Golden moonlight – watch the waxing crescent moon tonight while it’s 35% visible (on 5/23/2015). Learn something about the night sky – then share it.Today, it rose this morning at 11:11 a.m. and sets at 12:19 a.m. The moon becomes more visible each day until it reaches the full phase on June 2nd (Strawberry Full Moon) then it begins the waning phase until there is a new moon (not visible) on June 16th.
I viewed the crescent moon in the southwestern night sky this evening at 10:00 p.m. and observed bright Jupiter nearby and further to the right Venus shone boldly in Gemini.
Perhaps you will notice it this evening or another evening; sadly, most people don’t visit the night sky or can even identify or locate a constellation.
I studied Astronomy at Sonoma State University and it was a fascinating subject although I had inspiring professors. They enthused their students with the subject by taking us on a mini-field trip to the building rooftop to observe the night sky and identify the cosmos. I’ll never forget it. We were enthralled and we were able to discover nebulas, galaxies, planets, constellations, double stars and more.
A few weeks ago, I was at a plaza running errands late in the afternoon and I met a fellow amateur astronomer who had his telescope equipment arranged for viewing sun spot activity. He was sharing the experience for anyone who wished to observe and several people came by, youth to seniors and me with my nephew Sean. The astronomer was friendly and generous while he discussed his telescope equipment and the sun spot activity with everyone.
Last summer, I took my nephew to a moon and astronomy viewing night hosted by Marin County Parks where an amateur astronomer brought his Meade telescope for moon and double cluster star observations. It was a memorable experience. The Park Rangers led a short night hike for the crowd of new astronomers and made smores in the large camp stove fire. As an experiment, Sean took a cell phone photo through the telescope and we were surprised it caught the moon with fine definition. He often mentions the astronomy evening and what a cool experience it was for him. Recently, he went camping with friends to see a meteor shower and I believe these experiences inspired him.
If you want to learn more about the night sky and what you might observe this week, visit Astronomy.com/observing. Then, when you look in the night sky, you can find and actually identify celestial phenomena. I use my cell phone which has a night sky app where I can point it to the sky and it will map and name the constellations, planets or special features in the celestial region I am observing. Fantastic!
So…take some time to observe the golden moonlight. Learn something about the night sky – then share it.
Photos by Dawn Marie Carlson.
“I suppose there were moonless nights and dark ones with but a silver shaving and pale stars in the sky, but I remember them all as flooded with the rich indolence of a full moon.”
–Willa Sibert Cather
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