September 13, 2010
This evening the Moon drifts between the constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius. In fact according to modern constellation boundaries, the Moon is located in Ophiuchus which isn’t even one of the traditional 12 zodiac or ecliptic constellations.
If you live someplace dark, the Milky Way is a common sight. Even with the bright Moon in the sky, the Milky Way should be obvious behind the Moon. For those under bright skies, you can use the Moon to point you towards the center of the Milky Way even if you can’t see it. Just look a few degrees to the lower left of the Moon and you’ll be looking roughly at the Milky Way’s center.
The Milky Way is our galaxy. It is a barred spiral galaxy with 200-400 billion stars. Its disk is 100,000 light-years across but only 1,000 or less light-years wide. This is why the Milky Way appears as a narrow band that circles the entire sky.
Tomorrow – Day 7 – Moon near the Lagoon.