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Astronomy Events – November 2014

October 31, 2014

by yaska77

It’s amazing how much turning the clocks back by just one hour can make the world of difference, as we did in the UK recently when British Summer Time officially came to an end.  Almost instantly you feel the change from summer to winter, even if temperatures haven’t yet started to plummet, and many of you will be anticipating the warmth of spring already.

But not your average astronomer. Our particular breed sees a cold night giving great “seeing” conditions and the longer hours of darkness as an opportunity to cram in more astral ogling. There we are stood in the cold and the dark to the bemusement of neighbours, all because of the passion we share.

It’s a passion that must hold at least a partial interest to you too, otherwise you’d not be here, so as part of our ongoing drive to get us all out appreciating the most spectacular of free shows more often, below we’ve listed some upcoming interesting events of the night sky persuasion for your delectation.

Keep watching the skies…

Saturday 1st November  – Inner planet Mercury is at Greatest Western Elongation today, so you may spot it low down towards the East soon before sunrise

Monday 3rd November - The Moon is at Perigee today at a distance of 367,870 km (228,584 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth

Tuesday 4th November - The often difficult to find planet Uranus passes very near to the Moon this evening soon after nightfall

Look towards the east soon after darkness falls this evening, and you may be able to spot Uranus underneath the Moon (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Look towards the east soon after darkness falls this evening, and you may be able to spot Uranus underneath the Moon, as shown at 17:00 UTC (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

From our location (and with the light pollution we have) spotting Uranus has been a bit of a losing battle to say the least, but perhaps if the weather is kind we might be able to catch it in an image and get a “two for one” deal!

Thursday 6th November - The November Full Moon seen this evening is sometimes known as the Beaver Moon, Dark Moon or Snow Moon

A Full Moon can look bright and beautiful, but many details are lost in the glare (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

A Full Moon can look bright and beautiful, but many of its surface details are lost in the glare (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Friday 14th November - This afternoon our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase, and tonight it forms a triangle with Jupiter and bright star Regulus which is part of the constellation Leo (shown below at 01:30 UTC on 15th November)

Forming a triangle in the sky this evening, the Moon, Jupiter and Regulus are near neighbours tonight (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Forming a triangle in the sky this evening, the Moon, Jupiter and Regulus are near neighbours tonight and can be seen to the East soon after midnight on 15th November (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Saturday 15th November - Today the Moon is at Apogee at a distance of 404,585 km (251,398 miles) the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth this month

Sunday 16th November - To help identify the constellations you can see throughout the month, below we’ve provided guide images for both southern and northern skies in November (shown as seen at 00:00 UTC on 16th November)

Shown at 00:00 UTC on 16th November, 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 on 16th November, 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 November (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 November (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Tuesday 18th November - The annual Leonid meteor shower peaks at around 01:00 UTC this morning, so look towards the east after midnight. The ZHR is expected to be around 10-15 meteors per hour but frankly any meteor shower is worth craning your neck for!

And today Saturn is in conjunction with the sun, so is currently unobservable until the end of the month

Saturday 22nd November - The New Moon rises with (and sets just after) the Sun today, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects when the skies are unaffected by moonlight

M42 the Orion Nebula is a great sight through binoculars or a small telescope (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

M42 the Orion Nebula is a great sight through binoculars or a small telescope, you can spot it to the southeast around 22:30 UTC (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Winter sky favourite Orion is now making an appearance earlier in the evening, and if you’ve got some good binoculars or a telescope give M42 the Orion Nebula a look midway down the “sword” on Orion’s belt. We’ve imaged it a couple of times and will snap it again, it’s just one of those things that keeps drawing you back!

Wednesday 26th November  – The waxing crescent Moon can be seen just above Mars after sunset this evening. Look low down to the SSE after nightfall

If your southern horizon is flat enough you may see the crescent Moon visiting Mars soon after nightfall this evening (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

If your southern horizon is flat enough you may see the crescent Moon visiting Mars soon after nightfall this evening, shown at 17:30 UTC (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Thursday 27th November - Today the Moon is at Perigee for the second time this month, this time at a distance of 369,825 km (229,799 miles)

Saturday 29th November - This morning the Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase

As usual, if you take any photos throughout November 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
Mars
Mercury
Saturn
Neptune
Uranus
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 – October 2014
Astronomy Events – September 2014
Astronomy Events – August 2014

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Astronomy Events – October 2014

September 30, 2014

by yaska77

The nights are certainly closing in quickly now, and although that confirms summer is most definitely over it also means more hours of darkness for astronomy and sky-watching!

There are some nice events this month to get you outdoors, but if all else fails the annual Orionid meteor shower nearly coincides with the new Moon, so skies should be nice and dark so get out looking for those shooting stars! If the clouds stay away that is…

Keep watching the skies!

Wednesday 1st October - This evening the Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase

Monday 6th October - The Moon is at Perigee today at a distance of 362,480 km (225,235 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth

Tuesday 7th October - Uranus is at Opposition in the constellation Pisces today, so will rise at sunset and set at sunrise. If you’re trying to spot it though it will be close to the near Full Moon!

Wednesday 8th October - The October Full Moon seen today is also sometimes known as the Hunter’s Moon, Blackberry Moon or Blood Moon

The Full Moon can look beautiful but its brightness can be a problem for astronomers, and be awkward to photograph! (Click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

The Full Moon can look beautiful but its brightness can be a problem for astronomers, and be awkward to photograph! (Click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Wednesday 15th October - This evening our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase

Thursday 16th October - Today Mercury is in Inferior Conjunction so is currently unobservable. It will return as a pre-dawn object towards the end of the month

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 October (shown as seen at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th October)

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th October, 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 October, 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 October (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 October (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Saturday 18th October - Those who rise early (or go to bed late!) will see Jupiter visited by the crescent Moon this morning (shown below at 03:00 UTC / 04:00 BST). Close encounters like these often prove great targets for you astrophotographers!

Jupiter looks great through some good binoculars or a small telescope, use the Moon to help locate it! (click to enlarge) Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Jupiter looks great through some good binoculars or a small telescope, use the Moon to help locate it! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Today the Moon is at Apogee at a distance of 404,895 km (251,591 miles) the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth this month

Tuesday 21st October - An annual Orionid meteor shower peaks during the early hours of this morning (best from midnight through until dawn). To locate the radiant, find the constellation Orion in the sky and the radiant is just up and to the left

While the radiant can help you determine the direction the meteors will seem to emanate from they’ll appear all over the sky, so get out and crane your necks!

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

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

The ZHR is expected to be around 25 per hour at peak, and with the new Moon just days away the skies will be dark enough to put on a good show

Thursday 23rd October - The New Moon rises with (and sets just after) the Sun today, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects when the skies are unaffected by moonlight

Friday 24th October - With earlier darker skies now is a great time to look for the fainter objects of astral beauty, like galaxies and nebulae! With the Moon also currently out of the way why not take the opportunity to seek out the Andromeda galaxy?

Shown at 21:00 UTC / 22:00 BST, look towards the south east and look up just past Pegasus to locate the Andromeda galaxy (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown at 21:00 UTC / 22:00 BST, look towards the south east and look up just past Pegasus to locate the Andromeda galaxy (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Under average skies it will appear like an elliptical smudge, but with darker skies and a good pair of binoculars or a telescope, you can see the dust lanes forming the disc! We’d love another go at imaging Andromeda, so fingers crossed for some decent nights viewing this month!

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 this shot was created by stacking 50 single shots to bring out the clarity (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Saturday 25th October - Bright planet Venus is in Superior Conjunction today

Sunday 26th October - British Summer Time ends in the UK, and clocks go back one hour at 02:00 BST (to 01:00 GMT/UTC)

As usual, if you take any photos throughout October 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
Mars
Mercury
Saturn
Neptune
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 – September 2014
Astronomy Events – August 2014
Astronomy Events – July 2014

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Astronomy Events – September 2014

August 31, 2014

by yaska77

Don’t get us wrong, we love summertime but we often find we’re busier doing things other than astronomy in the evenings. So as the nights start to draw in and things are cooling down, we find we have more time to get the flasks filled up and out in the dark sky watching again.

Last month we managed a shot or two of the Supermoon (as shown below) but not a lot else, something we are very much hoping to rectify in September. But we all need something to look at so with that in mind below we’ve listed a little something for everyone to see, in our monthly astronomy guide for September.

Keep watching the skies!

Tuesday 2nd September - This morning the Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase

Monday 8th September - The Moon is at Perigee today at a distance of 358,385 km (222,690 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth

Tuesday 9th September - The September Full Moon seen tonight is also sometimes known as the Harvest Moon, Barley Moon or Singing Moon

August's Full Moon coincided with Perigee, making it a Supermoon. We managed to get this pic before it clouded over! (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

August’s Full Moon coincided with Perigee, making it a Supermoon. We managed to get this pic before it clouded over! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Tuesday 16th September - This afternoon our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase

To help identify the constellations you can see throughout the month, below we’ve provided guide images for both southern and northern skies in September (shown as seen at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th 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

Saturday 20th September - Today the Moon is at Apogee at a distance of 405,845 km (252,180 miles) the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth this month

Jupiter and the Moon are close neighbours seen before dawn on 20th September (Click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Jupiter and the Moon are close neighbours, seen before dawn on 20th September (Click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

And if you’re an early riser the Moon pays a close visit to Jupiter to the east before dawn, shown above at 04:00 UTC / 05:00 BST

Sunday 21st September - Today Mercury is at Greatest Eastern Elongation, and it is also Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere

Wednesday 24th September - The New Moon rises with (and sets just after) the Sun today, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects when the skies are unaffected by moonlight

The waxing crescent Moon can be see fairly close to Mercury low down to the West soon after sunset on 26th September (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

The waxing crescent Moon can be see fairly close to Mercury low down to the West soon after sunset on 26th September (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Friday 26th September - The waxing crescent Moon is visited closely by Mercury this evening, as seen in our guide image above (shown at 17:30 UTC / 18:30 BST). If conditions are right and you have a very flat western horizon you may get to see them together

Mars visits Antares, Saturn in Libra and the thin crescent Moon can all be see soon after sunset this evening (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Mars visiting Antares, Saturn in Libra and the thin crescent Moon can all be seen soon after sunset this evening (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Saturday 27th September - Red planet Mars visits red star Antares this evening, its name meaning “Rival of Mars”. Look low to the south west after sunset, and you’ll also catch Saturn in Libra, and the thin crescent Moon (shown above at 18:30 UTC / 19:30 BST)

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:

Jupiter
Venus
Mars
Mercury
Saturn
Neptune
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 – August 2014
Astronomy Events – July 2014
Astronomy Events – June 2014

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Astronomy Events – August 2014

July 31, 2014

by yaska77

The British summer is often maligned, and usually for good reason we’ll agree. But this year we’ve had some nice balmy (if often hazy) evenings so we’re hopeful to get some more imaging done soon as it’s been a while…

Particularly of interest are some nice upcoming conjunctions and a meteor shower, so with August we’re really spoiling you!  “But what can we see and when can we see it!?” we hear you cry…

Well as ever below we’ve listed a little something for everyone, in our monthly astronomy guide for August.

Keep watching the skies!

Friday 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 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

Saturday 2nd August - The crescent Moon can be found between Mars and bright star Spica (part of the constellation Virgo) low towards the West after sunset this evening, possibly a nice target for some photography

The crescent Moon appears between Mars and Spica soon after sunset this evening (shown at 20:15 UTC/21:15 BST) low to the West (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

The crescent Moon appears between Mars and Spica soon after sunset this evening (shown at 20:15 UTC / 21:15 BST) low down towards the West (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Monday 4th August - The Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase this morning, and later this evening will be seen just to the left of Saturn (in the constellation Libra) as shown in our guide image below

Shown at 21:00 UTC/22:00 BST low towards the West, the Moon can be seen near to Saturn (click to enlage) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown at 21:00 UTC (22:00 BST) low towards the West, the Moon can be seen near to Saturn (click to enlage) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Friday 8th August - Inner planet Mercury is in Superior Conjunction today and will be unobservable for the rest of the month

Sunday 10th August - The Full Moon is at Perigee today at a distance of 356,895 km (221,764 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth. The August Full Moon is also sometimes known as the Fruit Moon, Corn Moon or Lightning Moon

As the Full Moon coincides with Perigee this causes an effect often referred to as a “Supermoon“. When this occurs the relative closeness of the Moon to the Earth makes our satellite appear 14% larger and 30% brighter then when at its furthest distance

Tuesday 12th August - This evening sees the peak of the annual Perseids meteor shower. Although the bright Moon will spoil some of the show, Perseids are well known for often busy displays, so they’re always worth looking for

Taken using a Canon EOS 550D at 18mm focal length, f/3.5, 20 second exposure at ISO-1600 – 12th August 2012 (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Taken using a Canon EOS 550D at 18mm focal length, f/3.5, 20 second exposure at ISO-1600 – Perseid meteor from early morning on the 12th of August 2012 (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Our favourite meteor image so far is a Perseid we caught in August 2012 from Wye Downs in Kent (above) so we’d like to try get a few more shots

The radiant of the shower (the point all the meteors appear to originate from) will be up to the north east around midnight (with the shower peak around 00:00 UTC / 01:00 BST) but meteors can appear anywhere so get outside and look up!

Saturday 16th August - To help identify the summer constellations you can see throughout the month, below we’ve provided guide images for both southern and northern skies in August (shown as seen at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th August)

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 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

Sunday 17th August - This afternoon our Moon will be at Last Quarter phase

Saturday 23rd August - The waning crescent Moon lies just to the right of Venus and Jupiter if you’re up early this morning.  If your eastern horizon is flat enough this could provide some great images for all you amateur photographers out there!

If you're up early and have a nice flat eastern horizon you'll see the waning crescent Moon just to the right of Venus and Jupiter before sunrise (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

If you’re up early and have a nice flat eastern horizon you’ll see the waning crescent Moon just to the right of Venus and Jupiter before sunrise, shown about at 04:00 UTC / 05:00 BST (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Sunday 24th August – Today the Moon is at Apogee at a distance of 406,520 km (252,600 miles) the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth this month

Monday 25th August - The New Moon rises with (and sets just after) the Sun today, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects when the skies are unaffected by moonlight

Sunday 31st August - Saturn and the Moon are in conjunction this evening, and offer a great photo opportunity to anyone with a telescope and camera mount!

The waxing gibbous Moon has Saturn for a close neighbour during this conjunction this evening (shown at 20:00 UTC / 21:00 BST) this is a great target for binoculars or a telescope (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

The waxing Moon has Saturn for a close neighbour during their conjunction this evening (shown at 20:00 UTC / 21:00 BST) and will be a great target for binoculars or a telescope (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

If we can find a dark enough location with a good western horizon we’ll definitely be aiming to get some images of this, so keep watching the blog as we’re getting the itch to get out there again…

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:

Jupiter
Venus
Mars
Mercury
Saturn
Neptune
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 – July 2014
Astronomy Events – June 2014
Astronomy Events – May 2014

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Astronomy Events – July 2014

June 30, 2014

by yaska77

Summertime! Long days, short warm evenings, is there a better season to enjoy the night? This is the time of year to have friends round for a barbecue during the day, then fire up the chimenea for a little warmth and light and stay outside long into the night, under a blanket of twinkling stars. Perfect!

But what is there for you to see? There’s always something worth craning your necks for in our ever changing night sky, and whether you’re just an occasional Moon watcher or a more avid amateur astronomer, we’ve listed below a little something for everyone in our monthly astronomy guide for July.

Keep watching the skies!

Tuesday 1st July - Now is probably the best time of year to watch out 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 4th July - Minor planet Pluto is at opposition in the constellation Sagittarius, and the Earth is also at Aphelion, the furthest point out in it’s orbit from the Sun (at a distance of 152 million kilometres or 94.5 million miles)

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

1. Planet at aphelion 2. Planet at perihelion 3. Sun – Source – Pearson Scott Foresman (Wikimedia Commons)

Saturday 5th July - The Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase today, and pays a close visit to Mars and bright star Spica in the constellation Virgo. Look low down to the West after nightfall

Shown above at 21:30 UTC (22:30 BST) the first quarter Moon pays a close visit to Mars and Spica this evening. Looks low to the West after nightfall (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown above at 21:30 UTC (22:30 BST) the first quarter Moon pays a close visit to Mars and Spica this evening. Look low to the West after nightfall (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Monday 7th July - This evening the waxing gibbous Moon lies just below beautiful ring-world Saturn. See if you can spot them together low down towards the West after it’s got dark

Shown above at 22:30 UTC (23:30 BST) on 7th July, see if you can spot the Moon and ringed planet Saturn low towards the West (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown above at 22:30 UTC (23:30 BST) on 7th July, see if you can spot the Moon and ringed planet Saturn low towards the West (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Saturday 12th July - The Full Moon in the sky today is also sometimes known as the Summer Moon, Crane Moon or Rose Moon

And inner planet Mercury is at greatest western elongation, but the long morning twilight in the approach to sunrise means it is not easily seen from more northern latitudes

Sunday 13th July - The near Full Moon is at Perigee today at a distance of 358,260 km (222,612 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth

Wednesday 16th July - To help identify the summer constellations you can see throughout the month, below we’ve provided constellation guides for southern and northern skies in July, shown as seen at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th 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 July (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

Saturday 19th July - This morning our Moon is seen at Last Quarter phase

Monday 21st July - Strange asterism “the coathanger” can be spotted high up due South around midnight this evening. Clearly visible through binoculars or a small telescope, Brocchi’s Cluster is a beautiful sight, and is easily located midway between the right edges of constellations Vulpecula and Sagitta

Brocchi's Cluster (otherwise known as the Coat-Hanger for obvious reasons!) can be found high up to the South around midnight this evening (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Brocchi’s Cluster (otherwise known as “the Coathanger” for obvious reasons!) can be found high up to the South around midnight this evening (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

We were lucky enough to catch a Perseid meteor flashing near to Brocchi’s Cluster in August 2012.  The easiest way to find it with binoculars is to locate bright star Vega (at the top of the constellation Lyra) and slowly move them diagonally down and to the left

A Perseid meteor flashes past Brocchi's Cluster in August 2012 (the upside down coat hanger!) early on 11th August 2012 (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

A Perseid meteor flashes past Brocchi’s Cluster (the upside down coat hanger!) early on 11th August 2012 (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

This cluster sits well within the band of the Milky Way, which you should also be able to see crossing the night sky (if your skies are dark enough!) and with the Moon almost out of the way now is a good time to have a look for it!

Thursday 24th July - One for the early risers today, a sliver of crescent Moon sits just to the right of bright planet Venus before sunrise this morning. If your eastern horizon is flat enough you may get a glimpse of Mercury into the bargain! If anyone gets any photographs of this close gathering please tweet them to us!

A thin crescent Moon sits close by to Venus and Mercury early this morning (shown at 03:00 UTC / 04:00 BST) if your horizon is flat enough (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

A thin crescent Moon sits close by to Venus and Mercury early this morning (shown at 03:00 UTC / 04:00 BST) if your eastern horizon is flat enough (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

And gas giant Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun today, so will be unobservable until the middle of August when it reappears in the sky as an early morning object

Saturday 26th July - The New Moon rises with (and sets just after) the Sun today, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects when the skies are unaffected by moonlight

Monday 28th July - Today the Moon is at Apogee at a distance of 406,570 km (252,631 miles) the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth this month

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
Venus
Mars
Mercury
Saturn
Neptune
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 2014
Astronomy Events – May 2014
Astronomy Events – April 2014

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