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Spot Moon Aged Under 1 Day - Cheshire Cat Smile

Started by curtrenz, 03/26/2008 02:56PM
Posted 03/26/2008 02:56PM | Edited 04/13/2008 02:06PM Opening Post
Who will be the first to spot the April New Moon with naked eyes after sunset? A combination of circumstances will make it possible for North Americans to spot the Moon aged less than 24 hours. For those at mid-northern latitudes it will appear in an unusual U-shape like the smiling Cheshire Cat.

The Dark Moon will be in geocentric longitudinal conjunction with the Sun on 2008 APR 06 at 03:56 UT. We’re in the months of the year surrounding the vernal equinox during which New Moon spotting is ideal for northern hemisphere observers. The current point in the Moon’s 18.6-year nodal cycle is also helpful. And being near perigee helps the Moon to separate from the Sun more quickly.

I’ve created a graphic previewing the western sky as viewed from Chicagoland 25 minutes after sunset on Sunday April 6, although it should well serve most North Americans. There will be no other planets or bright stars to serve as guides. Therefore the azimuth and altitude markings on the diagram will be particularly helpful. The graphic can be seen by clicking:

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

Below is a photo I took on 2007 MAR 19 of the Moon aged 21:45 hours, which is my personal best. I hope to beat that this month.

For astronomical graphics, including
monthly wallpaper calendar, visit:

Curt Renz
Posted 04/13/2008 01:59PM #1
Apparently we were all shut out by clouds. As a heads up, the circumstances surrounding the May New Moon will present North Americans with a rare opportunity to spot the Moon aged only half a day or a little more. That might be tough, but the unusual celestial geometry could allow some observers to set what will remain their lifetime record. I’ll post details when the event nears, although preview graphics are already on my website.

For astronomical graphics, including
monthly wallpaper calendar, visit:

Curt Renz