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

December 2017
  • Sunday, 12/3/2017 - Very large tides thru 12/7 - Time: 00:00
    • The full moon occurs just 17 hours before a very close perigee causing unusually large tides.
  • Sunday, 12/3/2017 - Mn Vnr Aldebaran - Time: 05:00
    • The moon is very near the bright red-orange star Aldebaran. Use binoculars to appreciate the color.
  • Sunday, 12/3/2017 - "Cold" Moon - Time: 08:00
    • This is the largest full moon of 2017.
  • Friday, 12/8/2017 - Mn vnr Regulus - Time: 24:00
    • The moon is near the very bright blue star Regulus. Use binoculars to appreciate the star color.
  • Saturday, 12/9/2017 - Last Qtr - Time: 24:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 12/12/2017 - Algol min - Time: 04:00
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 0404.
  • Wednesday, 12/13/2017 - CrMn nr Mar - Time: 05:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 12/13/2017 - Geminids Peak - Time: 22:30
    • Conditions are highly favorable for this strong meteor shower with rates of about 120 meteors per hour lasting for a long time around the peak. The meteors are viewable all night. The crescent moon rises at about 4am on 12/14, interfering somewhat.
  • Thursday, 12/14/2017 - CrMn nr Jup - Time: 06:00
    • -
  • Friday, 12/15/2017 - Algol min - Time: 01:00
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 0053.
  • Sunday, 12/17/2017 - Algol min - Time: 21:30
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 2142.
  • Sunday, 12/17/2017 - New Moon - Time: 22:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 12/19/2017 - Mer in E thru 1/15 - Time: 06:30
    • Mercury provides a very good morning apparition, reaching a maximum altitude 45 minutes before sunrise of 10° on 12/29. Greatest elongation west is on 1/1/18.
  • Tuesday, 12/19/2017 - 2.9% CrMn - Time: 19:30
    • A very thin 2.9% crescent moon is 7° high in the southwest 50 minutes after sunset (or at 5:42pm at RFO).
  • Wednesday, 12/20/2017 - Jup Vnr Zubenelgenubi thru 12/23 - Time: 05:00
    • Bright Jupiter is very near the bright star Zubenelgenubi in Libra in the morning sky for several mornings.
  • Wednesday, 12/20/2017 - Algol min - Time: 18:30
    • Algol is at eclipse minimum at 1831.
  • Thursday, 12/21/2017 - Winter Solstice - Time: 08:30
    • The winter solstice occurs at 8:28am.
  • Friday, 12/22/2017 - Ursids Peak - Time: 07:00
    • Conditions are very favorable for this modest meteor shower with about 10 per hour at peak, though there have been rare outbursts of up to 50. The meteors are viewable all night until after twilight starts around 6am.
  • Tuesday, 12/26/2017 - 1st Qtr - Time: 01:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 12/30/2017 - Mn Vnr Aldebaran - Time: 18:00
    • For the second time this month, the moon is very near the bright red-orange star Aldebaran. Use binoculars to appreciate the color.

January 2018
  • Monday, 1/1/2018 - "Wolf" Moon - Time: 18:30
    • -
  • Monday, 1/8/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 14:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 1/16/2018 - New Moon - Time: 18:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 1/24/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 14:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 1/31/2018 - "Blue" Moon - Time: 05:30
    • -

February 2018
  • Wednesday, 2/7/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 08:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 2/15/2018 - New Moon - Time: 13:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 2/22/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 24:00
    • First quarter is actually at 12:08am on 2/23.

March 2018
  • Thursday, 3/1/2018 - "Worm" Moon - Time: 17:00
    • -
  • Friday, 3/9/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 03:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 3/17/2018 - New Moon - Time: 06:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 3/24/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 08:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 3/31/2018 - "Blue" Moon - Time: 05:30
    • -

April 2018
  • Sunday, 4/8/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 00:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 4/15/2018 - New Moon - Time: 19:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 4/22/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 14:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 4/29/2018 - "Pink" Moon - Time: 18:00
    • -

May 2018
  • Monday, 5/7/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 19:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 5/15/2018 - New Moon - Time: 05:00
    • -
  • Monday, 5/21/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 21:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 5/29/2018 - "Flower" Moon - Time: 07:30
    • -

June 2018
  • Wednesday, 6/6/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 11:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 6/13/2018 - New Moon - Time: 12:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 6/20/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 04:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 6/27/2018 - "Strawberry" Moon - Time: 22:00
    • -

July 2018
  • Friday, 7/6/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 01:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 7/12/2018 - New Moon - Time: 20:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 7/19/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 13:00
    • -
  • Friday, 7/27/2018 - "Buck" Moon - Time: 13:30
    • -

August 2018
  • Saturday, 8/4/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 11:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 8/11/2018 - New Moon - Time: 03:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 8/12/2018 - Perseids Peak - Time: 19:00
    • The peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower is expected sometime between about 1pm 8/12 and 1am 8/13, but this shower remains active for many days before and after peak. Over 100 meteors per hour are typical at the peak. The Perseids become viewable after about 11pm and are best during the a.m. hours. Conditions are ideal this year with no moonlight interference.
  • Saturday, 8/18/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 01:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 8/26/2018 - "Sturgeon" Moon - Time: 05:00
    • -

September 2018
  • Sunday, 9/2/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 19:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 9/9/2018 - New Moon - Time: 11:00
    • -
  • Sunday, 9/16/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 16:00
    • -
  • Monday, 9/24/2018 - "Harvest" Moon - Time: 20:00
    • -

October 2018
  • Tuesday, 10/2/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 02:30
    • -
  • Monday, 10/8/2018 - New Moon - Time: 21:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 10/16/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 11:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 10/24/2018 - "Hunter's" Moon - Time: 09:30
    • -
  • Wednesday, 10/31/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 09:30
    • -

November 2018
  • Wednesday, 11/7/2018 - New Moon - Time: 08:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 11/15/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 07:00
    • -
  • Thursday, 11/22/2018 - "Beaver" Moon - Time: 21:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 11/29/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 16:30
    • -

December 2018
  • Thursday, 12/6/2018 - New Moon - Time: 23:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 12/15/2018 - 1st Qtr - Time: 04:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 12/22/2018 - "Cold" Moon - Time: 10:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 12/29/2018 - Last Qtr - Time: 01:30
    • -

Back to top of page