Are You a “Look at the Moon” Kind of Person?

View of Moon from Kombi

Somebody recently tagged me on an image shared on Facebook. It mainly had the text, “I’m such a ‘Look at the moon’ kind of person.” She was probably alluding to that time I urged people to take the time to look at the full moon. It was really big, round, and bright that night.

I was certain that there were people who were kindred and would appreciate a beautiful moon like I did. In Anne of Green Gables-speak, we’d all belong to the race that knows Joseph. I suppose that would be the race that got excited over seeing Venus in the sky even if it’s pretty much there every night, that flipped over the promise of a meteor shower, that noted down all the predicted celestial events in her planner…

In any case, if you’re a backyard astronomer like me (that’s an astronomy enthusiast who’s too busy, too tied down, or too lazy to properly pursue the interest – I’m all three. I’m a backyard birdwatcher too, btw.), you might be interested in noting down the following dates. This list is not the most detailed. It’s basically just the dates and the corresponding celestial body or bodies of interest. Check out this 2017 astronomy calendar for a more comprehensive list.

I’m skipping January since it’s over.

• 11 – Snow moon/penumbral lunar eclipse/New Year comet
• 26 – New moon/annular solar eclipse
• 12 – Full moon
• 1 – Mercury after sunset
• 7 – Jupiter at opposition (note four moons with strong binoculars)
• 11 – Full moon
• 22-23 – Lyrids meteor shower
• 6-7 – Eta Aquarids meteor shower
• 10 – Full moon
• 17 – Mercury before sunrise
• 3 – Venus before sunrise
• 9 – Full moon
• 15 – Saturn at opposition (note ring and moons with strong bins)
• 9 – Full moon
• 28-29 – Delta Aquarids meteor shower
• 30 – Mercury after sunset
• 7 – Full moon/partial lunar eclipse
• 12-13 – Perseids meteor shower
• 21 – Total solar eclipse
• 5 – Neptune at opposition (tiny blue dot with strong telescope)
• 6 – Full moon
• 12 – Mercury before sunrise
• 5 – Full moon
• 7 – Draconids meteor shower
• 19 – Uranus at opposition (tiny blue-green dot with strong telescope)
• 21-22 – Orionids meteor shower
• 4 – Full moon
• 4-5 – Taurids meteor shower
• 13 – Venus and Jupiter conjunction before sunrise
• 17-18 – Leonids meteor shower
• 24 – Mercury after sunset
• 3 – Supermoon
• 13-14 – Geminids meteor shower
• 21-22 – Ursids meteor shower

* I didn’t limit the list to only those that are visible in Southeast Asia, so you may want to confirm the hemisphere/s in which they’re supposed to manifest.

The way I obsessively track full moons, you’d think I shifted into a she-wolf or something. Nothing so supernatural. Like somebody implied, I’m just a “Look at the moon’ kind of person. Although you should probably expect me to act crazier than usual on these nights – but only because I get excited over a pretty moon. 😀

And shooting stars! That night in college when a bunch of us UP French Club folks were treated to a plethora of shooting stars while we were hanging out at the roof deck of one of our alumni is one of my fondest memories from that time. Alongside that time when I walked out of my husband’s (then-boyfriend) house and the whole yard was twinkling with fireflies. I’ll have to write about fireflies too…

Okay, now, I’m just geeking out, so I’ll go back to the original topic.

Are celestial events of interest to you? Have you gone past the backyard to pursue the hobby? I might have to and you can find out the reason by reading this blog post. Are you another kind of backyard enthusiast? Let me know. 🙂

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