Lunar Standstill, an Eclipse and Other Sky Delights in Store for Spring
Spring has sprung, and the moon and Venus will not wait long to get down to business. The satellite and the planet will get cozy just before dawn on March 27. But that isn’t half of what spring 2014’s skies have in store.
A lunar eclipse will be the highlight, on April 15 to be exact, and denizens of Turtle Island will be treated to the full show.
But first the moon will reach its point of so-called lunar standstill for the month, according to Earthsky.org. It will rise at its southernmost point on the horizon on Sunday March 23 for the first time this century, the space site says.
“The moon’s monthly northerly and southerly extremes in our sky are sometimes called lunar standstills. The moon will reach its southernmost point in our sky for this month tomorrow,” Earthsky.org says. “As measured from the center of the Earth, this will be the first time in the 21st century (2001-2100) that the moon at its southernmost point for the month will swing less than 19 degrees south of the Earth’s equator. And nearly two weeks later—on April 5—the moon at its northernmost point will swing less than 19 degrees north of the Earth’s equator for the first time this century.”
What does this mean for us here on the ground? The ancient Puebloans knew. They built Chimney Rock to frame the phenomenon, Earthsky.org says. Much more is detailed about this at Chimney Rock National Monument.
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