Skywatch: We'll get a Micromoon this week

Skywatch: We'll get a Micromoon this week
The Moon Meets Saturn
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Saturn meets up with the moon on Sunday night. The two will pass close to each other in the southern sky after sunset. The Ringed Planet will be just to the right of a waxing gibbous moon.

Neptune at Opposition

Neptune reaches a milestone this week. The ice giant will reach opposition early Tuesday morning around 3 a.m. This is when Neptune is opposite of the sun in the sky as viewed from Earth. This is also when it’ll be at its brightest. Sadly you can’t see Neptune with the naked eye but if you have a decent telescope look for the planet near Aquarius in the southeastern sky in the evening.

Lunar Apogee

The moon reaches something known as apogee Friday morning. Because the moon’s orbit is an ellipse there are times when it’s closer to the Earth and times when it’s farther away. The apogee is when it’s at its farthest point from the Earth. At 9:32 a.m. Friday morning the moon will be 252,511 miles from the Earth.

Full Harvest Moon

Normally the apogee isn’t a big deal but it coincides with the Full Moon. That arrives Saturday morning at 12:33 a.m. This month’s full moon is also called the Full Harvest Moon because it’s the Full Moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox. The Harvest Moon allows farmers to harvest their crop well into the night. September’s Full Moon is also known as the Full Barley Moon. As I mentioned earlier the lunar apogee occurs very close to the Full Moon so we can call this one a Micromoon, the Supermoon’s compliment. Enjoy the Micro Harvest Moon on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Happy hunting!