The 15th presents a good opportunity to see Earthshine on the waning crescent Moon in the pre-dawn skies. Earthshine is light reflected from the Earth onto the Moon’s surface, illuminating the unlit portion. If you look carefully, you can see the whole of the Moon against the slowly brightening twilight sky. Observers in Australia and North America might get a bonus – Mercury may also be seen, clinging to the eastern horizon.
(Click on an image to enlarge.)
Images Courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
22:45 UT – The waning crescent Moon passes Pluto. (Pluto: magnitude 14.2. Sagittarius, pre-dawn sky.)
23:32 UT – The waning crescent Moon passes dwarf planet Ceres. (Ceres: magnitude 8.7. Sagittarius, pre-dawn sky.)
Good opportunity to see Earthshine on the waning crescent Moon. (Pre-dawn sky.)
The spiral galaxy M81, Bode’s Galaxy, culminates at midnight tonight. (Magnitude 6.9. Ursa Major, all night)
The irregular galaxy M82, the Cigar Galaxy, culminates at midnight tonight. (Magnitude 8.4. Ursa Major, all night.)
Learn more about every upcoming astronomical event in 2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Paperback Edition).
The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook allows astronomers to log 150 observing sessions and includes an appendix of hundreds of suggested deep sky objects.