Sunday, March 12, 2017

Full-looking Moon edges toward Jupiter

Tonight – March 12, 2017 – look eastward as darkness falls to see the brilliant, full-looking moon close to the horizon. By early-to-mid evening, or around 8 to 9 p.m. local time (9 to 10 p.m. daylight saving time), watch for the dazzling planet Jupiter to follow the moon into the nighttime sky. The moon and Jupiter will climb upward during the evening hours, to reach their high point for the night somewhat after midnight. Afterwards, the moon (and Jupiter) will sink westward, to adorn the western sky at dawn.
The moon turns full on March 12 at 14:54 UTC. At North American time zones, that means the full moon occurs during the morning daylight hours today, on March 12, when the moon is below the North American horizon. Tonight, it’ll actually be a waning gibbous moon that lights up the North American evening sky, although the moon will still look plenty full to the eye.
Check out the worldwide map below of the day and night sides of Earth at the instant of full moon (2017 March 12 at 14:54 UTC). The shadow line running through the Middle East and to the right of Africa and Madagascar depicts sunset March 12. In other words, the moon turns exactly full as the sun is setting in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the full moon rises and the sun sets at nearly the same time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (moonrise: 5:58 p.m. local time; sunset: 6:00 p.m. local time) on March 12, 2017.

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