This week we enjoy the start of the lunar cycle, from New Moon on the 6th through the waxing crescent phases. The Moon travels higher and more southerly each evening, as it starts its monthly orbit around the Earth, gracefully slipping along the ecliptic and closely brushing up against planets and bright stars. The view on Thursday 9th should be particularly engaging, as bright Venus stands in contrast to the brighter (but more diffuse) thin crescent Moon. You will need a good western horizon to enjoy this, where the pair will shimmer in the dusk sky. Later in the week the Moon will slide past bright star Spica and Saturn, and happily will set well before midnight, so as not to interfere with the Perseids meteor shower. More on the Perseids in my next blog post. For now, Clear Skies and Happy Viewing!
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. I conduct private star parties for special events and corporate events. Contact me for details.