2014 will be another great year for those that love the night sky!
I am so pleased to be your guide to these most amazing sights and
our special place in the cosmos, Arizona!
Did you know that no one has seen a total eclipse of the Moon since December of 2011 and that is about to change.
Get set for a great total lunar eclipse on the night of April 14-15
2014. We have a ringside seat, here in Arizona and we will discuss
the details of that special event, in our next column.
Closer to home, the months of February and March 2014, offer up
some additional treasures to see.
The Moon starts off February, as a waxing crescent, low in the SW
sky, growing to first quarter by the 6th. The full moon for February,
The Full Snow Moon occurs on Valentines Day, the 14th. Then the Moon wanes with last quarter on the 22nd. There is NO New Moon
For planets, February offers up a rich treasure trove…with mighty
Jupiter, high in the NE at sunset. There is still time to get out your
telescope and look at this amazing planet. Jupiter, now some 500
million miles from your eye, is actually playing a light trick on you! The fact that light takes some 45 minutes to get to your eye
from Jupiter, reveals how Jupiter looked 45 minutes ago, not as it
appears in real time. The same trick occurs with all objects in the sky, from planets to the farthest galaxies.
Mars is now working its way towards Earth and is now easy to see
in the SE sky, after midnight. Mars will be spectacular in April of
Saturn is bright in the SE sky, around 2AM. Followed by Venus in
the pre dawn skies. Venus reaches its greatest brilliancy on February 15th.
The skies of March 2014, remain busy too!
March offers us up the Vernal Equinox, the start of the Spring
season on March 20th at 10AM local time. The near equality of
day and night….a time for balance in our lives.
The Moon in March performs with precision, as we begin the
month of March with the first of two New Moon’s…one on the
1st and the second on the 31st.
Then the Moon glides to first quarter on the 8th….The Full Worm
Moon on the 16th, Last Quarter on the 23rd and back to New on the
March is rich in planets too; with Jupiter, once again high in the S
at sunset and Mars and Saturn in the SE sky at midnight, with Mercury at its best, in the E, just before dawn on the 14th, with
Venus at its best in the E, on or about the 22nd.
In Space, we find that China has an aggressive Moon program
underway, after its successful soft landing of spacecraft and rover,
back in December of 2013.
More impressive images are coming in everyday from the Yutu
rover, along with data about the Moon. This is the first time, since
the Apollo missions and the Russian Lunokhod 2 rover that arrived on the Moon in 1973, that we have explored the Moon with rovers.
Exciting times lie ahead for Moon explorers………..
Here is some space trivia for you……
The Lunokhod 2 rover was purchased by Richard Garriott at a Sotheby’s auction, in 1993, for $68,500…making him the only
private owner of a space vehicle on a foreign celestial body!!
Many Dr.Sky programs are held around the state. Why not join us
For our monthly programs in Sedona, at the great Sedona Rouge
Hotel/Spa. Learn more, by going to www.sedonarouge.com
Our monthly Dr.Sky “Cruise To The Cosmos”, on the Dolly Steamboat. Learn more at www.dollysteamboat.com
And our great programs at the Lost Dutchman State Park. To learn more, visit; azstateparks.com/Parks/LODU/
For additional Dr.Sky information, please visit us at www.drsky.com and www.drsky.tv
Our aviation site is, www.photorecon.net
“Always Remember To Keep Your Eyes To The Skies”