

Mercury will ascend to its highest altitude in the night sky.

August 19. The Moon and Mars will ascend to the right and appear close to each other. Today will bring the last quarter of the Moon.

August 27. Mercury will have traveled to its furthest point away from the Sun.

August 29. Only half of Mercury will be visible this evening.


References:

Ford, D.F. (n.d.). 2022. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org

Now Next. (2022, January 17). August 2022 Astronomical Events. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/sp-Rz5mlQP8

Sky of Stars. (July 2022). Perseid Meteor Shower, August 2022. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/5pL6md_Kr-g

Sky of Stars. (July 2022). Upcoming Astronomical Events August of 2022. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/dC7fvuXOdPM.

Celestial Seasonings – July 2022

By Heather Durham | June 30, 2022

Hi folks! Welcome to another edition of monthly celestial events! This July there we will have our second Supermoon of the year along with three meteor showers on the last two days of this month.

We are now passed the summer solstice with the Sun goes down at about 8:30 pm until after July 2 when we start losing the total amount of Sun each day.

This month’s Buck Supermoon is also known as the Thunder Moon for it’s the month associated with the most thunderstorms.

Until August, have a great holiday this month and continue to enjoy all the treasures that this month has to offer!


July 4. The Earth will be as far away from the Sun as it gets during the Earth’s annual orbit.

July 6. The Moon will be at first quarter.

July 13. Today, is the full Super Buck Moon.

July 15. Both the Moon and Saturn will rise towards the right and appear close to one other.

July 18. The Moon and Jupiter will rise as they appear close to one another.

July 20. Our Buck Supermoon will be in its final quarter.

July 21. The Moon and Mars will travel close to each other as they rise towards the right.

July 28. Jupiter will appear to travel in reverse.

July 29. The Piscis Austrinid meteor shower will peak today.

July 30. Today we have two meteor showers at their peak … the Southern δ-Aquariid [delta-Aquariid] and the α-Capricornid [alpha-Capricornid]. The first one comes from the Constellation Aquarius and the latter from Capricorn.


References:

Ford, D.F. (2022). Astronomy. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org

Now Next. (February 2022). July 2022 Astronomy Events. Retrieved from youtu.be/9LVN1AcpLes

Celestial Seasonings – June 2022

By Heather Durham | May 31, 2022

Good day, everyone! Welcome to the month containing our summer solstice. There will be two meteor showers along with a rare arrangement of five planets possibly visible with the naked eye, but even more spectacular with binoculars or access to a larger telescope.

Between the 18th to the 27th or the last two weeks of June, early risers will be able to view a five-planet line passing by a sliver of the final phase of our Strawberry Super-moon. This planet line will consist of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury.

Another more frequent occurrence happens when planets appear to reverse their orbits. They normally appear to head east, but due to the rotation of the earth around our Sun, it only appears as though a given planet may look as though it’s headed west as seen in the diagram below.

Let’s delve in for a deeper look …

Prograde MotionJune 4. Saturn appears as though it’s going backwards because of the rotation of the Earth around the Sun.

June 7. The Strawberry Moon will be at first quarter.

June 10. The Daytime Arietid Meteor Shower will put on a display today. Coming from the Constellation Aries, the best viewing will be just before dawn.

June 14. The Strawberry Super Moon will be full today. A super moon occurs when the Moon passes closer to the Earth.

June 16. Mercury will be as far away from the Sun as it ever orbits.

June 18. The Moon and Saturn will rise and closely approach one another.

June 20. The Moon will be in its final quarter.

June 21. The first day of summer-midsummer will be today in the Northern Hemisphere. The Moon and Jupiter will rise to the right and closely approach one another.

June 22. Mercury will be at its highest point in the sky. Our Moon and Mars will rise and travel close to each other.

June 23. Mercury will be at its highest place in the sky.

June 26. The Moon and Venus will rise and closely approach one another.

June 27. Today is the day of the June Bootid Meteor Shower. Best viewing times will be just before dawn and dusk. This shower is known as being slow and unpredictable.


References:

Ford, D.F. (2022). Astronomy. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org

Now Next. (February 2022). Planet Parade 2022! Must Watch June 2022 Astronomy Events. Retrieved from youtu.be/jERJa4GKTIE

Celestial Seasonings – April 2022

By Heather Durham | March 31, 2022

Hi everyone! Welcome to our April 2022 edition including the first meteor shower of the year, two occurrences of the black Moon, a partial eclipse that will not be visible to us along with Aprils Pink Moon which is said to have been named after the colors of flowers that bloom this time of year.

There are also two videos that enhance the events of this month including those that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The videos do contain interesting graphic depictions of a variety of events for your viewing pleasure.

Now let us look down this page to read about this month’s astronomical events!


April 1. New or black Moon.

April 4. Mars and Saturn will rise and come close to one another.

April 9. The new Moon will be at first quarter.

April 16. The full Pink Moon will be on display tonight.

April 22. Today, we will have the Lyrid Meteor Shower from the Constellation Hercules. This will be visible beginning just past 10:00 pm until a few minutes after 5:00 am during which time you may see around 17 meteors per hour. However, the last quarter of the Moon may interfere with early morning viewing.

April 23. The Moon will be in its final quarter.

April 24. The Moon and Saturn will rise closely together and towards the right.

April 26. The Moon and Venus will travel in close proximity to each other.

April 27. The Moon and Venus will rise to the right together. The Moon and Jupiter will rise closely to the right.

April 28. Mercury will travel to its highest point in the evening sky.

April 29. Mercury will be located at its furthest point from the Sun.

April 30. Venus and Jupiter will rise to the right together. There will also be a partial eclipse of the Sun but it will only be visible from South America or Antarctica. There will also be another black moon tonight.


References:

Ford, D.F. (n.d.). 2022. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org

Now Next. (2022, January 17). April 2022 Astronomical Events. Retrieved from youtu.be/RMl8bNI86q0

Secrets of Space. (2022, March). Astronomy Events April 2022. Retrieved from youtu.be/_HmU3jFcQYA

Celestial Seasonings – March 2022

By Heather Durham | February 28, 2022

Hi there one and all! The month of March has much to offer skywatchers. We have the first day of spring occurring on the 20th. Meteorologists declare March 1st to be the first day of spring, but the day of the equinox brings approximately 12 hours of daylight and nighttime.

The 28th will have the most activity with three planets in view and moving around until they form somewhat of a linear line in the night sky.

Last month, I wrote about Artemis One which had to be postponed and rescheduled for the 20th of this month. Let’s hope this time it will be successful.

The YouTube videos speak of additional activity sometimes referring to astrophotography. There are astronomical phenomena, referred to in the videos that cannot be seen with the naked eye, but that are depicted visually therein.

Let’s now delve into the month ahead.


March 10. Our Moon will be at first quarter.

March 12. Venus and Mars will rise to the right during which time Venus will be passing Mars.

March 15. Venus and Mars will be close to one another and pass each other as well.

March 18. The Worm Moon will be full. It is named as the earth worms begin their activity.

March 20. This is the first day of spring also known as the March equinox. Venus will travel to its farthest distance from our Sun.

March 21. Venus may be seen at its half phase.

March 25. Our Moon will reach its final quarter.

March 27. The Moon and Mars will rise right and travel as close as they ever get.

March 28. The Moon and Mars will travel close to one another again. The Moon and Venus will rise and closely approach one another. The Moon and Saturn will do the same. Our Moon with Venus and Saturn will travel together and pass one another. Our Moon and Saturn will closely approach one another too as well as Venus and Saturn.

March 29. Venus and Saturn will rise and travel closely to each other.


References:

Ford, D.F. (2021, January 5). June 2021. In-the-Sky.Org. Retrieved from https://in-the-sky.org

Insane Curiosity (2021, December). Artemis Project 1, The New Mission to Return to the Moon. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/agyd88M5YE8

Now Next. (2022, February). March 2022 Astronomy Events. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/nBqqETLQyzA

Sky of Stars (2022, February 21). Upcoming Astronomical Events, March 2022. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/hs1-bo7-br8

Celestial Seasonings – February 2022

By Heather Durham | January 31, 2022.

Greetings fellow skywatchers! Welcome to this month’s edition of Celestial Seasonings including two important and fascinating manifestations of manmade industriousness.

In the interest of clarity, I have included two quotes. The first one on Artemis comes from Wikipedia.

The Artemis program is a United States-led international human spaceflight program. Its primary goal is to return humans to the Moon, specifically the lunar south pole, by 2025. If successful, it will include the first crewed lunar landing mission since Apollo 17 in 1972, the last lunar flight of the Apollo program.
The Artemis program began in December 2017 as the reorganization and continuation of successive efforts to revitalize the U.S. space program since 2009. Its stated short-term goal is landing the first woman on the Moon; mid-term objectives include establishing an international expedition team and a sustainable human presence on the Moon. Long-term objectives are laying the foundations for the extraction of lunar resources, and eventually, make crewed missions to Mars and beyond feasible (Wikipedia, 2021).

And the other on Axiom from a website called Inverse.com. I have also included a YouTube video for your viewing pleasure that will provide you with visual depictions of February 2022 celestial events.

AXIOM SPACE COULD create the successor to humanity’s most iconic space station. The Houston-based firm plans to fly civilians on a series of private missions to the International Space Station. These missions would act as a steppingstone to a fully-fledged, private, independent space station.
It’s a fascinating twist in the new space race, which includes private companies alongside national agencies. While most attention has gone to rocket launch companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin, Axiom Space is an example of a company in another area that’s also crafting an exciting vision of humanity’s future in space.
Comments from Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos in May 2019 demonstrate why this is valuable. He explained that a company like Amazon could only emerge after the previous infrastructure was established, like the postal service and credit cards. Blue Origin, he said, would help develop the infrastructure to reach space so an imaginative entrepreneur could venture further in the future.
With Axiom Space, which depends on rocket launch companies to power its space station, that vision could take a big step forward.
The end goal is to use the private space station for commercial purposes. It could offer such amenities as a luxury hotel, a factory floor, or even a media production facility. The company’s website argues that “microgravity is the most promising environment for innovation and problem-solving since the Internet.
As NASA has only cleared the ISS for operations until 2030, it might even be a successor (Brown, 2022).

So, let’s now delve into the evening skies of February- the month of the full Snow Moon.

February 8. Today is the first quarter of the Moon.

February 9. Venus will reach its brightest as the morning or evening star. At times such as this, Venus can stand out so brightly that it may appear to shine along with our Sun and Moon. Mercury will locate to its highest point in the sky making it much more visible than it is normally.

February 11. Mercury will be at half phase. It only is visible in twilight so it might be difficult to view without equipment.

February 12. Venus reaches its highest point in the evening sky. Venus and Mars will rise to the right. This date will bring Artemis One, the first of three space flights planned for this program.

February 16. February is supposed to be the snowiest month, thus the name Snow Moon which will be full today. Mercury will be at its furthest distance from our Sun.

February 23. Today brings the last quarter of the Moon.

February 27. Today brings the right ascension of the Moon and Mars as well as the Moon and Venus. The Moon and Mars will closely approach one another.

February 28. Axiom in conjunction with Spacex will send people to space after they have completed ten days of training and paid fifty-five million dollars.


References:

Brown, M. (2022, January 10). Axiom Space Details. Retrieved from www.inverse.com/innovation/axiom-space-details

Ford, D.F. (n.d.). 2022. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org

Now Next. (2022, January 17). February 2022 Astronomical Events. Retrieved from youtu.be/pVhWvgGmmok

Wikipedia. (2022, January 17). Artemis. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis

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