Lunar eclipse, comet and snow moon to fall on the same day.

8 02 2017

Now might be a good time to invest in a telescope because come Friday you’re going to want one. 

On February 10th, we are not going to be treated to not just one celestial event on the same day but three.


The lunar eclipse will take place in the early hours of Saturday morning

A lunar eclipse, snow moon and New Year comet should all be visible this Friday night into Saturday morning.

But unless you’re clued up on your astronomical happenings, it’s unlikely you’ll be familiar with them all, so here is a brief guide on how to spot them.

The rare penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth and moon almost align behind one another.

The earth blocks the sun’s light from reaching the surface of the moon

It will first be visible at 10.30pm on February 10 as a subtle shadow and will be most visible at 12.43am and will end at 2.52pm.

It will be visible from Europe, most of Asia and North America, and Africa.

February’s full moon is traditionally known as a Snow Moon because this month usually sees the heaviest snowfall.

You might have also heard it referred to as the Hunger Moon – due to the struggle of some tribes to find food this month.

As it’s the moon it should be very easy to see and you’ll have a decent amount of time to see it too.

The moon rises at 4.44 pm on Friday and then sets at 7.30 am.

So we are not that near New Year –  or Chinese New Year for that matter – but the New Year comet gets its name as it began its journey across the northern hemisphere at the end of last year.


The New Year comet returns once every five and a quarter years (Picture: Fritz Helmut Hemmerich)

It will be visible to the naked eye on February 11 so you might have to stay up late to catch it.

First spotted in 1948, it’s a periodic comet and visible from earth every five and a quarter years.

It is likely to appear as a faint object moving across the sky.
Article source: 

Moving on from Stonehenge: Researchers make the case for archaeoastronomy
The field of archaeoastronomy is evolving say researchers seeking a closer relationship between astronomy and merging of astronomical techniques and archaeology. Full story

Learn about the connection between the stones and the sky and see the night sky from Stonehenge with a leading archaeologists and astronomer on a guided walking tour. Stonehenge and Guided Tours and Stonehenge Walks organise these exclusive  tours.

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Stonehenge and the Moon #LunarPhase

13 12 2016

Ancient peoples had the benefit of dark skies and experienced the full spectacle of the starry heavens. The Moon gave light at night and would have been particularly useful in the two weeks centred on full Moon. The regular monthly cycle of lunar phases provided a convenient measure of time, upon which many ancient calendars were based.

Was it a Neolithic calendar? A solar temple? A lunar observatory? A calculating device for predicting eclipses? Or perhaps a combination of more than one of these? In recent years
Stonehenge has become the very icon of ancient astronomy, featuring in nearly every discussion on the subject.
A more informed picture has been obtained in recent years by combining evidence from archaeology and astronomy within the new interdiscipline of archaeoastronomy – the
study of beliefs and practices concerning the sky in the past and the uses to which people’s knowledge of the skies were put.

2017 Lunar / Moon phases.

First quarter 5 January 2017 19:47:41
Full moon 12 January 2017 11:35:12
Last quarter 19 January 2017 22:14:21
New moon 28 January 2017 00:08:19
First quarter 4 February 2017 04:19:47
Full moon 11 February 2017 00:33:58
Last quarter 18 February 2017 19:35:13
New moon 26 February 2017 15:00:15
First quarter 5 March 2017 11:33:38
Full moon 12 March 2017 14:54:49
Last quarter 20 March 2017 16:01:29
New moon 28 March 2017 03:59:26
First quarter 3 April 2017 19:40:54
Full moon 11 April 2017 07:09:17
Last quarter 19 April 2017 11:00:05
New moon 26 April 2017 13:18:11
First quarter 3 May 2017 03:48:10
Full moon 10 May 2017 22:43:56
Last quarter 19 May 2017 01:35:36
New moon 25 May 2017 20:46:22
First quarter 1 June 2017 13:43:00
Full moon 9 June 2017 14:11:15
Last quarter 17 June 2017 12:35:01
New moon 24 June 2017 03:32:43
First quarter 1 July 2017 01:51:47
Full moon 9 July 2017 05:08:31
Last quarter 16 July 2017 20:27:38
New moon 23 July 2017 10:47:26
First quarter 30 July 2017 16:23:57
Full moon 7 August 2017 19:12:47
Last quarter 15 August 2017 02:16:51
New moon 21 August 2017 19:31:34
First quarter 29 August 2017 09:14:19
Full moon 6 September 2017 08:04:55
Last quarter 13 September 2017 07:26:44
New moon 20 September 2017 06:30:46
First quarter 28 September 2017 03:55:09
Full moon 5 October 2017 19:41:56
Last quarter 12 October 2017 13:27:15
New moon 19 October 2017 20:12:38
First quarter 27 October 2017 23:23:17
Full moon 4 November 2017 05:24:29
Last quarter 10 November 2017 20:38:22
New moon 18 November 2017 11:42:52
First quarter 26 November 2017 17:03:28
Full moon 3 December 2017 15:48:30
Last quarter 10 December 2017 07:53:02
New moon 18 December 2017 06:31:29
First quarter 26 December 2017 09:20:24

Stonehenge Links:
Astro Moon Calendar shows phases of the Moon each day, astronomical events and astrological forecast for the year.
Stonehenge and Ancient Astronomy. Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site
Stonehenge Full Moon Guided Walking Tours.  Explore the landscape with a local historian and astronomer.

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Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily Stonehenge sunset / sunrise / moonrise / moonset times.





Moving on from Stonehenge: Researchers make the case for archaeoastronomy

16 08 2014

The field of archaeoastronomy is evolving say researchers seeking a closer relationship between astronomy and merging of astronomical techniques and archaeology.

Summer Solstice Sunrise over Stonehenge 2005. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Summer Solstice Sunrise over Stonehenge 2005. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The merging of astronomical techniques with the archaeological study of ancient man-made features in the landscape could prove Neolithic and Bronze Age people were acute astronomical observers, according to researchers. 

Dubbed archaeoastronomy, the developing and sometimes maligned field takes a multi-disciplinary approach to exploring a range of theories about the astronomical alignment of standing stones and megalithic structures.

Some of these theories were highlighted recently at the 2014 National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth.

Archaeoastronomy expert Dr Fabio Silva of University College London has been studying 6000-year-old winter occupation sites and megalithic structures in the Mondego valley in central Portugal.

He said recent research shows that all the entrance corridors of passage graves in a necropolis in the valley aligned “with the seasonal rising over nearby mountains of the star Aldebaran, the brightest star of Taurus”.

Dr Silva believes this link between the appearance of the star in springtime and the mountains where the dolmen builders would have spent their summers “has echoes in local folklore” which recounts how the Serra da Estrela or ‘Mountain Range of the Star’ received its name from a shepherd and his dog following a star.

Some of the most debated claims about archeological alignment continue to be those relating to Stonehenge, which remains subject to a range of theories about solar and lunar alignments. Some archaeoastronomers are however keen to move the debate beyond the famous standing stones of Salisbury Plain.

Dr Daniel Brown of Nottingham Trent University, who presented updates on his work on the 4000-year-old Gardom’s Edge in the UK’s Peak District, which he believes to be astronomically aligned, said: “there’s more to archaeoastronomy than Stonehenge.

“Modern archaeoastronomy encompasses many other research areas such as anthropology, ethnoastronomy and even educational research.”

“It has stepped away from its speculative beginnings and placed itself solidly onto the foundation of statistical methods,” he added.

“However, this pure scientific approach has its own challenges that need to be overcome by embracing humanistic influences and putting the research into context with local cultures and landscape.”

Dr Silva, who is co-editor of the Journal for Skyscape Archaeology, which promotes the role and importance of the sky in archaeological interpretation, added: “We have much to gain if the fields of astronomy and archaeology come together to a fuller and more balanced understanding of European megaliths and the societies that built them.”

Article source: (By Richard Moss)

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog


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