Posts Tagged ‘meteor’

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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 – April 2016

March 31, 2016

by Adam Welbourn

Ah… finally there’s a hint of a little warmth to that sunlight! I know I must have been warm outdoors at some point in the past, but I’m struggling to remember an example of when…

The clocks have gone forwards, evenings are lighter for longer, but with so much to see in the night sky throughout April there’s no excuse to let the later starts put you off a little stargazing. At least it’s not as cold.

You know the drill by now, below you’ll find some events of astronomical interest over the coming month, so peruse at your leisure and get out under the stars!

Keep watching those skies…

Thursday 7th April – 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 357,165 km (221,932 miles) from the Earth, the closest it will come on its current orbit

Friday 8th April – Early this evening the thinnest crescent Moon appears with a faint Mercury to its right. If you’ve got a flat enough western horizon give it a look, shown below at 19:00 UTC (20:00 BST)

If you can spot the crescent Moon you'll have a good chance of finding Mercury too, especially if you have a pair of binoculars (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

If you can spot the crescent Moon you’ll have a good chance of finding Mercury too, especially if you have a pair of binoculars! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Saturday 9th April – Planet Uranus is in conjunction with the Sun, and is currently unobservable

Thursday 14th April – This morning the Moon will be seen at First Quarter phase

Saturday 16th April – 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 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

Sunday 17th April – Gas giant Jupiter travels across the evening sky with the Moon this evening. Look to the south around 21:00 UTC (22:00 BST) and you can’t miss them, an even better sight through binoculars or a small telescope

Monday 18th April – Inner planet Mercury is at Greatest Eastern Elongation today, and may be visible after sunset to the north west (keep a look out for it from 8th April onwards!)

Thursday 21st April – The Moon is at Apogee today at a distance of 406,350 km (252,494 miles), the furthest point its orbit will take it away from the Earth this month

Friday 22nd April – Today’s Full Moon is sometimes known as the Flower Moon, Growing Moon or Awakening 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

Sadly it is also the peak of the Lyrid Meteor shower this evening, but the light of the Full Moon will wash out all but the brightest of meteors

Monday 25th April – In the early hours of this morning the waning Moon will be joined by Saturn and Mars, forming a triangle in the sky. A great opportunity for some imaging!

Shown above at 00:30 UTC (01:30 BST) towards the South, the Moon forms a triangle with Saturn and Mars (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown above at 00:30 UTC (01:30 BST) towards the South, the Moon forms a triangle with Saturn and Mars (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Saturday 30th April – This morning the Moon is at Last Quarter phase

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:

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 – March 2016
Astronomy Events – February 2016
Astronomy Events – January 2016

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Astronomy Events – January 2015

December 31, 2014

by yaska77

Another year has been ticked off and a squeaky clean and shiny new one is upon us, all fresh faced and full of promise and optimism. Many start off the new year with plans, aspirations or resolutions, but all too soon most of us will become complacent and slip back into routine, forgetting why we wanted to change something in the first place. But the challenge is to keep at it.

It would therefore be hypocritical of us to sit in the warm with a “do as I say not as I do” attitude (especially given the lack of our own photo posts in 2014) so the next clear night that isn’t cold enough to be affected by frost we will get some new images for you!

And as no one wants to be standing around in the cold aimlessly scouring the skies for something to see, we’ve cherry picked some interesting events to help get you started. So fill a flask with something hot, bundle up in plenty of layers, and get out under the stars. So that only leaves one thing to say…

Happy New Year from all at Sky-Watching!

Saturday 3rd January – The annual Quadrantid meteor shower peaks around 18:00 UTC this evening, however the light from the near full Moon is likely to drown out all but the brightest of meteors. A meteor shower is always worth a look though (in our honest opinion!) so if your skies are clear why not go hunting for shooting stars!?

Sunday 4th January – The Earth is at Perihelion today, the closest it will come to the Sun this orbit (at a distance of 147 million kilometres or 91.4 million miles)

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

1. Planet at aphelion 2. Planet at perihelion 3. Sun – Credit: WikiCommons

And on this day in 2004 the rover Spirit landed on Mars

Monday 5th January – The Full Moon today is sometimes known as the Winter Moon, Ice Moon or Wolf Moon

Wednesday 7th January Jupiter pays a close visit to the Moon this evening. Rising just before 19:00 UTC, it’s shown below to the south east at 23:30 UTC

Gas giant Jupiter follows the Moon across the sky all evening, look south east about 23:00 UTC (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Gas giant Jupiter chases the Moon across the sky all evening, look south east about 23:00 UTC (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Friday 9th January – Today the Moon is at Apogee at a distance of 405,410 km (251,910 miles), the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth this month

Tuesday 13th January – This morning our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase

Wednesday 14th January Mercury is at Greatest Eastern Elongation, and may be visible low down to the south west soon after sunset if you’ve got some good binoculars or a telescope

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

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

Tuesday 20th January – 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

Winter constellation Orion once again dominates the evening sky, and is instantly recognisable! These Moon free evenings really allow it to stand out

Orion has long been a favourite of stargazers (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Orion has long been a favourite of stargazers (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Hanging off Orion’s Belt you’ll find his sword, which includes the beautiful M42 Orion Nebula (and its close neighbour M43). We’ve imaged this a couple of times but will be trying again. Practice makes perfect after all (and they’re such a beautiful sight!) and you could do far worse on a clear winter evening than give it an ogle if you’ve got some good binoculars or a small telescope!

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, and you can also see M43 top left (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Wednesday 21st January – Today the Moon is at Perigee (the closest point of its orbit to the Earth) at a distance of 359,640 km (223,470 miles), and if you can see its crescent at sunset you might also spot Mercury just below it to the left

Thursday 22nd January – If you have a nice flat western horizon you might be able to catch a gathering of celestial objects soon after sunset this evening, as the thin crescent Moon is joined by Mars, Venus and Mercury!

If you look low down to the west soon about 17:15 UTC, you might catch a glimpse of the thin crescent Moon joined by Mars, Venus and Mercury (click to enlarge) Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

If you look low down to the west soon about 17:15 UTC this evening, you might catch a glimpse of the thin crescent Moon joined by Mars, Venus and Mercury, all in conjunction (click to enlarge) Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Saturday 24th January – If you can face the early cold this morning and have a telescope to point at Jupiter, you can catch a transit of the three Jovian moons of Io, Callisto and Europa

Shown above at 06:34 UTC, the moons will clearly be visible crossing the disc of the planet if you have a view through a telescope (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown above at 06:34 UTC, the moons will clearly be visible crossing the disc of the planet if you have a view through a telescope (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Beginning at 06:28 UTC and ending at 06:53 UTC, the moons will cast shadows across the planet which can be an awesome sight to observe! Wrap up and get out and see it!

Sunday 25th January – NASA rover Opportunity landed on Mars on this day in 2004, three weeks after Spirit

Tuesday 27th January – This morning the Moon is at First Quarter phase

Friday 30th January – Inner planet Mercury is in Inferior Conjunction today

As usual, if you take any photos throughout January 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 – December 2014
Astronomy Events – November 2014
Astronomy Events – October 2014

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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 404,335 km (251,242 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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