Flower Moon May 14, 2011Posted by dakotabiker in Space Stuff.
Tags: Moon, NASA
I have a co-worker in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA who each month puts out an email alerting me and some of our colleages of the upcoming full moon and other upcoming astronomical events of interest. I have been meaning to share these with you for a while. So thanks to Gordon….
The next full Moon will be on Tuesday morning, May 17, 2011 at 7:09 am EDT. The Moon will appear full for about 3 days around this time, from Sunday evening through Wednesday morning (possibly through the start of Wednesday evening). As usual, condign and copacetic celebratory celestial costuming is suggested in support of our sated Selene.
This is the Flower Moon, as in most areas flowers are abundant this time of year. Other names include the Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.
As to other sky events between now and the full Moon in June:
Saturn is bright in the evening sky. On Saturday, May 14, 2011, Saturn will appear 8 degrees north of the nearly full Moon.
Later in May in the pre-dawn sky, Mercury, Venus and Mars will appear clustered together, with Jupiter nearby and the crescent Moon joining the cluster by the end of the Month. You will have to look towards the east, with a clear view of the horizon. Mercury will be the lowest in the sky.
- On Wednesday morning, May 18, 2011, Mercury and Venus will appear at their closest.
- On Sunday, May 29, 2011, the crescent Moon will appear above Jupiter.
- By Monday, May 30, 2011, the crescent Moon will have moved near Mars
- By Tuesday, May 31, 2011, the crescent Moon will appear above Mercury
My understanding is that this is the most compact gathering of bright planets in decades. Uranus and Neptune are also in the pre-dawn sky, but they cannot be seen without a telescope.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011, is the New Moon and a partial eclipse of the Sun (not visible in the Washington, DC area).
The full Moon after next will be on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. This will also be a total eclipse of the Moon (not visible from the Washington, DC area).