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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

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 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

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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

h1

Astronomy Events – April 2015

March 31, 2015

by yaska77

As much as I love the longer dark winter evenings I’ll admit I am now thoroughly bored of the cold. The clocks going forward an hour at the end of March has helped give us the first hints of the lighter summer evenings to come, and it’s a good feeling!

So while dreaming of that summer barbecue with friends leading in to a long evening sky-watching, below I’ve listed some spring astronomical events to encourage you to become reacquainted with the great outdoors. Have fun and stay safe all.

Keep watching the skies…

Wednesday 1st April – Our Moon is at Apogee today at a distance of 406,010 km (252,282 miles), the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth this month

Saturday 4th April – Today’s Full Moon is sometimes known as the Flower Moon, Seed Moon or Pink Moon

It also sees a Total Lunar Eclipse occur, visible from eastern Asia, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and western parts of North America, but sadly not to those of us in the UK (our last partially visible eclipse was in April 2013)

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 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

Monday 6th April – The planet Uranus is in Conjunction with the Sun and is currently unobservable

Friday 10th April – Inner planet Mercury is in Superior Conjunction today

Saturday 11th April – Venus is still present as a spectacularly bright object in the early evening sky. Tonight it will appear to pass close to the Pleiades or “Seven Sisters” (so it should be a great photographic target!)

Look low to the west soon after sunset and you can't fail to spot Venus near the fainter but equally beautiful Pleiades cluster, shown above at 20:00 UTC / 21:00 BST (click to enlarge) Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Look low to the west soon after sunset and you can’t fail to spot Venus near the fainter but equally beautiful Pleiades cluster, shown above at 20:00 UTC/21:00 BST (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

We managed to get a few shots when Venus made a similar pass by the Seven Sisters in 2012. If you have some binoculars to help get a closer look it will be well worth your time!

The bright planet Venus shines next to the Pleiades cluster, and the setting Jupiter is accompanied by some of her moons (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

The bright planet Venus shines next to the Pleiades cluster, and the setting Jupiter is accompanied by some of her moons at bottom right (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Sunday 12th April – This morning our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase

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

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

Friday 17th April – Today the Moon is at Perigee (the closest point of its orbit to the Earth) at a distance of 361,025 km (224,331 miles)

Saturday 18th April – Today the New Moon rises and sets with the Sun, so it’s a good time to observe deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae which are usually harder to see when the Moon is shining in the sky

Wednesday 22nd/
Thursday 23rd April 
– The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks this evening, with the radiant (the point all meteors appear to originate from) in the constellation Lyra which you’ll find low to the north east around 22:00 UTC/23:00 BST

This one shows a nice long clear Perseid tail, with more definition to the shap at the end of the streak (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

We’re hoping to capture some Lyrid meteors this year, as they can give you some nice shots like this Perseid meteor we caught streaking away from the smudge of the Andromeda galaxy (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

The best time to see the meteors will be after midnight when the Moon has set, so if your skies are clear and you can face the late night it has got to be worth a look hasn’t it? Get outside and crane your necks!

Sunday 26th April – This morning the Moon is at First Quarter phase

Wednesday 29th April – The Moon is at Apogee today for the second time this month, at a distance of 405,085 km (251,708 miles)

As usual, if you take any photos throughout April 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
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 – March 2015
Astronomy Events – February 2015
Astronomy Events – January 2015

h1

Astronomy Events – March 2015

February 28, 2015

by yaska77

We’re now heading into one of my two favourite times of year. Spring and Autumn are perfect for some long evenings out under the stars, you still get the benefit of longer nights without the downside of frostbite!

There’s quite a lot to get excited about in March, plenty of the usual spotting opportunities and a solar eclipse into the bargain. Although it will only be partially visible from the UK, the Moon will still cross enough of the Sun for it to darken the sky. Keep fingers crossed we can all enjoy this rare marvel!

And to coincide with the eclipse the massively popular BBC series Stargazing Live returns, with live coverage of the eclipse in a TV first from the BBC. But I’ll post about that in more detail closer to the time!

With everything else and an eclipse there’s loads to see in March, so get outside and keep watching the skies…

Tuesday 3rd March Jupiter appears close by the waxing gibbous Moon this evening as they journey across the night sky. They will both shine brightly so you can’t miss them!

Wednesday 4th March – If you have access to a small telescope and fairly dark skies this evening, Venus appears only 6 arc minutes away from the often difficult to spot Uranus

Look towards the west from nightfall to spot Venus with Uranus this evening, but with the two so close it's a great opportunity to spot one of the harder to find planets (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Look towards the west from nightfall to spot Venus with Uranus this evening, but with the two so close it’s a great opportunity to spot one of the harder to find planets (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Uranus appears almost 10,000 times fainter than Venus but being so close it’s a good opportunity to use the brighter planet as a spotting guide!  Look low to the west soon after sunset and you may also spot Mars just below too

Thursday 5th March – The Full Moon today is sometimes known as the Fish Moon, Sleepy Moon or Chaste Moon

It’s also at Apogee at a distance of 406,385 km (252,516 miles), the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth this month

Friday 13th March – This evening our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase

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

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

Thursday 19th March – Today the Moon is at Perigee (the closest point of its orbit to the Earth) at a distance of 357,585 km (222,192 miles)

Friday 20th March – A solar eclipse occurs today, which will be at least partially visible from the UK. Those in the north west of the country will get the best show with the eclipse effect decreasing the further south east you are

A total solar eclipse will occur on Friday March 20, 2015. The only populated places where the totality can be seen, reachable by public travel, are the Faroe Islands and Svalbard, but it will be partially visible to the UK (click to enlarge) - Credit: Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC

A total solar eclipse will occur on Friday March 20, 2015. The only populated places where the totality can be seen, reachable by public travel, are the Faroe Islands and Svalbard, but it will be partially visible from the UK (click to enlarge) – Credit: Fred Espenak, NASA’s GSFC

Beginning just after 08:00 UTC and continuing until nearly 11:00 UTC, totality will only be visible from the Faroe Islands or the archipelago of Svalbard (north of mainland Norway) but the BBC show Stargazing Live will be broadcasting live coverage on BBC1 at 09:00 UTC

Please remember though, never look at the Sun directly, you will damage your eyes

Solar eclipse glasses can be bought online (try Amazon or Ebay) and will give you a great but safe view of the Moon crossing the Sun

Today is also Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere

Sunday 22nd March – If you’ve got some binoculars you’ll have a great view of a beautifully bright Venus next to the thin crescent Moon this evening

Shown above at 19:30 UTC, if you have clear skies you'll get a great view of the thin cresent Moon and Venus this evening (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown above at 19:30 UTC, if you have clear skies you’ll get a great view of the thin cresent Moon and Venus this evening (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

If skies are clear enough you should be able to see Earthshine lighting the usually dark surface of the Moon!

This time at 4 second exposure, f/3.5 ISO100 - More of the Moon is lit by the Sun as it shines next to Venus (Jupiter is below the cloud) from 26th March 2012 (click to enlarge) Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Taken at 4 second exposure, f/3.5 ISO100 – Earthshine is light reflecting from the Earth to reveal details on the surface of the Moon usually hidden in shadow. Here we imaged a similar conjunction of Venus and the Moon on 26th March 2012 (click to enlarge) Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

We took the image above in March 2012, but it’s not too dissimilar to how they will look this evening!

Friday 27th March – This morning the Moon is at First Quarter phase

Sunday 29th March – British Summer Time begins in the UK, and the clocks go forward 1 hour from 01:00 GMT/UTC to 02:00 BST

As usual, if you take any photos throughout March 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
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 – February 2015
Astronomy Events – January 2015
Astronomy Events – December 2014

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