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EarthSky Tonight—December 17, Moon between Ram’s head and Pleiades
Posted By admin On December 17, 2010 @ 7:26 am In Earth & Sky | Comments Disabled
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 As seen from North America, the waxing gibbous moon  will shine midway between the head of the constellation Aries the Ram and the Pleiades star cluster tonight.
The Pleiades star cluster shines to the east of the moon. Can you see the small dipper-shaped Pleiades cluster tonight in the moon’s glare? If not, try binoculars.
The moon moves about 13o eastward in front of the backdrop stars each day, so at this time tomorrow, you will see the moon much closer to the Pleaides cluster. For reference, the moon’s diameter equals 1/2o, and your fist at an arm length approximates 10o.
In the world’s eastern hemisphere tonight, the moon will be located closer to the Ram’s head. Everywhere around the world, however, the moonlit glare will make it difficult to see the three stars that depict the Ram’s head: Hamal, Sheratan and most especially Mesarthim.
In Greek mythology, the god Mercury sent the Ram to save the children of the King of Thessaly from political intrigue. Phrixis and his sister Helles held on tight to the Ram’s Golden Fleece as the magical flying Ram swept them off for the safety of Colchis, an ancient country that once bordered the Black Sea.
That is tonight: the moon between the Aries the Ram’s head and the Pleiades star cluster!
Written by Bruce McClure 
Universe Today 
StarDate Online 
Sky and Telescope 
National Geographic 
Space Com 
Simostronomy Blog 
Amazing Space 
Scope City 
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URLs in this post:
 www.EarthSky.org: http://www.EarthSky.org
 Total lunar eclipse on December 20 or 21, depending on time zone: http://earthsky.org/tonight/total-lunar-eclipse-for-the-americas-on-night-of-december-2021
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/phase17.gif
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/10dec17.jpg
 waxing gibbous moon: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/moon-phases/waxing-gibbous
 Pleiades: Famous Seven Sisters: http://earthsky.org/clusters-nebulae-galaxies/pleaides-star-cluster-enjoys-worldwide-renown
 Bruce McClure: http://earthsky.org/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
 Universe Today: http://www.universetoday.com/
 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/
 Simostronomy Blog: http://simostronomy.blogspot.com/
 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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