Moon landing, Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11, NASA, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins ky Tonight Tour [July 19 – 25, 2021]
My name is seth may i’m, the curator of astronomy for the Lohman planetarium, and this episode we’re, covering the dates of july 19th through july 25th, 2021. we’ll start things off by providing an update on the position of venus and where it will be through this week And the next couple of weeks, we’ll then discuss the moon where it will be in the eastern sky as it heads towards a full phase, and then we’ll celebrate space exploration day and moon day coming up this week as well. So let’s get to it. If you’ve been paying attention to the west lately, just after sunset, you may have noticed the very bright planet, venus it’s been really nice in this area and we’ve talked about it on several occasions. Over the last few episodes there’s been some really great sightings of venus, especially last week when it was really close to the planet mars. But now they have separated a good distance away from each other, because venus moves quite quickly in our sky, since it moves very quickly around the sun. It feels a lot of tug from the sun’s gravity, since it’s only the second planet, from our sun in the solar system, so now it’s a little farther from mars. If you do stay up a little bit later after sunset, once it’s dark enough, you can still see a little red planet right down there. Venus will really shine even if there’s, some daylight still left, and if we go through the rest of the week here.
We’Ll see what happens with this planet, so let’s go to tuesday. The 20th and you’ll see it’s getting really close to this fairly bright star right there, and if you notice there are other stars around it. That kind of make this curve shape. Here almost looks like a hook or what’s sometimes called the sickle that’s. The asterism, which is really the head of leo. The lion which you may know of the head of leo sits right there at this time of the year and there’s the rest of the constellation behind him. And if we look carefully here, this star is called regulus. It is the brightest star in leo so that’s on tuesday, the 20th we go to the 21st you’ll see venus and regis are really close. This is the closest they’ll get right now within about a degree so about two full moon widths apart, which is pretty close in the sky, so that’ll be a nice pairing of those two objects and we’ll continue on to the rest of the week and you’ll see How quickly venus moves against the background of the stars here, so we’ll go to the 22nd 23rd 24th and then, by the end of the week here on sunday, you’ll see it’s even moved quite a distance away from regulus and again there is mars as well moving Deeper into leo the lion right here, as we continue to track venus over the next few weeks and even month or two we’ll, find that this planet is moving southward in our sky.
So let’s leave this week and go into next week as we round out july, and you can see that southward trek and even entering into august as well the late summer months here as we move along through august you’ll, see it continue to move lower in the Southwest now to see it a little bit better. I have to move the time earlier in the evening because sunset is happening earlier, as we get later in the year, so let’s kind of move up a little bit here and there you go so you’ll still have a good view of venus above the horizon. You’Ll. Just see it’s more in the southwest we’ll continue on even into september and the beginning of the fall here and you notice it continues moving southward even getting into october. So we have a lot of time to see venus it’s just going to be kind of moving sort of horizontally in the sky, from the west to the southwest and it’ll be neat to see it change positions. As we slide our attention over to the southeast, we can appreciate the waxing moon well positioned in summer stars and particularly on monday, the 19th you’ll find the gibbous moon more than half full situated inside one of the claws or the head of scorpius, which looks like A giant s that we see here, i always talk about scorpius, of course, at this time of the year very bright and prominent constellation, so the moon will be inside that area.
Now, as we continue on through the week, we’ll go to tuesday the 20th, the moon will be a little bit larger by then, and if you happen to find yourself looking at the moon on this night, this is a significant day, because this is the 52nd anniversary Of the apollo 11 landing on the moon that occurred on july 20th, 1969, of course, when neil armstrong and buzz aldrin brought their lunar lander the eagle to the surface of the moon and six hours later, they set foot onto another celestial body. The first time in human history, let’s not forget their crewmate, michael collins, who supported buzz and neo on the surface, while he flew alone around the moon in their command module. Sadly, he recently passed away so it’s worth remembering him and his contributions to the mission as a pioneering astronaut and someone who pushed space exploration forward. And not only can we celebrate this wonderful anniversary of apollo 11, but this day is also known as space exploration day or what is sometimes called moon day. And this is a day where we can celebrate the spirit of exploration and our unrelenting drive and passion to push the boundaries of what we think is possible and that distinct and innate human trait has really pushed society forward. We definitely can celebrate the achievements of the past, but also of today and into the future there’s so much going on in space exploration right now, with space planes about to take tourists and everyday people to the edge of space, commercial companies, building their own capsules and Rockets not only bringing people to the low earth orbit, but bringing those rockets back down to earth we’re expanding access to international space station, bringing more diverse and larger crews to this orbiting laboratory.
We’Re setting our sights back to the moon with nasa developing a big luna program to increase access to the lunar surface, with countries around the world and commercial companies making this possible. We have amazing, robotic missions going on around the solar system and new rovers that have touched down onto the surface of mars. Looking for ancient signs of life and even a drone helicopter flying around the martian environment and there’s significant progress in the development of technology and the missions that will take people to the red planet in the future. So i hope we all can celebrate this day and what is possible as we reach out into the universe. If we continue to watch the moon wax across the sky, we will notice it getting larger in phase. So as we move past the 20th here, we’ll see it continue its eastward trek going to the 21st 22nd and then by the evening of the 23rd or the morning of the 24th, that is officially when we have a full moon and here in the east coast. United states that precisely happens at 10 37 p.m. Eastern time on the evening on the 23rd or if you go by utc or universal coordinated time, that is, 2 37 am on the morning of the 24th. You have to adjust for your time zone and the full moon at this time of year is called the buck moon. That is a native american term that refers to bucks here in north america that are actively growing their horns, but sometimes this is called the salmon moon or the thunder moon or even the raspberry moon, but we commonly call it the buck.
Moon on this night, though, the moon will be fairly close to an interesting celestial object, and that is the planet saturn that will be to the left of it or to the east northeast of the moon, and by this night here or early morning of the 24th They’Ll be about 10 degrees apart, which is about the width of your fist, held at arm’s length, roughly speaking so they’re pretty close by that night. And if you go the next night the evening of the 24th, the moon will be below saturn. If you’re looking towards the east before midnight and every time i mention saturn, i always tell people definitely take a look at it through binoculars or a telescope. If you have one, because you may catch a glimpse of those beautiful rings going around this gas planet, so that’s an amazing sight to see. I take a look at every chance. I get through a telescope, and so the moon will be nearby then, and if we continue to kind of round out this week go to sunday the 25th, the moon will be fairly close to the planet, jupiter that’s, even brighter than saturn, so that’s kind of nice To see that now keep in mind, you have to wait a little bit longer or stay out a little bit later to catch a good view of jupiter and the moon on this night. But if you do it’s worth looking at, if you have clear conditions, hey that’s it for another edition of our sky tonight program.
Thank you so much for tuning in, and i want to mention a special event that we’re hosting on sunday the 25th. When we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of our mosque campus opening in this specific location here in daytona beach, that happened in 1971 and on this anniversary celebration, we’re going to be doing special tours of our tuscawilla nature, preserve we’ll be performing 1970s themed live sky tonight. Star shows and laser concerts in our Lohman planetarium. We got food trucks and music and cake cutting, and you can sign our memory wall as well so it’s worth stopping by for this 50th anniversary of our moaz campus. But if we see around the museum any other time, we’d love to have you, especially in our Lohman planetarium we’re running, shows daily. If you want more information about our events and our show schedule, please check out our website with that.