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Lunar Boat - February New Moon Spotting

Started by curtrenz, 02/10/2010 11:45AM
Posted 02/10/2010 11:45AM Opening Post
Have you ever seen the Lunar Boat? That’s how astronomical author Jean Meeus has described a crescent Moon appearing to hang downward in a U-shape. It’s not seen often by those of us well removed from the tropics. But observers at the latitude of Chicago or Boston lucky enough to catch sight of the less than one-day-old Moon on February 14th will have an opportunity.

Who will be the first to spot the February New Moon with naked eyes after sunset that evening? The Dark Moon will be in geocentric longitudinal conjunction with the Sun on 2010 FEB 14 at 02:51 UT (13 at 20:51 CST). On the 14th many North Americans will set personal records. Jupiter and Venus will serve as guides. Jupiter will appear about 4.5° to the left of the Moon, while Venus will be 2° below Jupiter.

I’ve created a graphic previewing the western sky from Chicagoland 25 minutes after sunset on February 14th. It should well serve most North American observers. It can be seen by clicking: then going to the Moon page.

Photos and descriptions of the February New Moon would be welcome additions to this thread. Please include the date, time, time zone and location. Good Luck!

Below is a Lunar Boat photo I took last spring from Arlington Heights, Illinois of the Moon aged 31:46 hours on 2009 MAR 27.

For astronomical graphics, including
monthly wallpaper calendar, visit:

Curt Renz
Posted 02/14/2010 06:54PM #1
Caught it tonight from the sled hill above Reimer reservoir in Palatine, Il. 2352 UT with 7X50's. Youngest moon i've ever spotted. Was just able to pick it out of the muck. Maybe saw it naked eye a couple of minutes later, but barely if at all. Like a Cheshire grin...