Space and Astronomy

Phases Of The Moon

New Moon

First Quarter

Full Moon

Last Quarter

Sunday September 9
11:01 a.m.

Sunday September 16
4:15 p.m.

Monday September 24
7:52 p.m.

Sunday September 2
7:37 p.m.

The Planets and Special Events

The Autumnal Equinox occurs at 6:54 p.m. om Saturday September 22. At this moment, the Sun in it's apparent path around the Earth passes over the Celestial Equator from the Northern Hemisphere to the SOuthern Hemisphere. Autumn begins in the Northern Hemispere while Spring begins in the Southern Hemisphere.

A Public Star Party with telescopes provided by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers will take place on the front lawn of the Griffith Observatory from 2 p.m. until 9:45 pm on Saturday September 15..

Venus (Mag -4.5) is very bright in the west after susnset and reaches it's greatest brightness on the evening of Friday September 21. Looking from west to east you can see Venus. Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.

Jupiter (Mag -1.8) appears high in the southwest at twilight and sets around 10:00 p.m.

Mars (Mag -1.7) is well placed for viewing high in the south at sunset. It remains bright in the sky with Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.

Saturn (Mag +0.4) is just to the west of Mars.

Reprinted with permission, the information above is made available in the Griffith Observer , a monthly publication by the Griffith Observatory. For complete information on the Planets and other items related to Astronomy, please visit the Griffith Observatory Web Site.

Fun Facts

When you hear somebody talk about a celestial object being 30 (or 30 degrees) above the horizon, how in the world do you know how far up that is ? Well, hold your hand out at arms length with your thumb and fingers together, the palm of your hand facing you with the sky behind it. The distance from the edge of the little finger on the bottom of your palm to the edge of your thumb on the top is about 10 (10 degrees). Two palm widths is 20, three is 30 and so on.

The theory that our Sun is the center of the universe and our planets revolve around it was first documented by Nicolas Copernicus. The interesting thing is that Copernicus was a Catholic Priest and Philosopher, not an Astronomer. But he believed that God would have made the movements of the planets more simple than the previously documented theory (which was very complex). As we know today, Corpernicus was right !

Space and Astronomy Related Links

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