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Astronomy Events – September 2015

August 31, 2015

by yaska77

Summer obviously found somewhere better to be this year, after promising early hints of it looking to impose itself for a long stay. Plans of weekends spent outdoors with the BBQ going remain unfulfilled, and our night sky observing was limited to a single cloudy evening of Perseid meteor spotting!

For amateur stargazers however we’re now approaching one of the better times of year, longer evenings without the inconvenience of being frozen solid, so there’s more opportunity to spend some quality time outdoors watching the sky.

Below we’ve picked out some interesting interstellar instances for the month of September to help enhance your enjoyment the heavens!

Keep watching those skies…

Tuesday 1st September – The often illusive Neptune is at opposition in the constellation Aquarius today, so as it’s opposite the Sun in the sky it rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. It’s too faint to see by eye but if your skies are dark enough you might be able to catch it with binoculars or a small telescope

Friday 4th September Mercury is at Greatest Eastern Elongation, closely chasing the Sun across the sky

Saturday 5th September – This morning our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase

Sunday 13th September – Today the New Moon rises and sets with the Sun, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae

Andromeda was the first galaxy we imaged, and this shot was created by stacking 50 single shots to bring out the clarity (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Andromeda was the first galaxy we imaged, and will be high to the east around 21:30 UTC (22:30 BST) this evening (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Monday 14th September – The Moon is at Apogee today at a distance of 406,465 km (252,566 miles), the furthest point its orbit will take it away from the Earth this month

Wednesday 16th September – To help you with identifying the constellations you can see throughout the month, below we’ve provided guide images for both southern and northern skies in September

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th September, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th September, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in September (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in September (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Sunday 20th September – The brightest evening object Venus shines that little bit brighter at the moment, attaining greatest brilliancy today (at mag -4.5)

Monday 21st September – This morning the Moon will be seen at First Quarter phase

Wednesday 23rd September – Today it is Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere

Monday 28th September – If you’re up late (or rising early!) on Monday morning you’ll not want to miss the total lunar eclipse of a September Full Moon (sometimes known as the Barley Moon, Mulberry Moon or Harvest Moon, but at eclipse it’s a Blood Moon)

Shown midway through entering the numbral shadow (at 01:45 UTC / 02:45 BST), this morning's total Lunar eclipse should be worth getting up for! (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown midway through entering the umbral shadow (at 01:45 UTC / 02:45 BST), this morning’s total lunar eclipse should be worth getting up for! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Appearing at Perigee at a distance of 356,875 km (221,752 miles) from the Earth, this supermoon is the closest of the year, and will be completely eclipsed by the Earth’s shadow, first experiencing the weak penumbral shade soon after midnight UTC (01:00 BST), and entering the darker umbral shadow phase about an hour later at 01:07 UTC (02:07 BST)

On 25th April 2013 the Full Moon also experienced penumbral eclipse, shown above at 20:22 UTC (21:22 BST) with the Earth’s shadow visible across the northern edge (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

On 25th April 2013 the Full Moon also experienced penumbral eclipse, shown above at 20:22 UTC (21:22 BST) with the Earth’s shadow visible across the northern edge (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Totality will occur another hour after that (about 02:11 UTC / 03:11 BST) and last for just over another hour! Cameras and scopes at the ready as we’d love to image this properly. Please let the weather be kind!

Wednesday 30th September – Inner planet Mercury is at Inferior Conjunction and is currently unobservable

As usual, if you take any photos throughout September you’d like to show us, please tweet them to us using the link below! We’d love to see your efforts and we’ll re-tweet them to your fellow sky-watchers!

Planets visible this month:

Saturn
Venus
Neptune
Mars
Uranus
Jupiter

Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!

To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy! :)

Guide images created with Stellarium

Archive:
Astronomy Events – August 2015
Astronomy Events – July 2015
Astronomy Events – June 2015

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Astronomy Events – August 2015

July 31, 2015

by yaska77

Where is the summer going? I literally write up one of these fabulous guides (I’m nothing if not modest), work and sleep a couple of times and suddenly it’s time for the next one!

A lesson perhaps in the need to slow down, to take time to appreciate the simple things and most importantly de-stress once in a while? With such a wonderful free show above our heads every single evening we could all benefit from a little wonder and genuine awe.

So, with lots of warm and pleasant evenings expected in August you could do worse than have a read of our guide below and get out and view some of the galaxy we inhabit :)

Keep watching those skies…

Saturday 1st August  – The season for viewing Noctilucent clouds is nearly at an end, but for a few days more you may catch them low down in the northwest (after sunset) and northeast (just before sunrise)

Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén

Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén

These rare but beautiful clouds reside in the upper atmosphere and are usually too faint to see, only becoming visible when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the atmosphere are in the Earth’s shadow

Sunday 2nd August – Today the Moon is at Perigee (the closest point of its orbit to the Earth) at a distance of 362,135 km (225,020 miles)

Friday 7th August – This morning our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase

Wednesday 12th August – This evening sees the peak of the annual Perseids meteor shower. This year could be a great one as the Moon is well out of the way rising just before the Sun, and as Perseids are well known busy displays, this one could be special!

We're hoping a good show will give us the chance to catch some more meteor shots, like this summer Perseid from 2012 (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Hopefully the weather will behave allowing us to see a good show! We’d like to take more images like this summer Perseid we snapped in August 2012, taken at Wye in Kent (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Although the shower actually peaks at around 08:30 UTC / 09:30 BST on Thursday morning, the ZHR (Zenithal Hourly Rate) can be as high at 80-100 meteors per hour!  If you’re up late the best time to view is after midnight, as the intensity of the meteor streaks increase as they start to hit the Earth head on

This can be such a busy shower those mesmerising streaks can appear anywhere, so it’s a great chance to delight your kids with shooting stars aplenty. Get comfy outside and look up!

Friday 14th August – Today the New Moon rises and sets with the Sun, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae

Saturday 15th August – Planet Venus is in Inferior Conjunction, and will soon re-emerge from the glare of the Sun as a morning object

Sunday 16th August – To help you with identifying the constellations you can see throughout the month, below we’ve provided guide images for both southern and northern skies in August

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th August, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th August, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in August (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in August (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Tuesday 18th August – The Moon is at Apogee today at a distance of 405,850 km (252,184 miles), the furthest point its orbit will take it away from the Earth this month

Saturday 22nd August – Tonight the Moon will be seen at First Quarter phase, and if you’re lucky enough you might spot a companion travelling across the sky with our nearest neighbour!

Although the Moon will be half lit (at First Quarter Phase) you should still be able to spot Saturn just below it (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Although the Moon will be half lit (at First Quarter Phase) you should still be able to spot Saturn just below it (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

We’ve not imaged Saturn for far too long, I think it’s time to locate the CCD camera and reacquaint myself with how to use it properly!

Wednesday 26th August – Giant Jupiter is in Conjunction with the Sun today, so is unfortunately not currently observable

Saturday 29th August – The Full Moon today is sometimes known as the Harvest Moon, Corn Moon or Lightning Moon

Sunday 30th August – Today the Moon is at Perigee for the second time this month, this time it will be 358,290 km (222,631 miles) away!

As usual, if you take any photos throughout August you’d like to show us, please tweet them to us using the link below! We’d love to see your efforts and we’ll re-tweet them to your fellow sky-watchers!

Planets visible this month:

Saturn
Venus
Neptune
Mars
Uranus
Jupiter
Mercury

Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!

To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy! :)

Guide images created with Stellarium

Archive:
Astronomy Events – July 2015
Astronomy Events – June 2015
Astronomy Events – May 2015

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Astronomy Events – July 2015

June 30, 2015

by yaska77

Summer is finally here! We’ve had some nice hot days recently, which I’ll be honest has made a really nice change.  I will also apologise now for any potential minor mis-keys that may appear in this guide, it’s been so nice today I cracked open a beer as soon as I got home from work!

But you know you can trust us, we will always bring you the most interesting night sky occurrences that can be crammed into a list, and this month is no exception.

So sit back with your refreshing beverage of choice, peruse our astronomy guide for July and check out what the night sky has to offer.

Keep watching those skies…

Wednesday 1st July Venus and Jupiter are still near neighbours, following the setting Sun as the skies darken. They were closest yesterday but still make for a nice sight the next few evenings!

Venus got closer to Jupiter all throughout June, this photo was taken on 29th June using a Canon Eos 550D (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Venus got closer to Jupiter all throughout June, this photo was taken on 29th June 2015 using a Canon Eos 550D (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Friday 3rd July – The Full Moon today is sometimes known as the Summer Moon, Crane Moon or Thunder Moon

Sunday 5th July – Today the Moon is at Perigee (the closest point of its orbit to the Earth) at a distance of 367,095 km (228,102 miles)

Monday 6th July – Our planet Earth is at aphelion today (the furthest point our orbit takes us away from the Sun) at a distance of 152 million kilometres (94.5 million miles)

1. Planet at aphelion 2. Planet at perihelion 3. Sun

1. Planet at aphelion 2. Planet at perihelion 3. Sun

Wednesday 8th July – This evening our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase

Saturday 11th July – A firm summer favourite of ours, double star Albireo is currently high to the south around midnight and should be fairly easy to locate with a good pair of binoculars

Use our star guide image above to help you locate Albireo (shown above after midnight on 11th July) the beautiful double star (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Use our star guide image above to help you locate Albireo (shown above after midnight on 11th July) the beautiful double star (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

We’ve managed to image this beautiful sight a few times over the years, but would love a nice long session to give us chance to get enough to stack for even better shots with clearer colour and clarity!

An image we captured of Albireo in early September 2011 (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

An image we captured of Albireo in early September 2011. The different colours both stars are clearly apparent (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Thursday 16th July – Today the New Moon rises and sets with the Sun, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae

And to help identify the constellations you can see throughout the month, below we’ve provided guide images for both southern and northern skies in July

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th July, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th July, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in June (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in July (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Tuesday 21st July – The Moon is at Apogee today at a distance of 404,835 km (251,553 miles), the furthest point its orbit will take it away from the Earth this month

Thursday 23rd July – Inner planet Mercury is in Superior conjunction today, so is currently unobservable

Friday 24th July – Today the Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase

Tuesday 28th July – Remember that July is a great time of year to look for noctilucent clouds, which sometimes appear low down in the northwest (after sunset) and northeast (just before sunrise)

Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén

Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén

These clouds are in the upper atmosphere and are usually too faint to see, becoming visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the atmosphere are in the Earth’s shadow

Friday 31st July – When a second Full Moon appears in a month it is sometimes known as a Blue Moon

It saw you standing alone

As usual, if you take any photos throughout July you’d like to show us, please tweet them to us using the link below! We’d love to see your efforts and we’ll re-tweet them to your fellow sky-watchers!

Planets visible this month:

Jupiter
Mercury
Saturn
Venus
Neptune
Mars
Uranus

Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!

To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy! :)

Guide images created with Stellarium

Archive:
Astronomy Events – June 2015
Astronomy Events – May 2015
Astronomy Events – April 2015

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Astronomy Events – June 2015

May 31, 2015

by yaska77

It would seem that the UK’s infamous “April Showers” were a little tardy this year, eventually turning up fashionably late in May…  Clear evenings were sadly few and far between which meant any serious observing was very difficult to arrange! But weather forecasters are hopeful for June, and we’ll take any piece of positivity we can get at the moment!

Although we have fewer hours of darkness as summer approaches the warmer evenings certainly make stargazing more enjoyable, so take a gander at the list of heavenly happenings coming up this month (as outlined below) and get outside and enjoy the evening!

I can feel a Sky-Watching BBQ coming on :)

Keep watching those skies…

Tuesday 2nd June – The Full Moon today is sometimes known as the Rose Moon, Lotus Moon or Planting Moon

Saturday 6th June – Evening star Venus is at Greatest Eastern Elongation today, and appears as the brightest light in the western sky after sunset

Tuesday 9th June – This evening our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase

Wednesday 10th June – Today the Moon is at Perigee (the closest point of its orbit to the Earth) at a distance of 369,710 km (229,727 miles)

Sunday 14th June Messier 57 in the constellation Lyra is almost directly overhead at 01:00 UTC (02:00 BST) this morning. Also known as the Ring Nebula, we managed to get a faint image of this outstanding nebula in 2011 so would love to get another clear evening to give it the stacked image treatment!

And with the Moon more or less out of the way conditions (weather withstanding) couldn’t be better!

M57 or the Ring Nebula is located almost midway between the bottom two stars of Lyra, Sulafat and Sheliak (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

M57 or the Ring Nebula is located almost midway between the bottom two stars of Lyra, Sulafat and Sheliak (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Also today, Mars is in conjunction with the Sun so is currently unobservable

Tuesday 16th June – Today the New Moon rises and sets with the Sun, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae

And to help identify the constellations you can see throughout the month, below we’ve provided guide images for both southern and northern skies in June

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th June, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th June, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in June (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in June (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Saturday 20th June – If you’re a bit of a shutterbug there’s a good opportunity for some nice photography tonight, when the thin crescent Moon forms a triangle with Jupiter and Venus after sunset this evening

Shown below to the west at 21:00 UTC (22:00 BST), if your horizon is flat enough this group of bright celestial objects could provide some nice images as the twilight skies darken

Get your cameras ready for a nice meeting between crescent Moon, Venus and Jupiter this evening (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Get your cameras ready for a nice gathering of crescent Moon, Venus and Jupiter this evening! Shown at 21:00 UTC/22:00 BST (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Sunday 21st June – Today it is Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere

Tuesday 23rd June – The Moon is at Apogee today at a distance of 404,130 km (251,115 miles), the furthest point its orbit will take it away from the Earth this month

Wednesday 24th June – Today the Moon is at First Quarter phase, and Mercury is at Greatest Western Elongation but remains lost in glare from the Sun

Sunday 28th June – Remember that now is a great time of year to look for noctilucent clouds, which sometimes appear low down in the northwest (after sunset) and northeast (just before sunrise)

Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén

Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén

These clouds are in the upper atmosphere and are usually too faint to see, becoming visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the atmosphere are in the Earth’s shadow

Tuesday 30th June – Bright gas giant Jupiter and evening star Venus finally meet in the sky this evening (closest as they set around 22:00 UTC (23:00 BST)

Venus has been slowly marching towards Jupiter all month, but tonight they will appear closest! (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Venus has been slowly marching towards Jupiter all month, but tonight they will appear closest! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown above at 20:45 UTC (21:45 BST) low to the west, Venus has been slowly creeping towards Jupiter throughout June but tonight they will appear just 20 arcminutes apart! To give you some scale, a Full Moon is about 30 arcminutes across, so both will be nicely in frame through a scope or binoculars

It’s not too often you get the chance to observe two planets in the same magnified field of view! A great target for some scope photography I think, so let’s hope for clear skies :)

As usual, if you take any photos throughout June you’d like to show us, please tweet them to us using the link below! We’d love to see your efforts and we’ll re-tweet them to your fellow sky-watchers!

Planets visible this month:

Jupiter
Mercury
Saturn
Venus
Neptune

Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!

To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy! :)

Guide images created with Stellarium

Archive:
Astronomy Events – May 2015
Astronomy Events – April 2015
Astronomy Events – March 2015

h1

Astronomy Events – May 2015

April 30, 2015

by yaska77

I am so eager to dust off the scope and have another night out under the stars imaging away it’s starting to make me twitchy. The plan is to get some of the Sky-Watching founders (that makes us sound far grander than we could ever hope to be) together the first clear evening we’re all free.

As ever though work commitments (and life commitments in general) make this kind of get together a bit difficult to arrange…

But with plenty to see, and to stop our scopes and cameras feeling so terribly neglected, we will bring you some new images! If there’s anything you’d like us to try target please feel free to make your suggestions in the comments below.

Stay safe fellow stargazers, keep watching those skies…

Friday 1st May – If you have a flat western horizon the planet Mercury may be visible close by the Pleiades cluster soon after sunset this evening. Look towards the west around 20:00 UTC (21:00 BST) and see if you can spot them before they dip below the horizon an hour later

Monday 4th May – The Full Moon today is sometimes known as the Dragon Moon, Hare Moon or Grass Moon

Tuesday 5th May – This evening sees the peak of the annual Eta Aquarids meteor shower. The near full Moon will wash out all but the brightest of meteors however, but you may see a few if you persevere

Thursday 7th May Mercury is at Greatest Eastern Elongation today, and forms a nice line with Venus and Jupiter as the skies darken

Venus is currently the brightest object in the night sky, and over the course of the month will move slowly towards Jupiter as it heads towards a fantastic conjunction with the gas giant at the end of next month (watch out on the 30th June!)

Mercury is notoriously difficult to image, but if we can get to somewhere with a flat horizon we'll be trying to image this cosmic line up (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Mercury can be difficult to image, but if we can get to somewhere with a flat horizon we’ll be trying to photograph this cosmic line up, shown above at 20:50 UTC/21:50 BST (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Monday 11th May – This morning our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase

Friday 15th May – Today the Moon is at Perigee (the closest point of its orbit to the Earth) at a distance of 366,025 km (227,437 miles)

Saturday 16th May – To help identify the constellations you can see throughout the month, below we’ve provided guide images for both southern and northern skies in May

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th May, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th May, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in May (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in May (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Monday 18th May – Today the New Moon rises and sets with the Sun, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae which can be difficult to spot when the Moon is lighting up the sky

Thursday 21st May – Tonight Venus and the waxing crescent Moon can be seen low down together to the west northwest around 22:00 UTC (23:00 BST)

Saturday 23rd May Saturn appears at opposition in the constellation Libra this evening, and can be located fairly low down to the south around midnight

Sunday 24th May – Now is about the time of year to start looking for noctilucent clouds, which sometimes appear low down in the northwest (after sunset) and northeast (just before sunrise)

Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén

Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén

These clouds are in the upper atmosphere and are usually too faint to see, becoming visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the atmosphere are in the Earth’s shadow

Monday 25th May – This evening the Moon is at First Quarter phase

Tuesday 26th May – The Moon is at Apogee today at a distance of 404,245 km (251,186 miles), the furthest point its orbit will take it away from the Earth this month

Saturday 30th May – Inner planet Mercury is in Inferior Conjunction today

As usual, if you take any photos throughout May you’d like to show us, please tweet them to us using the link below! We’d love to see your efforts and we’ll re-tweet them to your fellow sky-watchers!

Planets visible this month:

Jupiter
Mercury
Saturn
Venus

Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!

To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy! :)

Guide images created with Stellarium

Archive:
Astronomy Events – April 2015
Astronomy Events – March 2015
Astronomy Events – February 2015

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