Saturday, August 25, 2012

moon meets morning star

in mid-august, the moon met venus for a somber ascent.

Photo Credit: APOD

as you can see the from video below, the clouds cleared just in time over taebaek, korea, so that Kwon O Chul could capture the moon passing in front of venus on the rise.

Venus - Lunar Occultation. 2012. Aug. from kwon, o chul on Vimeo.

if it seems unlikely that such a thing would happen, just remember that the moon is always moving around the earth.   it covers the full 360 degrees in about 29 days, which mean it moves 12 degrees in the sky each day! if you reach your hand out at arms length, pinky and first finger spread, that is 15 degrees! 

Photo: link
that's almost how far the moon moves every day.   but the moon itself is only half a degree across (half of your first finger held out at arms length), and moves about the size of itself in the sky every hour.

what does all that mean?  it means the moon is actually moving quite quickly all the time, we just dont notice at a quick glance.  it becomes very clear when it is shown during occultation like this!

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