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  • Writer's pictureAndy Cohen

August Moon dance with Venus and Jupiter

From Bruce McClure at

August 14 - 16, 2018 with thanks

"After sunset on August 14 to 16, 2018, look west to see three brilliant worlds – the moon, Venus and Jupiter."

"That pale glow softly illuminating the moon’s nighttime side is called earthshine. Yes, that is the night side of the moon, not Earth’s shadow on the moon." When we on Earth see a crescent moon, the moon sees a gibbous Earth. The light from the bright Earth shines on the moon and lights up the night side - with Earthshine.

We see the moon move across our night sky, through the constellations of the Zodiac and past the planets, because the moon is actually moving. The moon orbits the Earth once every 28 days - once a "moonth". Each night the moon has moved along its path 1/28 of its 360 degree orbit. How many degrees does the moon move each night? Measure that distance, about the distance from Venus to Spica tonight, with your hand held at arms length and you have a way to measure the sky.

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