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February New Moon 2019: Catch Saturn, Mars & More in the

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The brand new moon happens Aug. 30, at 6:37 a.m. EDT (1037 GMT), only a few hours earlier than the moon reaches perigee — the closest level in its orbit to Earth. 

When the moon reaches perigee on or across the similar day as a full moon, it’s generally known as a “supermoon.” That is as a result of it seems barely bigger and brighter than ordinary because of its nearer proximity to Earth. Nevertheless, the “tremendous” new moon will not be seen within the evening sky.

This new moon can even be a “Black Moon” in some components of the world, that means that it is the second new moon in a single calendar month. Whereas the Western Hemisphere had a Black Moon on July 31, the Jap Hemisphere can have theirs on Aug. 30. 

Associated: 2019 Moon Phases Calendar

A brand new moon happens about each 29.5 days when the moon is between the solar and Earth, and the 2 our bodies share the identical celestial longitude, an alignment additionally known as a conjunction. (Celestial longitude is a projection of the Earth’s personal longitude traces on the celestial sphere). The sunlit aspect of the moon faces away from Earth, so new moons are invisible to observers on the bottom. (The exception is when the moon passes straight in entrance of the solar, which creates a solar eclipse, however that will not occur this time). 

This illustration (made utilizing actual photographs and information) exhibits the moon in shadow throughout the brand new moon lunar part.

(Picture credit score: NASA Earth Observatory)

Seen planets

Within the hours after midnight on the morning of Aug. 30, Northern Hemisphere skywatchers will see Saturn low within the western sky, within the constellation Sagittarius. From New York Metropolis, at midnight the planet can be about 17 levels above the horizon, and it units by 2 a.m. native time.

Different planets will change into seen within the night and set earlier than midnight. The solar units at 7:31 p.m. native time on Aug. 30 in New York Metropolis, and the sky darkens sufficient to see stars about an hour later. At that time, observers can look to the south and see Jupiter west of Saturn within the constellation Ophiuchus, and northeast of the brilliant star Antares, the guts of the constellation Scorpius. Antares is recognizable due to its reddish hue, and contrasting it with Jupiter’s extra whitish-yellow makes them straightforward to identify. Jupiter will set simply earlier than midnight for skywatchers on the U.S. East Coast. 

The opposite “naked-eye” planets will not be seen on the evening of the brand new moon. Mercury and Venus each can be fairly near the solar, and the brilliant daylight can wash them out within the daytime sky. 

See Mercury above the east-northeast horizon before sunrise this month.

Mercury will be briefly visible before dawn, because the tiny planet rises solely about 20 minutes earlier than dawn and units about 5 minutes earlier than sundown. Venus, in the meantime, will rise about 16 minutes after the solar, and the planet units 13 minutes after sundown for skywatchers in New York. Later in September, Venus can be extra simply seen as an “evening star.” Mars can be successfully invisible because the planet rises solely 6 minutes earlier than dawn. That planet too, will change into extra observable as September progresses. 

Yow will discover out precisely when the planets are seen out of your particular location utilizing timeanddate.com’s astronomy calculator

Stars and constellations

Within the days earlier than and after the brand new moon, the constellations Leo and Virgo will each be excessive within the japanese sky within the night, and by 10 p.m. native time at your location, the constellations Lyra, Cygnus and Aquila can be excessive sufficient within the sky that the entire Summer Triangle asterism can be seen. The Summer season Triangle consists of the celebs Vega (Alpha Lyrae), Deneb (Alpha Cygni) and Altair (Alpha Aquilae). By midnight all three are close to the zenith (straight overhead), and the triangle intersects with the Milky Manner from a dark-sky web site. 

One other perk of the August evening sky is seeing the winter constellations in addition to these of summer season — by about three a.m. native time, Taurus is rising within the east, the pinnacle of the bull marked by the open cluster the Hyades, which surrounds Aldebaran, Taurus’ brightest star. Aldebaran can be known as the attention of the bull, and although it’s in the identical line of sight because the Hyades it’s really not related to the cluster, which is twice as distant from Earth. 

For these within the Southern Hemisphere, the times are shorter as it’s late winter. In Buenos Aires, for instance, dawn is at 7:15 a.m. native time and sundown is at 6:34 p.m. The planets which are so low within the sky in mid-northern latitudes are a lot greater within the southern areas. Jupiter, for instance, an hour after sundown on Aug. 30 is a full 68 levels above the horizon, and would not set till 2:17 a.m. native time on Aug. 31. 

Tracing a tough line south from Jupiter, one can undergo Antares after which attain the star Alpha Centauri within the constellation Centaurus. Alpha Centauri is the closest stellar system to the solar, at four.three light-years away, and has made quite a few appearances in fiction; it is even a goal for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative, a proof-of-concept examine geared toward constructing a small robotic craft that may attain the system touring at about 20 p.c the velocity of sunshine. 

As one faces due south, simply to the west are the three constellations that make up the legendary ship of Jason, the Argo Navis: Vela (the sail), Puppis (the “poop deck”) and Carina (the Keel). Carina incorporates one of many brighter stars within the sky, Canopus

Within the northeast one can see the Summer season Triangle rising an hour after sundown. Turning your gaze south, nonetheless, it’s also possible to see Fomalhaut, the brightest star in Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish. Fomalhaut about 25 light-years away from Earth, which is comparatively close by in interstellar phrases. 

Editor’s Be aware: For those who snap an incredible evening sky image and wish to share it with Area.com’s readers, ship your images, feedback, and your identify and placement to spacephotos@space.com.

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