The next few mornings promise rewarding sights if you are up before sunrise. For me, this is the view when I go out to get the morning newspaper. I have a good south-eastern view and I find the waning Moon to be an engaging beacon above the trees of Golden Gate Park. As the Moon rises later each day, it sweeps past three planets now visible in the morning sky, Jupiter, Venus and Mars, and it appears lower and lower each day until it is lost in the glare of the Sun at the end of next week. The illustrations show how much the Moon moves from one day to the next -- a little over 12 degrees. Why is that? You just need some simple division to get the answer yourself: The Moon travels 360 degrees in each orbit around the Earth, and it takes 29 1/2 days to circle the Earth once (from our Earth-bound perspective)
In 2005 I began writing a column for the San Francisco Waldorf School newsletter called "The Urban Astronomer." I started this blog in 2007 as a place to archive my articles and to offer additional insights on the night sky - even if you live in a big city. In 2008 I became an occasional guest on the KFOG Morning Show, and more recently on KALW and KGO. Archived shows are posted on the blog.