Tonight’s Full Moon could be hard to miss. Remarkably, its exact full phase (May 6 03:36 UT) will occur less than two minutes after it reaches perigee, the closest point to Earth in the Moon’s orbit, making it the largest Full Moon of 2012. The Full Perigee Moon will appear to be some 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a Full Moon near apogee, the most distant point in the elliptical lunar orbit. In comparison, though, it will appear less than 1 percent larger and almost as bright as April’s Full Moon. Of course, if you miss May’s Full Perigee Moon, make a note on your calendar. Your next chance to see a Full Moon close to perigee, will be next year on June 23.
What is Perigee?
What is Apogee?
Effect on tides
The combined effect of the Sun and Moon on the Earth’s oceans, the tide, is greatest when the Moon is either new or full. At lunar perigee the tidal force is even stronger, resulting in larger high and low tides on average, but even at its most powerful this force is still weak.
Alors, avez vous pigee? or otherwise watch out for the next coming lecture titled Free Lecture 04: Moon Phases and Eclipses
“The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we’ve learned most of what we know. Recently, we’ve waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
Carl Sagan, Cosmos, 1980
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. Be Creative.
If you make one. Give me your shoot in the comments below.
The 2012 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest on Dark Skies Importance
The Global Astronomy Month in April 2012 brings the 3rd International Earth and Sky Photo Contest. Coordinated by TWAN the contest is open to anyone of any age, anywhere around the world.
From now through Earth Day, April 22, an on-line “Earth and Sky” photo contest is open for submission by any photography enthusiasts of any age from around the world. International projects The World at Night and Global Astronomy Month along with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory are the organizers of the Earth and Sky Photo Contest. The contest was founded by TWAN and Dark Skies Awareness project in 2008 as a regional program. It was expanded to an international effort in 2009 during the International Year of Astronomy. In 2011 participants from over 30 countries submitted a wonderful collection of nightscape images. The contest news was broadcasted by major science news media world-wide and the winning images were widely promoted this way. With the growing efforts of Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), the organization behind the Global Astronomy Month, the Earth and Sky Photo Contest will have an even larger feedback this year.
Submitted photographs must be created in the “TWAN style” — showing both the Earth and the sky — by combining elements of the night sky (e.g., stars, planets, the Moon or celestial events) set against the backdrop of a beautiful, historic, or notable location or landmark. This style of photography is called “landscape astrophotography”. This is similar to general “Nightscape Photography” but with more attention to the sky, astronomical perspectives, and celestial phenomena.
The contest theme, “Dark Skies Importance,” has two categories: “Beauty of the Night Sky” and “Against the Lights.” Photos submitted to the contest should aim to address either category: either to impress people on how important and amazing the starry sky is or to impress people on how bad the problem of light pollution has become. Both categories illustrate how light pollution affects our lives. Photographers can submit images to one or both categories. The contest organizers encourage participants to view examples of such photos by the winners in the previous years: the 2011 winners, the 2010 winners, and other notable photos of 2010.
Winners this year will be announced by the end of April, to celebrate the end of GAM 2012.
A wide range of prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in both categories will be awarded. The prizes could include (as last years) telescope and camera mounts, telescopes, binoculars, astrophotography accessories, filters and gift certificates. The contest organizers wish to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Oceanside Photo & Telescope (OPT), Canadian Telescopes, Vixen Optics, and Sky&Telescope magazine in obtaining some of the prizes. More information about the prizes and supporting companies will appear on this page soon.
Each entry must comply with the following requirements.
1- Size and format:
– Only photographs in digital format may be submitted. Photographs taken using film must be digitized for submission. Scanned prints may also be submitted.
– All entries must be accompanied by a short caption.
– Photographs must be submitted as high-quality JPEG files (level 10–12). The preferred color spaces are Adobe RGB (1998) and sRGB IEC61966-2.1. Contestants are strongly encouraged to use color management and to use one of these color spaces for their submitted images.
– Submitted photographs should be no larger than 1600 pixels across in their wide dimension and not smaller than 1200 pixels long. File size should be no larger than 2 Megabytes. Judges might request high-resolution files from finalists for final evaluation.
2- Number of submissions:
– No more than 5 photographs may be submitted per person. If the contestant submits more images, only 5 of them will be randomly selected. So extra submissions might result in removing your better images.
– Each contestant will be registered through the submission page and can edit profile and content, and add or remove their submitted images until the contest deadline.
3- Date of Photographs and Submissions:
– The contest highlights the recent efforts of landscape astrophotogtraphy. Images must be taken since January 1, 2011. Photographs taken before January 1, 2011 are ineligible.
– Photographs must be submitted from April 1 to the Earth Day, April 22, 2012. Winners will be announced by April 30, 2012.
4- Style and subject of the photos:
– Entries must combine elements of both Earth and Night Sky—i.e., landscape astrophotography.
– Entries must follow the contest theme of dark skies importance with displaying the beauties of starry skies or the problem of increasing light pollution.
– A pair or a series of comparing images to display the difference between dark and light polluted sky can be submitted as one entry. The comparing images can make strong public impression on importance of dark skies. See a TWAN example of such images here.
– Photographs may be taken through a telescope, but must combine Earth and Sky composed in the same photograph. Photographs taken through a telescope that show only the sky are ineligible.
5- Originality, image processing, and composite images:
– Minor burning, dodging, color and exposure correction is acceptable. Cropping is acceptable. Fish-eye lenses are acceptable. High dynamic range images and stitched panoramas are acceptable only if the combined parts are taken at approximately the same time and with the same setting. Digital composition of a series of photographs taken successively at the same location with the same lens pointed in the same direction, for example to create a digital star trail image, is acceptable. Any other changes to the original photograph not mentioned here are not acceptable, and will render the submitted photo ineligible for a prize.
– Composite images made by combining images taken at different locations, different times, or using different lenses are ineligible.
6- Copyright and legal notes:
– The submitted photo must be the original work of the contest entrant. The entrant must be the copyright holder of the submitted photo.
– The Photographer retains complete copyright, but agrees to have his/her photograph published on TWAN website and on other online media together with the report about the contest results.
– Model releases will be required for all winning photographs that contain a person in the image.
– Submitted photographs must not contain provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit or otherwise objectionable content. Entries may only be submitted on-line. Submitted photographs will be judged by a panel of TWAN photographers based on creativity, relevance to the topic, and aesthetic beauty. Contest prizes will be announced later this month. You can contact us for any further inquiry related to the contest.
Let’s capture immemorable moments….Give me a shout if you’re participating.
Addiction is a bad thing. People are addicted to anything mobile phones, T.V, video games, cigarettes, internet, Facebook, drugs or even chocolate. It always leads to something real bad. What about being addicted to the night sky?
Getting up late at night and going outside and gazing up at the sky is something to be done, especially as it is summer now. It’s so refreshing, clears up the mind and even puts you on a high . You get the real calmness of the night, coupled with a light breeze going right through your hair, your favourite chocolate with you……. this is a great moment ( ……. ). Experience it at 2:00 a.m.
However, you don’t need to be addicted to the night sky, you can just be a casual night gazer. It’s free. People don’t just gaze at something, they don’t understand, so gazing should be coupled with knowing , understanding and appreciation. The night sky is there for that. It’s just the factor of amazement, The everyday amazement of such a beautiful created sky is longing to be seen and appreciated. Not just that it needs to be appreciated because it’s beautiful but to think that the sky has been there with all it’s majesty for so long and has been amazing billions of people around the globe and would stay a wonder. Obviously it is there for a perfect reason.
So what’s up there in the night sky?
Nous sommes au mois de Mars, nous devrions regarder la planète Mars. It’s great that Mars is there up for us to see.
Mars is already in the sky towards the East as from the evening at sunset. If you fancy following Mars the whole night then you would have to raise your head towards the east and then follow it towards the west . Mars would drown itself in the western horizon at about 4:00 a.m in the morning. So, have your eyes up. If ever, during this weekend you’re planning anything outside at night, or just get up from sleep at 2:00 am then visit mars on Leo’s belly.
Towards the west at 2:00 a.m. It’s great that Mars is there up for us to see. (If you ever get up at night:)) Mars would be in front of you, if you face towards the west and look up at the sky. Mars is settled just above the constellation of Leo. It’s just as if Mars is on the belly of the lion while the lion is dozing off with its four feet upwards. You don’t have to picture all this ,but it’s just so amazing to see Regulus and the other stars too.
Regulus? Now what is this? Regulus is the main brightest star in the constellation Leo. Known also as the heart of the Lion.
I still don’t find it?
At sunset , that is where the sun sets , toward the west. Look towards the sun. Then change your position to 90 degrees that’s the East. Now look towards the sky in this position a little later( about half or an hour later) after sunset, you would see a bright yellow looking star, which doesn’t twinkle. That is Planet Mars. If you look at it with a pair of binoculars you would see that is glowing red. So, have a look and give me your shout.
So if you are addicted in any way, other than sleeping, Then go out to see the night sky. Give me a shout if you find Mars.
What do you say about that?
Ahhh. That star…. it’s so bright. I see it almost nearly everyday from my room.
It’s so clear here….. I think this is the same star.
I was rather smiling at my friend at this point.
Etaaa …. You studied Physics your whole life and you don’t even know that this is not a star.
This is planet Venus, the brighter one and the other is Jupiter.
I think this was too harsh for my friend who had just dropped by my house. Anyone looking at these planets would obviously say that these planets are stars. They shine so bright. As for Venus, wow, it is brighter than Sirius (the brightest star in our night sky) nowadays. But how to know if they are not stars. Stars shine and they shimmer in brightness (twinkle), but planets do shine but do not shimmer. Yeah if there is a wind then they would, but if it’s calm they won’t shimmer.
This News Bulletin just released by the The Astronomy And Nature Centre TV gives a good explanation coupled with a presentation on Stellarium.
If you want to get a quick idea of the conjunction in 90 seconds then listen to this podcast. If you ever fantasy tacking a picture of them just give me a shout.
Have your eyes up to the sky and you will appreciate the view.