Posts Tagged ‘may’

h1

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

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

h1

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

h1

Astronomy Events – May 2013

April 30, 2013

by yaska77

Hot on the heels of an unexpected break in the weather (allowing us to see April’s partial eclipse of the Moon) we’re eager to get stuck in to another new month of astronomical events!

Now spring has finally arrived in the UK we’re hoping to be able to get some new images to show you, and if you get any snaps yourself please feel free to tweet them to us.  Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to?

Thursday 2nd May – The Moon is at Last Quarter phase today

Monday 6th May – The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks early this morning (01:30 UTC/02:30 BST) with an expected ZHR of 10 meteors per hour as viewed from the UK (observers from more southern latitudes could see up to 55 per hour).  Appearing to originate from the constellation Aquarius (hence the name), Aquarids are known for bright tails left by fast moving meteors

Aquarid Meteor Radiant 06052013 02.30 UTC Sky-Watching.co.uk

Shown above at 02:30 UTC/03:30 BST on 6th May, the Aquarid meteor shower will be active from the end of April until the end of May (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Thursday 9th – Friday 10th May – An annular solar eclipse occurs today when the Moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than that of the Sun (blocking most of its light) which causes it to look like a ring (or annulus)

This type of eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region thousands of kilometres wide, and will be visible from northern Australia and the southern Pacific Ocean, with the maximum of just over 6 minutes visible from the Pacific Ocean east of French Polynesia

The eclipse begins at 21:25:10 UTC

Friday 10th May – Today sees a New Moon so now is a good time for observing deep sky objects usually affected by moonlight

Saturday 11th May – Bright planets Venus and Jupiter flank the Moon just after sunset.  Shown below at 19:45 UTC/ 20:45 BST, if your NW horizon is flat enough this could be a great target for some photos!

Jupiter, Moon and Venus 11052013 19.45 UTC Sky-Watching.co.uk

Jupiter, the Moon and Venus all pay Taurus a visit soon after sunset this evening, look WNW and see if you can spot them! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

The planet Mercury is also in Superior conjunction today, so is unobservable until later in the month

Monday 13th May – The Moon is at Apogee today at a distance of 405,825 km (252,168 miles), the farthest point in its orbit from the Earth

Saturday 18th May – This morning the Moon is at First Quarter phase

Saturday 25th May – Today’s Full Moon will experience another penumbral eclipse (where it skims the edge of the Earth’s shadow), this time however it will be virtually imperceptible unlike the partial eclipse witnessed on 25th April

Penumbral Eclipse 25042013 21.22 BST Sky-Watching.co.uk

In April 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

May’s Full Moon is also sometimes known as the Milk Moon, Dragon Moon or Hare Moon

Sunday 26th May – Soon after twilight this evening the planets Jupiter, Mercury and Venus should be visible forming an equilateral triangle to the WNW (West North-West)

Jupiter, Mercury and Venus 26052013 20.15 UTC Sky-Watching.co.uk

Forming an equilateral triangle in the twilight sky, Jupiter, Mercury and Venus appear close to each other just after sunset on 26th May, as shown at 20:15 UTC/21:15 BST (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

These planets will be near neighbours from 23rd to 31st of this month, but appear closest together this evening

And today the Moon is at Perigee at a distance of 358,375 km (222,684 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth

Friday 31st May – Tonight sees the Moon at Last Quarter phase; and twilight planets Jupiter, Mercury and Venus appear aligned soon after sunset

Planets visible this month:

Jupiter
Saturn
Venus
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 – April 2013
Astronomy Events – March 2013
Astronomy Events – February 2013

h1

Astronomy Events – May 2012

April 30, 2012

by yaska77

Despite a relatively good start to April, the proverbial showers soon set in and the second half of the month has been a washout under one rainstorm after another!

It can’t rain all the time though (can it!?), and with May now upon us there’s a whole new list of astronomical events coming up to cater for everyone!

Tuesday 1st May – Mercury rises before the Sun just after 04:00 UTC (05:00 BST) in the eastern sky

Thursday 3rd May – Venus is still visible after sunset over the west northwest horizon, and will gradually move closer to the setting Sun over the course of the month

Sunday 6th May – The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks this morning with a ZHR of around 30 per hour (see below). The radiant is in the constellation Aquarius that comes up over the eastern horizon around 01:30 UTC (02:30 BST) on 6th May, but meteors could appear anywhere across the sky

Aquarid Meteor Radiant shown at 03:00 UTC (04:00 BST) on 6th May (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Tonight’s Full Moon is also at Perigee (356,955 km)

Monday 7th May – Saturn appears close to the blue giant Spica this evening, shown below to the south at 22:30 UTC (23:30 BST). At this time the Moon is also rising to the east close to the red giant Antares, which means “rival of Mars”

Saturn will be close to the blue giant Spica directly south at 22:30 UTC/23:30 BST (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Saturday 12th May – Last Quarter Moon

Sunday 13th May – Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun, and won’t be visible all month

If you’ve got a telescope M13 is well worth a look in the early hours of 17th May (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Thursday 17th May – The Great Globular Cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules is at its highest at 01:00 UTC (02:00 BST) this morning (see above). We’ve always wanted to image this, and having had a go at lesser cluster M37 last year (below) we’re hoping it stays crystal clear this evening!

We imaged the M37 cluster in January this year, but M13 is much more impressive! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Saturday 19th May – Moon is at Apogee (406,450 km)

Sunday 20th May – New Moon which rises and sets with the Sun, so tonight is a good time for looking at deep sky objects

Tuesday 22nd May – Venus appears just above and to the right of the waxing crescent Moon this evening, which will set about an hour and a half after the Sun

Imaging the crecent Moon and Venus can get good results, in January they were opposite to how they’ll appear on 22nd May, when they’ll also be closer! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Wednesday 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)

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 27th May – Mercury is at Superior Conjunction

Monday 28th May – First Quarter Moon

The daytime First Quarter Moon from April 29th 2012 (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Planets visible this month:

Mercury
Venus
Mars
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 2012
Astronomy Events – March 2012
Astronomy Events – February 2012

%d bloggers like this: