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 Sun's Over Above Earth

Sun's Position Over Earth
(to update, reload page)
Courtesy: Fourmilab Switzerland

Day & Night on Earth
View Earth's Night Half
Sunrise & Sunset on Earth
Six Current Views of Earth Current Global Cloud-Cover
Earth's 12-Month Heartbeat Our  Earth Weather  page
Current Planet Locations


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UPCOMING

Comets:

      Visible in N Hemisphere
      Visible in S Hemisphere

Eclipses:

     NASA:

          Solar:  2015 Mar 20
                GIF Map only
                Animation only
          Lunar:  2015 Apr 4
          5 Millenia of Eclipses

     HMNAO:

          Solar:  2015 Mar 20
          Lunar:  2015 Apr 4
          600 Years of Eclipses

Lunar Occultations

Meteor Showers:

      IMO 2014 Calendar
      AMS 2014 Calendar

NEO Close Approaches

Satellite Launches:

     NASA   SpaceX   ESA

Space-Junk Reentries (pred.)

SKY VIEWING
SOLAR SYSTEM
THE SUN
MERCURY
VENUS
EARTH
THE MOON
MARS
JUPITER
SATURN
URANUS
NEPTUNE
SMALLER WORLDS
STELLAR OBJECTS
EXOPLANETS
DEEP-SKY OBJECTS
SCALE OF THE COSMOS
———————
SKY-FUN / SKY-GAMES


USEFUL ASTRONOMY WEBTOOLS

USNO Julian Date Converter

Distance Calculator

Astronomical Lexicons:

     Astron. Almanac Gloss.

     NASA / JPL:

          Basics of Space Flight
          DAWN Dictionary
          HubbleSite Ref. Desk
          Imagine the Universe!
          NED (quite extensive)

     ESA:

          Science Glossary
          Space Science

List of Constellations (with pronunciations):

     IAU
     Wikipedia
     RASC

List of Brightest Stars

List of Named Stars

List of Nearest Stars


EXCITING NEW SCRIPTS COMING SOON!

Moon-Pak 1 and Planet-Pak 1 will soon bring the Moon and the planets to CELESTIA users in ways they've never seen before!  And the Paks are "awesome"!  Keep an eye out for them!


LUNAR APOGEES & PERIGEES

Lunar apogees & perigees show just how irregular the lunar orbit is.  From 1500 to 2500 CE, the Moon's apogee averages about 405,400 km, varying from about 404,050 km to its extreme maximum of about 406,720 km. The lunar perigee is much more variable however, averaging close to 363,400 km while varying from about 370,350 km to its extreme minimum of about 356,370 km!

Extreme lunar apogees and perigees are caused mostly by the Sun's gravitational pull on the Moon, and they tend to happen in the winter months of the Northern Hemisphere.  This is when Earth is near perihelion, i.e. closest (yes, closest!) to the Sun.  Extreme apogees tend to happen when the Moon is New, since the Sun pulls it "away from" Earth.  Extreme perigees in contrast tend to occur when the Moon is Full, as the Sun pulls it "toward" Earth.  Forecasting these extremes can be important due to the Moon's influence on Earth's tides.


UTC: CELESTIA'S DISPLAY OF TIME

CELESTIA's clock displays Coordinated Universal Time, UTC.  Click here for a brief explanation.


EARTH AT PERIHELION

When is Earth at perihelion, the point in its orbit closest to the Sun?  Contrary to popular belief, this happens in the Northern Hemisphere's winter NOT summer!  The winter season is not caused by Earth being farthest from the Sun, but rather by Earth's changing tilt in its orbit relative to the Sun!

In contemporary times Earth generally passes through perihelion between January 1 and January 6.  In 2014, it occured on January 4 at 12 hour UT (Universal Time).


HIGHLIGHTS OF SOME
PAST SKY EVENTS

Hybrid
Solar Eclipse 2013 Nov

Perseid Meteor Shower 2013 Aug

Geminid Meteor Shower 2012 Dec

Total
Solar Eclipse 2012 Nov

Total Lunar Eclipse 2011 Jun

Total Lunar Eclipse 2010 Dec

Geminid Meteor Shower 2010 Dec

Moon Occults Venus 2010 Sep

Perseid Meteor Shower 2010 Aug

Total
Solar Eclipse 2010 July

Partial Lunar Eclipse 2010 Jun

Moon Occults Venus 2010 May

Comet ISON 2013-2014:

NASA's Comet ISON page

ISON's Location among the Constellations

ISON's Journey in 3-D! (Requ.  WebGL  browser)

NASA: ISON Location & Path in 3-D  (Requ. JAVA)

Download a  Paper Model of ISON's Orbit


SOME OLD-FORMAT MONTHLY NEWS PAGES

Though they feature events over a year old, here are our old-format monthly NEWS pages that you might enjoy.

2010:  Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 

2011:  Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun 


Sky Events 2013  page.

Sky Events 2014  page.

Sky Events 2015  page.


SKY EVENTS 2014

You may want to start with  Tonight's Sky Maps, as well as today's  Sunrise, Sunset, Moonrise, Moonset!

To view a video of the Moon for the entire year of 2014, (showing its changing phases, path, distance, apparent size, libration, orbital nodes and eclipses,) click on the image directly below or  click here.


2014's Eclipse "Seasons":
    mid thru late Apr; early thru mid Oct
    (Look for listings in appropriate months.)

2014 JANUARY
01   11:14     New Moon    Very high tides!
01   21hr    Moon at perigee (356,920 km)
03   13hr      Quadrantid Meteor Sh. est. peak: 30/hr
04   12hr    Earth at perihelion (147,104,740 km)
08   03:39     1st Qtr Moon
16   01hr    Moon at apogee (406,540 km)
16   04:52     Full Moon
24   05:20     Last Qtr Moon
25   13:59   Moon occults Saturn: S. Pacific, S. America
30   10hr    Moon at perigee (357,080 km)
30   21:38     New Moon    Very high tides!
31   10hr    Mercury: Gr. East Elong. (18.37°)

2014 FEBRUARY
06   19:22     1st Qtr Moon
12   05hr    Moon at apogee (406,230 km)
14   23:53     Full Moon
21   22:19   Moon occults Saturn: Indian Oc, Australia
22   17:15     Last Qtr Moon
26   05:25   Moon occults Venus: Africa, Indian Oc, Asia
27   19hr    Moon at perigee (360,440 km)

2014 MARCH
01   08:00     New Moon
08   13:27     1st Qtr Moon
11   19hr    Moon at apogee (405,370 km)
14   09hr    Mercury: Gr. West Elong. (27.55°)
16   17:08     Full Moon
20   16:57   March (Vernal) Equinox  (also see)
21   03:20   Moon occults Saturn: S Amer, Africa, S Atlan.
22   17hr    Venus: Gr. West Elong. (46.56°)
24   01:46     Last Qtr Moon
27   18hr    Moon at perigee (365,710 km)
30   18:45     New Moon

2014 APRIL
07   08:31     1st Qtr Moon
08   14hr    Moon at apogee (404,500 km)
15   07:42     Full Moon
15   07:45   Total Lunar Eclipse: West. Hemis.
22   07:52     Last Qtr Moon
23   00hr    Moon at perigee (369,760 km)
29   06:03   Annular Solar Eclipse: Antarctica
29   06:14     New Moon

2014 MAY
06   10hr    Moon at apogee (404,320 km)
07   03:15     1st Qtr Moon
14   12:18   Moon occults Saturn: Australia, S Pacific
14   19:16     Full Moon
18   12hr    Moon at perigee (367,100 km)
21   12:59     Last Qtr Moon
25   07hr    Mercury: Gr. East Elong. (22.68°)
28   18:40     New Moon

2014 JUNE
03   04hr    Moon at apogee (404,960 km)
05   20:39     1st Qtr Moon
13   04:11     Full Moon
15   04hr    Moon at perigee (362,060 km)
19   18:39     Last Qtr Moon
21   10:51   June (Summer) Solstice
27   08:08     New Moon
30   19hr    Moon at apogee (405,930 km)

2014 JULY
04   00hr    Earth at aphelion (152,093,450 km)
05   11:59     1st Qtr Moon
12   11:25     Full Moon
12   18hr    Mercury: Gr. East Elong. (20.92°)
13   08hr    Moon at perigee (358,260 km)
19   02:08     Last Qtr Moon
26   22:42     New Moon
28   03hr    Moon at apogee (406,570 km)

2014 AUGUST
04   00:50     1st Qtr Moon
04   10:31   Moon occults Saturn: Ind O, Austr, S Pacif
10   17hr    Moon at perigee (356,900 km)
10   18:09     Full Moon    Very high tides!
14   16:59   Moon occults Uranus: Arctic, Russia
17   12:26     Last Qtr Moon
24   06hr    Moon at apogee (406,520 km)
25   14:13     New Moon
31   18:58   Moon occults Saturn: Equ S Amer, Atl, Africa

2014 SEPTEMBER
02   11:11     1st Qtr Moon
08   03hr    Moon at perigee (358,390 km)
09   01:38     Full Moon
11   01:40   Moon occults Uranus: Canada, Arctic
16   02:05     Last Qtr Moon
20   14hr    Moon at apogee (405,850 km)
21   17hr    Mercury: Gr. East Elong. (26.40°)
23   02:29   September (Autumnal) Equinox
24   06:14     New Moon
28   04:24   Moon occults Saturn: Pacific, E Asia, Alaska

2014 OCTOBER
01   19:32     1st Qtr Moon
06   09hr    Moon at perigee (362,480 km)
08   10:37   Moon occults Uranus: Arctic, E Asia
08   10:51     Full Moon
08   10:54   Total Lunar Eclipse: mid-Pacific basin
15   19:12     Last Qtr Moon
18   06hr    Moon at apogee (404,900 km)
23   21:44   Partial Solar Eclipse: West. N Amer., E Russia
23   21:57     New Moon
25   15:43   Moon occults Saturn: Eur., Green., Canada
31   02:48     1st Qtr Moon

NOTES:

  1. Times above are expressed in Universal Time, which is essentially equal to Greenwich Time.
  2. Times of lunar occultations are given at conjunction.
  3.   New Moons essentially rise and set with the Sun and reflect no sunlight toward Earth, so they allow Deep Sky Observing all night.
  4.   1st Qtr Moons generally rise near "local noon" and set near "local midnight", allowing Deep Sky Observing only during the last half of the night.
  5.   Full Moons generally rise near sunset and set near sunrise, allowing no Deep Sky Observing all night.
  6.   Last Qtr Moons generally rise near "local midnight" and set near "local noon", allowing Deep Sky Observing only during the first half of the night.
  7.   Estimated peak meteor rates are not ZHR's; they are what a casual observer might realistically expect to observe with clear, dark skies.
  8. Times and angles of Greatest East and West Elongations for Mercury and Venus are given for maximum angular separations from the Sun, not for maximum differences in Ecliptic Longitude.


THIS MONTH'S SKY MARVELS

Every month, HubbleSite and the Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach release an excellent video that highlights "sky happenings" for that month.  Here is the link to the site where you may view and/or download the  video for the current month.


Detailed NASA / JPL SPACE CALENDAR 2014

This includes a lot of info on the major planets, dwarf planets, asteroids, KBO's, comets, eclipses, the Moon's occultations and more.


THE MOON

Moon's Current Distance, Apparent Size and Phase
Moon's Current Location in its Phase Cycle

View the Moon's Features  that are visible from Earth with binoculars or a low-power telescope.

To help you with you lunar observations, download these classic maps of the Moon:

USAF Lunar Earthside Hemisphere Map:
Download (hi-res JP2)    View Now (smaller version)

NASA Apollo-Era Lunar Chart:
Download (hi-res JP2)    View Now (smaller version)

Moon Phase Calendar
Here is a great calendar of the  Year's Moon Phases  (and more) courtesy of  Newcastle Observatory.

Previous Full-Year Moon Phase Calendars:  2013    2012    2011    2010    2009    2008   

Old Format Previous Months' Phases:

2013:  Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec   

2014:  Jan   


CURRENT AURORA FORCASTS

      OVATION Forecast:
                  Northern Lights: Aurora Borealis
                  Southern Lights: Aurora Australis


Image credit: NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center


EARTH'S CURRENT TILT
RELATIVE TO THE SUN

Though its two principal views display Earth rotating at different speeds, this interesting Flash animation lets you  Easily Find Earth's Current Tilt Relative to the Sun.  Moreover you can change just a few Settings to view how Earth's varying tilt throughout the year causes the seasons and affects the lengths of our days and nights.  Changing the month is most instructive.  (Note: in this animation the Vernal Equinox is essentially toward the bottom of your screen in its Northern Hemisphere view and outward toward you in its Oblique view.)


EQUINOXES & SOLSTICES THROUGH MARCH 2014


WHERE IS THE SUN TODAY
ALONG THE ZODIAC?

Here's a nice interactive Flash demo showing the  Sun's Location Along the Zodiac at Various Times of Year.  Drag its red pointer right and left over the names of the months.  You can also drag the Zodiac itself.


HOW FAR NORTH OR SOUTH WILL
THE SUN RISE AND SET TODAY?

Here's a nice interactive Flash demo showing the  How Far North and South the Sun Rises and Sets at Various Times of Year.


LATEST MAJOR SOLAR ACTIVITY
VISIBLE FROM EARTH

Sunspots      Prominences, Flares, etc.

W A R N I N G !   It is never safe to look directly at the real Sun with the naked eye!  Moreover, looking at it through a telescope or binoculars without adequate safeguards—even for an instant—can cause permanent blindness!  NEVER DO IT!  To learn how to safely "observe" the real Sun, consult the professionals at your local planetarium or observatory.


GET THE LATEST AWESOME SATELLITE
VIEWS OF THE SUN WITH "HELIOVIEWER"

HelioViewer  might just be the best free solar astronomy tool on the web, giving you access to countless actual photos of the Sun from multiple satellites!  "Time-step" through photos, and save and even make movies of what you find!  This free web-tool is not to be missed.

Here's an example  movie that SkyMarvels made using HelioViewer.  It shows some incredible solar prominence activity on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!

And to help get you started, here's the direct link to the HelioViewer User Guide.

W A R N I N G !   It is never safe to look directly at the real Sun with the naked eye!  Moreover, looking at it through a telescope or binoculars without adequate safeguards—even for an instant—can cause permanent blindness!  NEVER DO IT!  To learn how to safely "observe" the real Sun, consult the professionals at your local planetarium or observatory.


CURRENT SUN AND MAJOR PLANET
VIEWS AND CONDITIONS FROM EARTH

Distances, Apparent Sizes, Phases, Moon Locations
Sun      Mercury      Venus      Mars
Jupiter      Saturn      Uranus      Neptune

Locations Among the Constellations (w/ Geo-Coords)
Sun      Mercury      Venus      Mars
Jupiter      Saturn      Uranus      Neptune


SOLAR SYSTEM VISUALIZATIONS

Note that the next three visualizations are oriented differently from each other.  So the Vernal Equinox is in a different direction in each.

Current Locations of the Planets in their Orbits  This SkyMarvels™ visualization shows the Vernal Equinox to the right, i.e. in the 3 o'clock direction.

The Solar System in 3-D  This third-party visualization "opens" with the Vernal Equinox "obliquely upward", i.e. essentially in the 12 o'clock midnight direction.

Solar System Orrery  This third-party visualization shows the Vernal Equinox to the left, i.e. in the 9 o'clock direction.


MERCURY'S & VENUS'S SKY PATHS 2013–2014

MERCURY MESSENGER Location


MARS'S SKY PATH 2013-2014

What's Happening On . . .

MARS TODAY
image credit: NASA Ames Research Center
Mars Global Circulation Model Group

To view the above image in a larger size, with notes on each view,  click here.

MARS CURIOSITY Location

MARS SPIRIT and OPPORTUNITY Locations


JUPITER'S SKY PATH 2013–2014

JUPITER JUNO Location


SATURN'S SKY PATH 2013–2014

SATURN CASSINI Location


CLIMATIC VS. ASTRONOMICAL SEASONS

Most school children know that the climatic seasons of the two hemispheres are the reverse of each other's.  For example, when it is Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, climatically-speaking it is Winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

Nonetheless the "astronomical" seasons, as well as their respective equinoxes and solstices, have always traditionally been named for the "climatic" seasons of the Northern Hemisphere—no doubt because roughly 90% of the human population lives north of Earth's equator!  So the Summer Solstice, for instance, is the solstice in June at the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere's summer, etc.

Unfortunately, this traditional naming convention does create a potential ambiguity.  For example, for Southern Hemisphere astronomers the "traditional" Summer Solstice occurs at the start of their climatic Winter!

This is why we often now see the less traditional (though slightly less recognizable) terms: March Equinox, June Solstice, September Equinox and December Solstice.  Because these terms are more precise, they are increasingly becoming accepted as the best ways to refer to the equinoxes and solstices.


HOW LONG IS EACH SEASON?

Since their beginnings and ends are explicitly defined by the Sun's arrival at the equinoxes and the solstices in our sky, Earth's astronomical seasons have precise durations.  Moreover, though the equinoxes and solstices are equally spaced at 90-degree intervals around the Celestial Sphere, the astronomical seasons are not of equal length!  This is because Earth's changing velocity in its elliptical orbit makes the Sun appear to arrive a little early at parts of the Celestial Sphere, and a little late at others.  The lengths of the astronomical seasons are very close to the following:

Spring: 92 3/4 days
Summer: 93 2/3 days
Autumn: 89 5/6 days
Winter: 89 days.


HALF OF EARTH IN SUNLIGHT & DARKNESS

During your voyages in CELESTIA, would you like to be able to position yourself directly over the center of the half of Earth in sunlight or the half in darkness at any time this month?  On our  Tips  page, you'll find that it's quite easy to do so!  If you're any kind of sky watcher at all, you probably know just how helpful this can be!




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Moon's Position Over Earth
(to update, reload page)
Courtesy: Fourmilab Switzerland


CURRENT MOON PHASE
Courtesy: USNO


   
   
   
(India)   

ALL THE LATEST

USGS's LATEST

Latest Earthquakes Map


NASA's LATEST

APOD: Astro Pic of the Day

DAWN Mission Status

DEEP IMPACT's & ISON's Locations  (Requires JAVA)

EARTH Satellites' Locations  (Requ.  WebGL  browser)

EARTH Satellites' Visibility  (Requires JAVA)

Exoplanet Counts:

      Overall Count
      KEPLER's Count

HUBBLE Space Telescope:

      Observations This Week
      Daily Report
      News Release Archive

ISS (Int'l Space Station):

      ISS Live!
      iSat  (requ. WebGL)
      Spot the Station

JUPITER JUNO Location

MARS CURIOSITY Location

MARS SPIRIT and OPPORTUNITY Locations

MERCURY MESSENGER Location

NEW HORIZONS Location

Near-Earth Object news

PIONEER 10 & 11 Locations

SATURN CASSINI Location

Solar Images

W A R N I N G !
Never look directly at the real Sun with the naked eye!  It isn't safe!  Moreover, looking at the Sun through a telescope or binoculars without proper safeguards, even for an instant, may cause permanent blindness!  NEVER DO IT!  To learn how to safely "observe" the real Sun, consult the trained professionals at your local planetarium or observatory.

SDO (SOLAR DYNAMICS OBSERVATORY)

     Location

     Solar Activity Videos:

          Sunspot Activity
          Prominences, Flares
          AIA 171 (gold)
          AIA 193 (bronze)
          AIA 1700 (pink)
      Interactive Tool

SPITZER Location

VOYAGER 1 & 2:

      Distances     Locations


ESA's LATEST

ISS Location

Where Is CASSINI Now?

ROSETTA Location

Track ESA Satellites


USNO's LATEST

Master Clock Time (UTC)

Leap Second Announcement

Delta T Calculation


MISC LATEST

Major Meteorite Impacts

    (requires WebGL)


OBSERVATORIES' LATEST

For the latest info from our favorite observatories, go to the  Observatories Listing on our Links page.


LATEST TIDE DATA

Data from  NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS).


For more Climate Info, check out this nice interactive tool:  NASA's Eyes on the Earth.  (Requires: JAVA.)


Current and Recent News Stories Related to Astronomy and Space

2014 Apr 3: Ocean Found Inside Enceladus

2014 Mar 26: NASA Searches for Seeds of Black Holes

2014 Mar 7: WISE Finds No "Planet X"

2014 Feb 26: KEPLER Mission Announces a Planet Bonanza

2014 Feb 11: 360-Degree View of Saturn's Auroras

2014 Jan 29: Solving Mystery of Burned-Out Galaxies

2014 Jan 2: First 2014 Asteroid Discovered Slams into Earth

2013 Dec 12: Chemical Surprise Found in Crab Nebula

2013 Dec 12: Hubble Sees Evidence of Water Vapor at Jupiter Moon

2013 Dec 11: Clay-Like Minerals Found on Icy Crust of Europa

2013 Dec 10: Mars Orbiter Reveals a More Dynamic Red Planet

2013 Dec 4: CASSINI Obtains Best Views of Saturn Hexagon

2013 Dec 3: Massive Black Hole Duo: Possible Sighting by WISE

2013 Nov 26: Do Black Holes Come in Size Medium?

2013 Nov 21: Infant Galaxies Merge Near 'Cosmic Dawn'

2013 Nov 11: SPITZER and ALMA Reveal a Star's Bubbly Birth

2013 Oct 17: Rover Confirms Martian Meteorite Origins

2013 Sep 30: CASSINI Says Saturn's Satellite Sports Space Plastic!

2013 Sep 10: SPITZER Exposes Asteroid's Secret!

2013 Sep 10: CURIOSITY Reports from Panorama Point

2013 Sep 5: NuSTAR "Nabs" Its First 10 Supermassive Black Holes!

2013 Aug 28: SDO Surveys Circulation Inside Sun

2013 Aug 23: 2013 Sea-Ice Retreat Unlikely to Break Record

2013 Aug 19: Australia Had Role in Sea Level Drop

2013 Aug 15: CURIOSITY's Movie of Passing Martian Moons

2013 Aug 15: Asteroid's Radar Images

2013 Aug 12: JUNO Halfway to Jupiter!

2013 Aug 1: Does Age Quell Appetites of Gargantuan Galaxies?

2013 Jul 17: CURIOSITY: One Kilometer and Counting!

2013 Jul 16: Comet ISON's Potentially Perilous Solar Encounter

2013 Jul 15: HUBBLE Finds 14th Neptunian Moon

2013 Jul 8: Radio Bursts Discovered From Beyond our Galaxy

2013 Jun 24: 10,000th NEO Discovered, Oh My!

2013 Jun 11: HERSCHEL Goggles Gobs of Galactic Gas

2013 Jun 11: NUSTAR Should Spill Slumbering Structure's Secrets

2013 Jun 6: Small Asteroid Slips Safely Between Earth and Moon

2013 May 30: GRAIL Unmasks Moon's Mascon Mysteries

2013 May 29: WISE Looks for Lost Lineages of Asteroids

2013 May 23: Galaxy Feeding Frenzy: Frigid Fuel Found to Follow Filaments

2013 May 15: HERSCHEL Mission Monitors Massive Mega-Merger

2013 May 15: Cameras Count Crater-Causing Concussions that Scar Mars

2013 May 7: HERSCHEL Hones In on Hungry Black Hole

2013 Apr 3: Stellar Confetti in the SMC?

2013 Mar 28: HERSCHEL Hunts Hulking Stars

2013 Mar 19: Some of the Youngest Stars Ever Seen Spotted by HERSCHEL

2013 Mar 18: CHANDRA Views Supernova Remnants Discovered by Johannes Kepler in 1604

2013 Mar 17: March 15 CME Spurs Solar Storm

2013 Mar 11: WISE Discovers Closest Stars Found in a Century!

2013 Mar 05: Europa's "Moon-wrapping" Ocean Revealing Its Secrets


News:

News: