CURRENT MOON

Full moon and equinox

Two images of last night’s full moon appear below. One was taken a few minutes before the equinox; the other was taken a few seconds after it. Can you tell which is which? (Hint: the moment at which the equinox occurs has no bearing on the appearance of the moon.) At the time these pictures [...] [...]

September equinox around the corner

The September equinox is just around the corner. This year it happens at 11:09 PM EDT on September 22. I wrote about the problem of equating “equal day and night” with the date of the equinox last year, and rather than repeat myself, I just link to that article. Suffice to say here that, because [...] [...]

March equinox

Today, at approximately 1:32 p.m. EDT, the Sun will be on the celestial equator, in the constellation Pisces. It will then be at the position known as the first point of Aries. (Makes sense, right? If you’re in Pisces, you pretend to be in Aries. Chalk this one up to the effects of precession.) Here [...] [...]

September Equinox

Today, at 5:18 p.m. EDT, the sun will cross the celestial equator in the constellation Virgo. Often called the autumnal equinox, I prefer to name it by month, since neither South Florida, nor the Southern Hemisphere, experiences autumn in September. (I must admit, though, that the phrase autumnal equinox has a much more mellifluous sound, [...] [...]

Happy equinox!

The September equinox arrives today at one minute before noon, Eastern Daylight Time. One technical definition of the equinox (from the U.S. Naval Observatory) is that day when the geometric center of the Sun’s disk passing through the equator, with that point appearing above the horizon everywhere on Earth for 12 hours. Another definition, one [...] [...]