Moon Events – August 2017

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The August 2017 lunar calendar is busy with observational opportunities.

  • Full Moon – Partial Lunar Eclipse
  • New Moon – Partial Solar Eclipse

At Full moon – August 7-8 a partial lunar eclipse http://earthsky.org/tonight/partial-lunar-eclipse-on-august-7-8 
If the moon is above your horizon anywhere on Earth, and the moon is not shrouded in clouds, it is possible to observe this event.

Later on this month, we will be treated to a partial solar eclipse

See Discover the Universe – Canadian Astronomy

The Full and New moon coordinates land on the intersection between the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun (the Ecliptic) and the inclined plane of the lunar orbit. This only happens about every 6 months, such as August 2017 when the moon is on the line of nodes. We don’t always get eclipse configurations every month due to the geometric constraints.

Here is a complete description of Solar eclipse forms:

(Click to enlarge and read the text) -courtesy Astronomy magazine

Partial Solar Eclipse: August 21 2017

This daytime New Moon event is special because normally the New Moon has no visual presence during the day. But during a solar eclipse, we can see how the new moon blocks the sunlight and produces a partial lunar eclipse over Mississippi Mills. We will be having a special solar eclipse party in downtown Almonte.

Telescopes or binoculars must have solar filters to protect the observer from the high powered focusing of sunlight (which can burn our eyes ). Solar Eclipse Viewing will be happening with specialized filters fit over telescopes on Mill Street opposite Sivarulrasa Gallery – Noon to 4pm.

http://millstonenews.com/2017/08/solar-eclipse-street-party.html

Because the path of totality touches down further south on American soil, Canadians will not see a Full Solar Eclipse, but they will enjoy a partial one, with varying depths of occultation of the Sun. Folks in Mississippi Mills will observe maximum eclipse around 2:36PM local time  ~58%  eclipse. For other locations visit RASC Observing sites in Canada

Click to enlarge

Perseid Meteor Shower – this year faded out by moonlight… 🙁

In between Full Moon (Aug 7 2017) and New Moon (Aug21 2017) , there is also the annual Perseid Meteor Shower:  August 11 – 12. In years past for example in 2015 Night Sky enthusiasts, were able to observe the Perseids under dark sky conditions. The moon was nearly New – so there was no moonlight to interfere.

mid-August – just past New moon 2015 – courtesy Virtual Moon
mid-August moon 2017

 

However, this year, the moon will lighten the sky so that it will be hard to observe these meteoric specks of the Comet Swift-Tuttle debris entering our atmosphere.

 

 

A dark moonless sky at night allows us to observe star clusters and galaxies that would otherwise be overlit by moonlight.

If it is clear, the New Moon Solar Eclipse celebration will continue with a dark sky  tour at the Mill of Kintail. There we can see the Summer Milky Way studded with star clouds floating in dark deep space.

-courtesy Stellarium
-courtesy W. Griese

 

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