Posts Tagged ‘aquarid’

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Astronomy Events – May 2016

April 30, 2016

by Adam Welbourn

Summer is just around the corner, you can almost feel it in the tingles of warmth you get from the Sun, for those few moments when the wind drops…

After an unusually cold April the forecasts finally show some sign of improvement, and it’s about this time of year that stargazing becomes even more enjoyable!

Yes night might arrive slightly later as each evening passes, but it’s still dark enough early enough to keep kids entertained and help them discover the joys and wonders of the night sky.

So to help you get started (as you knew we would) below we’ve provided some happenings of interest over the coming month, so now you’ve no excuse not to get out under the stars!

Keep watching those skies…

Thursday 5th May – Tonight sees the peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, where the streaks are caused by burning particles shed by Halley’s Comet burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere

With the New Moon tomorrow it could be a good show, so get out and look up!

Meteor showers are fascinating to watch! (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Meteor showers are fascinating to watch! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Friday 6th 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, or get a clearer look at objects usually blurred and faint in light polluted skies

The Moon is also at Perigee at a distance of 357,825 km (222,342 miles) from the Earth, the closest it will come on its current orbit

Monday 9th May – This afternoon innermost planet Mercury transits the Sun! It starts its journey across the face of our star about 11:10 UTC (12:10 BST) appearing as a well defined dark dot on the left side of the Sun

Then over the course of the afternoon it slowly travels in an arc towards the middle, before dropping to the bottom of the Sun’s disc and moving out of view around 18:45 UTC (1945 BST)

Shown above at 15:00 UTC (16:00 BST) Mercury will spend all afternoon ambling across the face of the Sun! (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown above at 15:00 UTC (16:00 BST) Mercury will spend all afternoon ambling across the face of the Sun! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

If you have certified solar viewing equipment it’ll be well worth a look. The next transit of Mercury will be in November 2019

Remember – Never look directly at the Sun, it will damage your eyes!

Friday 13th May – This evening the Moon will be seen at First Quarter phase

Monday 16th May – To help you 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

Wednesday 18th May – The Moon is at Apogee today at a distance of 405,935 km (252,236 miles), the furthest point its orbit will take it away from the Earth this month

Saturday 21st May – Today’s Full Moon is sometimes known as the Milk Moon, Dragon Moon or Bright Moon, and appears in the sky above Mars

Full Moon taken using a Canon EOS 550D DSLR mounted to a SkyWatcher Explorer 200mm Newtonian Reflector Telescope (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Full Moon taken using a Canon EOS 550D DSLR mounted to a SkyWatcher Explorer 200mm Newtonian Reflector Telescope (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Sunday 22nd May Mars is at opposition this evening (meaning it is opposite the Sun in the sky) rising at sunset and setting at sunrise

Wednesday 25th 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

Sunday 29th May – This afternoon the Moon is at Last Quarter phase

Monday 30th May Mars is the closest it has been to the Earth since 2005 this evening. Get out and give it a look, rising to the south east about 19:30 UTC (20:30 BST)

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:

Saturn
Mars
Jupiter
Mercury
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 2016
Astronomy Events – March 2016
Astronomy Events – February 2016

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Astronomy Events – May 2014

April 30, 2014

by yaska77

Now we’re talking, the weather is warming up nicely and hanging around outdoors for the evening is no longer the daunting (and chilly) prospect it was just a few months ago.

We admit we’ve not exactly flooded this blog with our images recently, but the impetus is there to rectify that soon so we’re busy cleaning our scopes and charging our camera batteries with an intensity rarely seen round these parts!

Joking aside while putting together the guide you see below we’ve already picked out some astronomical occurrences in May to get us back outside and observing again. We hope you can join us (metaphorically of course…) so keep watching the skies!

Sunday 4th May – The waxing crescent Moon is closely visited by gas giant Jupiter this evening. Look low down to the West around 21:00 UTC (22:00 BST)

Shown low down to the West at 21:00 UTC (22:00 BST) Jupiter has the waxing crescent Moon for company after sunset (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown low down to the West at 21:00 UTC (22:00 BST) Jupiter has the waxing crescent Moon for company after sunset (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Monday 5th May – This evening sees the peak of the annual Eta Aquarids meteor shower. Look towards the Eastern horizon from midnight onwards to catch these usually bright but fast moving meteors (with a ZHR of around 10 per hour expected as viewed from the UK)

Tuesday 6th May – Today the Moon is at Apogee at a distance of 404,320 km (251,233 miles) the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth

Wednesday 7th May – The early morning Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase today

Saturday 10th May – Ringed planet Saturn is at Opposition in the constellation Libra this evening, so is observable for the whole night from sunset to sunrise.  When at opposition, Saturn is 1,331 million kilometres (827 million miles) from the Earth!

Despite its attraction we've not managed to image Saturn all that often, so we're hoping for another go at imaging it over March (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Despite its attraction we’ve not managed to image Saturn all that often, so we’re hoping for another go at imaging it over May (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

You’ll also spot Mars very close to the Moon

Wednesday 14th May – The Full Moon in the sky today is also sometimes known as the Dragon Moon, Hare Moon or Grass Moon

Friday 16th May – Continuing our recent addition to this guide, below we’ve provided constellation guides for Southern and Northern skies in May, shown below at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST). These can help you identify the spring constellations you can see 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

Sunday 18th May – The crescent Moon is at Perigee today at a distance of 367,100 km (228,105 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth

Wednesday 21st May – Today our Moon is seen at Last Quarter phase

Sunday 25th May – The waxing crescent Moon appears close to planet Venus before sunrise this morning. Shown below at 03:00 UTC (04:00 BST), they make a great photo opportunity to you early risers (or dirty stop outs!)

This early morning meeting creates a great opportunity for some images. Shown at 03:00 UTC (04:00 BST) low down to the East (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

This early morning meeting creates a great opportunity for some images. Shown at 03:00 UTC (04:00 BST) low down to the East (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Inner planet Mercury is also at Greatest Eastern Elongation.  It will be brightest earlier in the month, but easier to spot after sunset low down to the WNW (if your horizon is flat enough) from the 15th onwards

Wednesday 28th May – 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 30th May – Now is 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

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!

Planets visible this month:

Jupiter
Venus
Mars
Mercury
Saturn

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 2014
Astronomy Events – March 2014
Astronomy Events – February 2014

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Astronomy Events – July 2013

June 30, 2013

by yaska77

It’s been an incredibly frustrating first half of the year. Evening conditions have seen cloud more often than not, and even clear days have been followed by hazy nights.  But a new month is upon us and we’re eager to get our telescopes dusted off and in use again, so come back often and hopefully we’ll have had the chance to get some lovely new images for you!

Now behold yet another new month of skybound beauties to bring wonder to your evenings!

Tuesday 2nd July – Ex-planet Pluto is at Opposition in Sagittarius

Friday 5th July – Today the Earth is 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)

Sunday 7th July – The Moon is at Apogee today at a distance of 406,490 km (252,581 miles), the farthest point out in its orbit around the Earth

Monday 8th July – As it is a New Moon this evening tonight is a good time to observe deep sky objects (like galaxies and nebulae) that become more visible in darker skies

Tuesday 9th July – Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, is in Superior Conjunction meaning it is unobservable until towards the end of the month

A beautiful object visible with binoculars or a small telescope is the double star Albireo

Shown high up due South at 00:00 UTC/01:00 BST on 9th July, Albireo is beautiful (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown high up due South at 00:00 UTC/01:00 BST on 9th July, Albireo is beautiful (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

We have imaged this fantastic dual colour double star only once before, something we’re hoping to rectify with some nice stacked images sometime over the next month or so!

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, using a Canon EOS 550D attached to a Sky-Watcher Explorer 200P EQ5 PRO SynScan 200mm Newtonian Reflector Telescope (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Friday 12th July – This is the time of year to be looking for noctilucent clouds, which sometimes appear low down in the northwest (after sunset) and northeast (just before sunrise)

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

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

Tuesday 16th July – This morning the Moon is seen at First Quarter phase

Saturday 20th July – On this historic date 44 years ago, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land on the Moon, setting foot on the surface a short while later on 21st July at 02:56 UTC

The location of “Tranquilty Base” is approximately shown in our image below

Located to the upper left of the large Theophilus crater, the site of Tranquility Base is close to the crate Moltke (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Located to the upper left of the large Theophilus crater (centre) the site of Tranquility Base is close to the crater Moltke (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Sunday 21st July – The Moon is at Perigee today at a distance of 358,400 km (222,699 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth

Monday 22nd July – Before sunrise planets Mars and Jupiter will appear next to each other in the north eastern sky

They’ll be close neighbours over the next few mornings and are a good target for cameras and telescopes!

Look low to the eastern horizon to see a meeting of Mars and Jupiter in the sky this morning on 22nd July (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky- Watching/A.Welbourn

Look low to the eastern horizon to see a meeting of Mars and Jupiter in the sky this morning on 22nd July (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky- Watching/A.Welbourn

And the Full Moon this evening is also sometimes known as the Summer Moon, Mead Moon or Rose Moon

Monday 29th July – The Moon appears at Last Quarter phase this evening, and the Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks this evening.  With the radiant low to the south it will reduce the number of meteors we may see from the expected ZHR of 20 per hour, but as always with meteor showers well worth a look!

Those with a flat eastern horizon will see Jupiter, Mars and Mercury rise before sunrise (click to enlarge) - Credit Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Those with a flat eastern horizon will see Jupiter, Mars and Mercury rise before sunrise on the morning of 30th July, shown above at 03:30 UTC/04:30 BST (click to enlarge) – Credit Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Tuesday 30th July – Mercury has moved greatly in the sky this month and is now seen at Greatest Western Elongation, meaning it appears before sunrise, this morning following first Jupiter and then Mars up over the eastern horizon (see above)

Planets visible this month:

Jupiter
Saturn
Venus
Mercury
Neptune
Uranus
Mars

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 2013
Astronomy Events – May 2013
Astronomy Events – April 2013

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Astronomy Events – May 2011

April 26, 2011

by yaska77

Here is the latest of our monthly posts, listing upcoming Astronomy events for May.  It’s a little earlier than last time but there’s nothing like being prepared, here’s hoping we get clear skies for them!

Sunday 1st May – Venus is visible low down in the dawn sky from 05:10 BST, and if you have a flat eastern horizon Jupiter also rises just before the Sun

Tuesday 3rd May – New Moon

Wednesday 4th May – This evening the crescent Moon, which will be only 2% lit, lies just below the Pleiades star cluster.  They will be low in a fairly bright sky (around 21:30 BST), but should be visible in binoculars to the WNW horizon, or a good target for those with a camera with a good zoom lens

Our snap of The Pleiades taken using a Canon DSLR and a Sky-Watcher 200P Telescope - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Friday 6th May – Anyone up late (or early!) should keep a look out for Eta Aquarid meteors, from 03:30 BST until dawn (in the eastern sky).  This shower has been known to peak at one meteor every few minutes, and with the recent New Moon the skies should be relatively dark until the Sun rises

Saturday 7th May – Mercury is at its Greatest Western Elongation (27°)

Wednesday 11th May – Jupiter and Venus appear less than a degree apart in the dawn sky after 04:50 BST

Sunday 15th May – Moon at Perigee (362,135 km). Saturn, Spica and the waxing gibbous Moon form a straight line around midnight, and faint comet C/2010 G2 Hill passes less than a degree away from Polaris the Pole Star

Tuesday 17th May – Full Moon

The image of the Paschal Full Moon we took on 17th April 2011 - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Wednesday 18th May – The red supergiant Antares lies just below and to the right of the bright Moon.  Its name means “Rival of Mars”

Saturday 21st May – Just before dawn look for Venus using a pair of binoculars in the ENE sky.  Nearby (and forming a right angled-triangle) will be Mercury and Mars

Monday 23rd May – This is 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).  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

Noctilucent clouds over Sweden - Credit: P-M Hedén

Thursday 26th May – As the Moon is largely absent tonight it’s a good night to look at deep-sky objects. M101 (the Pinwheel Galaxy), M51 (the Whirlpool Galaxy) and the Owl Nebula are all good targets around The Plough (or Big Dipper), as is M13 (the Great Globular Cluster) in the Hercules constellation (from midnight BST)

Friday 27th May – Moon at Apogee (405,005 km)

Sunday 29th May – The gathering of planets in the dawn sky continues, as at around 04:15 BST Venus will be low in the ENE sky, and higher up to the east Jupiter can be seen just below a waning crescent Moon.

Tuesday 31st May – The double-star Porrima can be located close to Saturn this evening, low to the southwest around midnight (BST), a great view through a telescope

Our first attempt at Saturn using a CCD Camera - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Should the weather allow we’re targeting Saturn for better imaging this month, so keep watching for any new photos!

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!

Archive: Astronomy Events – April 2011
Archive: Astronomy Events – March 2011

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