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EarthSky Tonight—August 15, Moon passes beneath Libra stars
Posted By Editor On August 14, 2010 @ 9:59 pm In Earth & Sky | Comments Disabled
Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
 The waxing crescent moon  and the constellation Libra’s two major stars – Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali – appear rather low in your southwest sky at nightfall. The moon can help you find these stars. As evening deepens, the moon and these Libra stars descend westward, to sink beneath the southwest horizon by mid to late evening.
Zubenelgenubi has the star designation “alpha” in the constellation Libra, even though Zubeneschamali is the slightly brighter star. Zubenelgenubi sits almost exactly on the ecliptic – the sun’s annual path in front of the background stars. If you could see the stars during the daytime, you would see the sun and Zubenelgenubi in conjunction on or near November 7 every year.
The sun goes by Zubenelgenubi once a year, but the moon sweeps by Zubenelgenubi every month. Unlike the sun, the moon can swing anywhere from 5 degrees (10 moon diameters) north to 5 degrees south of this star. For the next few years, the moon will pass to the south of (below) Zubenelgenubi.
Starting on January 7, 2013, the moon will occult – swing in front of – Zubenelgenubi every month until May 14, 2014. After that, the moon will swing north of (above) Zubenelgenubi each month, not to occult this star again until October 8, 2021.
Written by Bruce McClure 
StarDate Online 
Sky and Telescope 
National Geographic 
Space Com 
Amazing Space 
Scope City 
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URLs in this post:
 www.EarthSky.org: http://www.EarthSky.org
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/phase-Aug-15.gif
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/10aug15_430.png
 waxing crescent moon: http://126.96.36.199/~eseng/tonightpost/moon-phases/waxing-crescent
 Zubenelgenubi: Alpha star of Libra the Scales: http://188.8.131.52/~eseng/brightest-stars/zubenelgenubi-alpha-star-of-libra-the-scales
 Zubeneschamali: Green star?: http://184.108.40.206/~eseng/brightest-stars/libras-zubeneschamali-the-only-green-star
 Bruce McClure: http://220.127.116.11/~eseng/author/brucemcclure/
 Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/
 CHANDRA Photo Album: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/
 U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information cente: http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/astronomical-information-center/astronomical-information-center
 StarDate Online: http://stardate.org/
 Sky and Telescope: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance/
 National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/
 Space Com: http://www.space.com/nightsky/
 Amazing Space: http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/tonights_sky/
 The York County Astronomical Society: http://www.ycas.org/tonights_sky.htm
 Scope City: http://www.scopecity.net/
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