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Early January New Moon Spotting

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#1 Centaur

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 04:18 PM

It’s nearly time for my monthly naked-eye New Moon spotting challenge, which becomes much easier for observers north of the tropics after the time of the winter solstice. The young Moon will appear north of the ecliptic which is also helpful. So is its enhanced speed while near perigee. Especially lucky and sharp-eyed North Americans might be able to sight the half-day-old Moon after sunset on January 1. Others should find the search more rewarding during the next evening.

My more detailed article describing the waxing crescent Moon’s first appearance of the coming lunar month appears under the links for my preview graphics at www.CurtRenz.com/moon

Photos and descriptions of the young Moon would be welcome additions to this thread. Please include your location, date and time with zone.

Here is a link to a photo that I shot from Arlington Heights, Illinois of the Moon aged 1.4 days on 2008 DEC 28 at 17:05 CST. Mercury appears near the center of the photo while Venus is at the top: http://www.curtrenz.com/NM081228.jpg

#2 Centaur

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 02:31 PM

After sunset on January 2, the thin crescent Moon will occult magnitude +3.1 Beta Capricorni for some observers in western North America. There will be a graze in the Vancouver area. Preview data and graphics are on my occultations webpage: www.CurtRenz.com/occultations

For occultation or graze data specific to your location, please reply to this thread with a longitude, latitude, elevation and time zone. Descriptions and photos of the occultation would be welcome additions to this thread.

#3 SaberScorpX

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 07:10 PM

Not a promising forecast for the new crescent, but the old crescent (-22h50m) was an easy naked-eye sliver emerging from the ESE horizon this morning.
Good luck to all.

Peace,
Stephen

#4 Starhunter249

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 07:34 PM

Cloudy and snow in the Land of Illinois. 1/1/14

#5 joaoba

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 08:16 PM

No luck in Montana. Clouds on the horizon.

#6 thewheel

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 08:44 PM

Success north of Tucson!
12x50 binoculars.
Happy New Year!
Lovejoy Jupiter Mars Saturn in AM.
New Moon, Venus Jupiter in PM.

#7 hottr6

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 11:24 PM

Well done. I tried with 7x50 from south-central NM, but no luck.

#8 Centaur

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 11:17 AM

Success north of Tucson!
12x50 binoculars.
Happy New Year!
Lovejoy Jupiter Mars Saturn in AM.
New Moon, Venus Jupiter in PM.


Congratulations! Did you note the time? Do you have a photo?

Meanwhile, we await the first report of a naked-eye observation.

#9 thewheel

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 01:15 PM

Hi Curt,

I got like 10:54 UTC! Thats 13:40 hours old.
It took a little patience but well rewarded.

WooHoo!

#10 JimK

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 06:45 PM

Last night my wife and I were able to see a very young moon -- 13.3 hours old to be exact -- using a pair of 11x56 binoculars. Five minutes later we glimpsed it without the binoculars. Then in another 5 minutes we lost it in the beautiful orange sunset haze. This is a personal best for the youngest moon that we have seen, as a very, very thin crescent "smile" (0.6% illuminated, per an astronomy program).

#11 Centaur

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 07:49 PM

Last night my wife and I were able to see a very young moon -- 13.3 hours old to be exact -- using a pair of 11x56 binoculars. Five minutes later we glimpsed it without the binoculars. Then in another 5 minutes we lost it in the beautiful orange sunset haze. This is a personal best for the youngest moon that we have seen, as a very, very thin crescent "smile" (0.6% illuminated, per an astronomy program).


Congratulations, Jim; you apparently win the naked-eye contest. Thanks for your report. Did you get a photo?

#12 JimK

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 08:50 PM

Last night my wife and I were able to see a very young moon -- 13.3 hours old to be exact -- using a pair of 11x56 binoculars. Five minutes later we glimpsed it without the binoculars. Then in another 5 minutes we lost it in the beautiful orange sunset haze. This is a personal best for the youngest moon that we have seen, as a very, very thin crescent "smile" (0.6% illuminated, per an astronomy program).


Congratulations, Jim; you apparently win the naked-eye contest. Thanks for your report. Did you get a photo?

It wasn't a contest for us -- the views alone were worth it. No pics because we are strictly visual observers, but our different sets of eyeballs reduced the averted imagination factor.

EDIT: the initial observation time was 17:35 MST (10:35 UTC).

#13 SaberScorpX

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 09:07 PM

Bravo, Jim.

13h25m would make it the new unaided visual record, knocking over two hours
off the old record of 15.5h set in 1990.
I sure miss those magical skies in the southwest.

Peace,
Stephen

#14 thewheel

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 01:23 PM

Hi Curt,
We watched the end of the Occultation of Beta Capricorni.

I first noticed it at 6:37 pm MST ie 11:37UT.

It just came peeking out from behind the moon as if it was a little shy about it. A couple little peeks around the edge, then it came out for good.

This is the first time I have done this (an occultation), that I can recall. It seems like it would be a good thing for young folks to do.

It is quite interesting and gives one an excellent excuse to get out to experience the coyotes, the hawks, Venus, Earthshine, Orion, his sword, Pleiades, Gemini and Jupiter, Sunset and I got an interesting shot of Jupiter that looks similar to the Lagoon Nebula or a dark lane in a galaxy. I saw this both in the camera and the binoculars.

#15 JimK

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 01:56 PM

Bravo, Jim.

13h25m would make it the new unaided visual record, knocking over two hours
off the old record of 15.5h set in 1990.
I sure miss those magical skies in the southwest.

Peace,
Stephen

Okay, and thanks, it was 13h20m old at 10:35 UTC (17:35 MST) when seen with binos, and 13h25m and 10:40 UTC (17:40 MST) naked eye. [edited to correct my nomenclature for times]

And yes, high desert clear skies are beautiful.

#16 thewheel

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:36 PM

Well Well Well.

It appears that beta Cap aka ZC 2969 will be occulted here on April 22, July 13, Sept 6, and Nov 27 this year.

It appears to be one of the bright stars in the path of the moon.

Also it appears that some years ago a catalog called the Zodiacal Catalog was made for the purpose of having yet another alias and another numbering system.

ZC2969 aka Dabih, Dabikh, Dikhabda

aka
Identifiers (37) :

* bet Cap HD 193495 PLX 4845 SBC9 1223
* bet01 Cap HIC 100345 PMC 90-93 539 SBC9 1224
* 9 Cap HIP 100345 PMSC 20154-1506Aabc SKY# 38436
BD-15 5629 HR 7776 PMSC 20154-1506AP TYC 5753-2281-1
CCDM J20210-1447A IRAS 20182-1456 PPM 237293 UBV 17611
FK5 762 IRC -10537 RAFGL 2555 WDS J20210-1447Aa,Ab
GC 28295 JP11 3227 ROT 2964 YZ 104 7653
GCRV 12703 2MASS J20210066-1446531 SAO 163481
GEN# +1.00193495J N30 4498 SBC7 801
HD 193496 NSV 25105 SBC7 802

The history explains how this came about.

#17 Centaur

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 04:00 PM

It appears that beta Cap aka ZC 2969 will be occulted here on April 22, July 13, Sept 6, and Nov 27 this year.

It appears to be one of the bright stars in the path of the moon.


Beta Capricorni is in the midst of a series of occultations that occur every sidereal month from 2011 MAY 22 to 2016 MAY 26. Each occultation is only observable along a specific strip of the Earth's surface. The middle dates of its series are separated by 18.6 years.

Any star located within 6.6° of the ecliptic can be occulted by the Moon. The occultations occur in series due to the regression of the lunar nodes which has a cycle of 18.6 years. Stars less than 3.9° from the ecliptic have two series of occultations during each nodal cycle. Those between 3.9° and 6.3° from the ecliptic like Beta Capricorni have only one series per nodal cycle. Those between 6.3° and 6.6° from the ecliptic can skip several nodal cycles between occultations.

#18 dan777

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 04:22 PM

Well, I wasn't the first to see it, but this is my first ever pic of a new (young) moon (2+ days old)
Taken from Indiana on 1.3.14 at 1405 EST.

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#19 thewheel

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 04:25 PM

Ok, so the big ones to look for are Aldebaran, Spica, and Regulus plus M44.

I was pleasantly surprised at how I could see Beta Cap at the moment it came out. Beta2 Cap was not bright enough for me to see.

And the five months advantageous for my viewing for ZC2969 aka Dabih, beta-9 Cap are when the moon happens to be up at the time of occultation.

What about that Zodiacal Catalog. Do you use that numbering system?

And why isn't this a more popular pursuit? Probably was bigger back in the old days when eclipses were big time.

I put these on my calendar, why not?

Oh, and Dan nice pic, it's almost like you can see through it, very ephemeral.

Oh and folks get out and look at the sun if you got a filter right now there is a big one AR 1944 there.

#20 Centaur

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 04:53 PM

Ok, so the big ones to look for are Aldebaran, Spica, and Regulus plus M44.

What about that Zodiacal Catalog. Do you use that numbering system?

And why isn't this a more popular pursuit? Probably was bigger back in the old days when eclipses were big time.

I put these on my calendar, why not?


Add Antares to the list of first magnitude stars that can be occulted. Also the Pleiades cluster.

I use my own numbering system for bright stars that can be occulted in the order of their ecliptical longitudes.

Occultation observing was more popular back in the days when the topographic features on the lunar limb were having their locations precisely defined. That's been accomplished.

Nevertheless it's interesting to see that such celestial events can be accurately predicted centuries in advance when we have trouble forecasting next week's weather. Grazing occultations are of special interest when a star can be seen winking on and off as lunar hills and valleys pass by. Also, an occultation of a planet can be a pretty sight.

On my occultations webpage I feature graze maps, preview graphics and Besselian elements for upcoming occultations of planets and stars brighter than fourth magnitude and visible during the nighttime from English speaking countries: www.CurtRenz.com/occultations

A couple of unusual occultations are upcoming. The first will be the lunar occultation of the asteroid Melpomene visible from North America during the evening of 2014 FEB 12. The other will be the occultation of Lambda Aquarii by Venus on 2014 APR 16, although that will be a daytime event for North Americans. I'll present charts on my website when the dates of those events come nearer.

#21 NeilMac

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 06:41 PM

Nice one :)
We got snow here :(

#22 NeilMac

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:02 AM

Got a short peak from the clouds finally on the 3rd.
P&S 600mm

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#23 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:00 PM

The 9%-illuminated crescent Moon, along with prominent Earthshine, and the 2%-illuminated crescent Venus were quite picturesque yesterday evening.

Dave Mitsky

#24 NeilMac

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 10:37 AM

Finally had a moment of clear skies last night (4th) and the Earthshine was strong. Saw the moon of and on from about 3pm.
Skin was sticking to the metal, temp now at -43c.

#25 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:45 AM

Here's a shot of sunset and the young crescent Moon that I took on January 4th.

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