Seeing light from 2013, AND 1753... simultaneously!

Feb 27

Written by:
2/27/2013 10:02 AM  RssIcon

On the night of February 28th into the morning hours of March 1, the Moon glides very close to the far off star Spica - at least as those of us in the northern hemisphere will see.  Southern hemisphere observers may see the Moon actually occult the star.  Binoculars will easily capture the pair together.

Because the Moon is so bright, and so often washes out the light of stars it passes or occults, this is a prime opportunity to see the Moon's motion.  The close pass should be visible in a low-power eyepiece of most telescopes, so watch the Moon actually revolve past the 260 light years distant Spica.  And that's another thing to consider: The Moons light takes just 1.3 seconds to reach Earth after bouncing off the Moon. Spica's light, on the other hand, left that star in the year.... 1753.  So you're actually seeing photons from two different eras simultaneously.

Pretty cool, eh?

Moon skims past Spica Feb 28, 2013

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The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.