This Months Sky

News on what is visable in this months sky as posted by Adrian Zielonka's in his monthly sky notes.

Thank you Adrian and thank you CADAS.

Hi All

Here is the astronomy news for October.

From Adrian Zielonka

Astronomy News

Night Sky 2021- October

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Rises

Venus Sets

1st – 7:12am

10th – 7:26am

20th – 7:43am

30th – 8:00am

1st – 6:48pm

10th – 6:29pm

20th – 6:08pm

30th – 5:48pm

15th – 6:37am

20th – 6:08am

25th – 6:05am

30th – 6:20am

1st – 7:58pm

10th – 7:45pm

20th – 7:35pm

30th – 7:31pm

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

1st – 12:24am

2nd – 1:36am

3rd – 2:53am

4th – 4:13am (ENE)

5th – 5:34am

6th – 6:57am (E)

7th – 8:22am

8th – 9:50am (ESE)

9th – 11:19am

10th – 12:46pm

11th – 2:06pm

12th – 3:12pm (SE)

13th – 4:02pm

14th – 4:38pm

15th – 5:04pm

16th – 5:24pm (ESE)

17th – 5:41pm

18th – 5:55pm (E)

19th – 6:09pm

1st – 5:20pm

2nd – 5:47pm

3rd – 6:08pm (WNW)

4th – 6:27pm

5th – 6:44pm (W)

6th – 7:00pm

7th – 7:18pm

8th – 7:39pm (WSW)

9th – 8:05pm

10th – 8:40pm

11th – 9:27pm

12th – 10:29pm (SW)

13th – 11:41pm

15th – 1:00am

16th – 2:19am (WSW)

17th – 3:36am

18th – 4:50am

19th – 6:03am (W)

20th – 7:14am

20th – 6:23pm

21st – 6:38pm (ENE)

22nd – 6:56pm

23rd – 7:18pm

24th – 7:46pm

25th – 8:23pm

26th – 9:10pm (NE)

27th – 10:08pm

28th – 11:15pm

30th – 12:29am

31st – 1:46am (ENE)

- - - - - - -

All times

in notes are set

for

Somerton

unless stated

21st – 8:25am

22nd – 9:35am (WNW)

23rd – 10:46am

24th – 11:54am

25th – 12:59pm

26th – 1:55pm (NW)

27th – 2:42pm

28th – 3:20pm

29th – 3:49pm

30th – 4:12pm

31st – 3:31pm (WNW)

- - - - - - -

Moon Phases

New Moon – 6th

First Quarter – 13th

Full Moon – 20th

Last Quarter – 28th

A useful site: www.heavens-above.com

A S Zielonka

During the evenings this month Jupiter lies just above the two stars Delta Capricorni (2.8 mag) and Nashira (3.6mag) in retrograde motion. Jupiter and the two stars form an equalateral triangle around the 3rd - 5th as well as on the 31st when its back in forward motion.

During the first half of this month the asteroid Ceres (8.3 mag) stays 2 degrees from Aldebaran (0.8 mag). Ceres will be to the lower left of Aldebaran. On the 31st at 11:00pm Ceres (7.7 mag) is just ½ a degree to the lower left of Aldebaran. This is a good month to follow Ceres. (For further information please see the “Asteroid “ section in the website above).

On the 1st at 5:30am the Beehive Star Cluster is 6 degrees below the crescent Moon and 1 degree to the left.

On the 2nd the Bepi Colombo mission to Mercury has its first flyby of this planet. It goes into orbit around Mercury in 2025.

At 5:30am on the 2nd the Beehive Star Cluster is 7 degrees to the right of the crescent Moon and 5 degrees above.

Venus is at aphelion on the 3rd.

An occultation of the star Eta Leonis (3.4 mag) by the Moon occurs on the 3rd. It disappears at 3:41:21am and reappears at 4:16:03am. (Please note that these times are set for Yeovilton)

At 5:15am on the 4th the star Chertan (3.3 mag) in Leo is 5 degrees to the left of a

thin crescent Moon.

On the 5th at 6:00am a very thin crescent Moon will be seen low in the east at 85 degrees azimuth and just 3 degrees above the horizon.

At 7:05pm on the 7th a very thin crescent Moon may be seen low in the WSW at 251.5 degrees azimuth and 1 degree above the horizon.

The Draconids meteor shower reaches its peak on the 7th. The shower runs annually from the 6th – 10th. This year, the nearly new Moon will leave dark skies for what should be a good show. Best viewing will be in the evening from a dark location away from lights.

Mars is at superior conjunction on the 8th.

The Moon is at perigee (363,386km) on the 8th at 6:29pm. At 7:15pm a very thin crescent Moon is just 2½ degrees above the horizon at 240 degrees azimuth.

Mercury is at inferior conjunction on the 9th.

On the 9th at 7:15pm the crescent Moon is 5 degrees above the south west horizon at 226 degrees azimuth. Venus is just 2 degrees to the lower left of the Moon at 224.5 degrees azimuth amongst the stars of Scorpius. The star Dschubba (2.2 mag) is ¾ of a degree above Venus.

From the 10th - 18th around 7:15pm Venus will be low near the south west horizon passing through the constellation of Scorpius. On the 16th at 7:00pm Venus is 4 degrees above the horizon at 220 degrees azimuth with the star Antares (1 mag) just 1½ degrees below it.

At 7:30pm on the 10th the star 84405 'Hipparcus I.D.' (4.3 mag) in Ophiuchus is 4 degrees to the left of the crescent Moon.

On the 11th at 8:20pm the star Mu Sagittarii (3.8 mag) is 6 degrees above the crescent Moon.

At 8:15pm on the 12th the star Nunki (2 mag) in Sagittarius is 3 degrees to the right of the Moon. The star Tau Sagittarii (3.3 mag) is less than a degree below the Moon.

On the 13th at 10:00pm Saturn is 7½ degrees above the Moon and 3½ degrees to the left.

At 10:45pm on the 14th Saturn is 8 degrees to the left of the Moon. Jupiter is 10 degrees upper left of the Moon. All three are amongst the stars of Capricornus.

On the 15th at 9:00pm Jupiter is 6 degrees above right of the Moon. Between them and slightly nearer Jupiter is the star Delta Capricorni (2.8 mag). The star Nashira (3.6) is 1½ degrees below Jupiter.

The Parker Solar Probe has a Venus flyby on the 16th.

From the 16th - 31st around 6:45am Mercury passes through the constellation of Virgo low in the east. On the 17th at 6:45am Mercury is 3½ degrees above the horizon at 100 degrees azimuth with Porrima (2.7 mag) 2¼ degrees to the upper left. On the 20th Mercury is 5½ degrees above the horizon at 101.5 degrees azimuth with Porrima 1½ degrees upper left. On the 23rd Mercury is 6 degrees above the horizon at 102.5 degrees azimuth with Porrima 2¼ degrees above. On the 29th Mercury is 4 degrees above the horizon at 104 degrees azimuth with the star Theta Virginis (4.3 mag) just ½ a degree to its right.

At 7:00pm on the 16th the star Tau Aquarii (4 mag) is less than ½ a degree above the Moon. The star Skat is 2¼ degrees below the Moon.

There is a planned launch no earlier than October 16th* from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida of the “ Lucy “mission. Lucy will be the first space mission to study the Trojan asteroids associated with the planet Jupiter. Lucy will complete a 12 year journey to eight different asteroids which hold vital clues to deciphering the history of the solar system.

On the 17th at 7:00pm Neptune is 5 degrees above the Moon.

Mercury is at perihelion on the 20th.

At 9:00pm on the 20th the star Omicron Piscium (4.2 mag) is 2¾ degrees above the Moon and 2 degrees to the right.

On the 21st at 9:45pm the star Mu Ceti (4.2 mag) is 3 degrees to lower right of the Moon. Following a straight line from Mu Ceti through the Moon you will come to Uranus which is 2¼ degrees further on. A fainter star is just below and close to Uranus.

The Orionids meteor shower reaches its peak on the night of the 21st and the morning of the 22nd. Though they can be seen from the 1st October - 6th November. The full Moon will be a problem this month though if you are patient, you should manage to see a few bright ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight.

At 11:00pm on the 22nd the Pleiades star cluster is 6 degrees to the left of the Moon and 3 degrees above.

From the 22nd - 25th Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko (11.8 mag – Sept 13th) will be passing the star Mu Geminorum (2.8 mag) in Gemini. At midnight on the 23rd Chur-Gera will be just ½ a degree upper left of Mu Geminorum. Its distance from Earth on this day is 0.431AU. It will be ¾ of a degree from the Moon at midnight on the 26th. Its at perihelion on the 2nd of November when its 1.211AU from the Sun. From November 8th - 14th its at its closest to Earth at 0.418AU near the bright star Pollux.

On the 23rd at 11:00pm Aldebaran (0.8 mag) is 6 degrees below the Moon. Midway between them is the star Ain (3.5 mag).

The Moon is at apogee (405,615km) on the 24th at 4:29pm. At 11:00pm the star Elnath (1.6 mag) in Taurus is 5½ degrees to the left of the Moon and 1½ degrees above.

Mercury reaches maximum western elongation on the 25th when its 18.4 degrees from the Sun

At 11:00pm on the 25th the star 28734 'Hipparcos I.D.' (4.1 mag) in Gemini is 2 degrees to the lower right of the Moon. The star Propus (3.3 mag) is 3¾ degrees below the Moon.

On the 26th at 10:30pm the star Mebsuta (3 mag) in Gemini is 3 degrees to the upper right of the Moon.

At 11:30pm on the 27th the star Kappa Geminorum (3.5 mag) is 1¾ degrees upper right of the Moon.

On the night of the 28th at 12:30am the Beehive Star Cluster is 3 degrees to the right of the Moon and 1 degree below.

Venus reaches maximum eastern elongation on the 29th when its 47 degrees from the Sun.

At 1:00am on the night of the 29th the star Epsilon Leonis (2.9 mag) is 4 degrees to the left of the crescent Moon and 3 degrees above.

On the 31st at 6:00am the crescent Moon is approximately midway between the stars Chertan (3.3 mag) and Regulus (1.3 mag) in Leo.

There is a planned launch on the 31st* from Kennedy Space centre to the International Space Station (ISS). NASA's SpaceX Crew-3 mission will launch four astronauts aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket. Assigned to the mission are NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron. Also with them is the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer. (See below for further details)

  • = Dates and times are subject to change.

News: The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is now scheduled for December 18th. It will be placed 960,000 miles from Earth at Lagrange point (L2) which is directly opposite the Sun and known as an halo orbit. Since L2 is just an equilibrium point with no gravitational pull, a halo orbit is not an orbit in the usual sense: the JWST will actually be in orbit around the Sun, but stays in the vicinity of the L2 point.

It was announced on the 7th September that the Perseverance rover had successfully collected two pencil-size cores from Jezero Crater on Mars. The holes were drilled September 1st and the 7th.

Four amateur astronauts have splashed down successfully in the Atlantic ocean after spending three days in space. They are the first private, all-civilian team ever to orbit the Earth. The Inspirational4 crew left on a SpaceX capsule from Florida on Wednesday 15th September and landed off the state's coast on Saturday 18th.

ISS News: Raja Chari (b.1977) is married to Holly Schaffter and have three children. In June 2017 he was selected for NASA Astronaut Group 22 to begin two years of training to become an astronaut. In December 2020 he was selected to be a part of the Artemis Team, a group of astronauts “to help pave the way for the next lunar missions including sending the first woman and next man to walk on the lunar surface in 2024”. He will be the first NASA rookie to command a spaceflight in this current mission since Joe Engle, who commanded the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981.

Tom Marshburn (b.1960) is an American physician and a NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of two spaceflights to the International Space Station (ISS). During his first spaceflight in 2009 he took part in three spacewalks. During his second spaceflight in 2012/2013 Christopher Cassidy and himself performed an unplanned spacewalk to replace a pump controller box suspected to be the source of an ammonia coolant leak. Two days later Marshburn and his crew returned to Earth on May 13th.

Kayla Barron (b.1987) is married to Tom, who is a U.S. Army Special Forces officer. Kayla is an American submarine warfare officer, engineer and a NASA astronaut. Following her submarine assignment on USS Maine she was Flag Aide to the superintendent at the Naval Academy until her selection as an astronaut.

Matthias Maurer (b.1970) is a German European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut and materials scientist. He is fluent in three other languages (English, Spanish and French). He has also taken intensive language training in Russian and Chinese for his astronaut training. On the 28th July 2020 he was announced as a backup crew member for Thomas Pesquet on SpaceX Crew-2 to the ISS. The current mission will make him the twelfth German astronaut.

Facts: Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to go into space. In 1963 she spent almost three days in space and orbited Earth 48 times in her space capsule, Vostok 6. It was her only trip into space. She later toured the world to promote Soviet science and became involved in Soviet politics.

Astronomy
News

Night Sky 2021 - September

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Sets

Venus Sets

1st – 6:25am

10th – 6:39am

20th – 6:54am

30th – 7:10am

1st – 7:56pm

10th – 7:36pm

20th – 7:13pm

30th – 6:51pm

1st – 8:27pm

5th – 8:16pm

10th – 8:02pm

15th – 7:47pm

1st – 8:58pm

10th – 8:38pm

20th – 8:18pm

30th – 7:59pm

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

- - - - - - -

2nd – 12:39am (NE)

3rd – 1:37am

4th – 2:45am

5th – 4:00am

6th – 5:19am (ENE)

7th – 6:39am

8th – 8:00am (E)

9th – 9:22am

10th – 10:46am

11th – 12:11pm (ESE)

12th – 1:37pm

13th – 2:59pm

14th – 4:13pm (SE)

15th – 5:14pm

16th – 5:59pm

17th – 6:33pm

18th – 6:58pm

19th – 7:17pm (ESE)

1st - 5:17pm (NW)

2nd – 6:07pm

3rd – 6:48pm

4th – 7:20pm

5th – 7:45pm

6th – 8:05pm (WNW)

7th – 8:23pm

8th – 8:39pm (W)

9th – 8:56pm

10th – 9:15pm (WSW)

11th – 9:37pm

12th – 10:05pm

13th – 10:43pm

14th – 11:34pm (SW)

16th – 12:38am

17th – 1:53am

18th – 3:12am

19th – 4:32am (WSW)

20th – 5:50am

20th – 7:33pm

21st – 7:48pm (E)

22nd – 8:02pm

23rd – 8:17pm

24th – 8:33pm (ENE)

25th – 8:52pm

26th – 9:17pm

27th – 9:48pm

28th – 10:29pm (NE)

29th – 11:21pm

- - - - - - -

All times

in notes are set

for

Somerton

unless stated

21st – 7:04am

22nd – 8:17am (W)

23rd – 9:28am

24th – 10:39am (WNW)

25th – 11:50am

26th – 12:59pm

27th – 2:06pm

28th – 3:08pm (NW)

29th – 4:01pm

30th – 4:45pm

- - - - - - -

Moon Phases

New Moon – 7th

First Quarter – 13th

Full Moon – 21st

Last Quarter – 29th

A useful site:
www.heavens-above.com

A S Zielonka

On the night of the 1st
there is an occultation of the star Mebsuta (3 mag) in Gemini. At the time 2:01:51am Mebsuta reappears from behind the crescent Moon. (Please note – times for this are set for Yeovilton).

On the 2nd at 5:00am the star Mebsuta (3 mag) in Gemini is 2 degrees to the upper right of the crescent Moon.

In the early hours of the 3rd there is an occultation of the star Kappa Geminorum (3.5 mag). At 3:38:16am K.G. disappears behind the Moon and then reappears at 4:33:51am. (Please note – times
for this are set for Yeovilton).

At 5:00am on the 3rd the star Kappa Geminorum (3.5 mag) is ¾ of a degree to the upper right of the crescent Moon.

On the 4th at 5:00am the Beehive Star Cluster is 2½ degrees below right of the crescent Moon in the east.

From the 4th - 6th Venus passes close to Spica (1 mag) in Virgo. On the 5th at 8:15pm Spica is 1¾ degrees below Venus. Venus is 5 degrees above the horizon.at 247 degrees
azimuth.

At 5:00am on the 5th the star Lambda Leonis (3.5 mag) is 4 degrees above a thin crescent Moon and 2 degrees to the left.

Mercury reaches aphelion (its most distant from the Sun in its orbit) on the 6th.

On the 6th at 5:40am a very thin crescent Moon may be seen low in the ENE horizon at 69.5 degrees azimuth and 2 degrees above the horizon.

At 8:15pm on the 8th a very thin crescent Moon will be low in the west at 265.5 degrees azimuth and just 3 degrees above the horizon. The star Porrima (2.7 mag) in Virgo is just 1 degree to the left of the Moon.

On the 9th at 8:15pm the thin crescent Moon is low in the WSW at 252 degrees azimuth and 5½ degrees above the horizon. Venus is 6 degrees to the left of the Moon and 1½ degrees below.

Asteroid 4 Vesta at the beginning is in the constellation of Virgo. On the 9th at 8:45pm Vesta is just 2½ degrees above the Moon low in the WSW. The Moon is 1 degree above the horizon at 258 degrees
azimuth.

At 8:15pm on the 10th Venus is 8 degrees to the lower right of the crescent Moon in the WSW. Venus is 3½ degrees above the horizon.

The Moon is at perigee (368,461km) on the 11th
at 11:04am. A
t 8:15pm the crescent Moon will be due south west. The star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in Libra is 7 degrees to the right of the Moon and 1 degree below.

At 9:20pm on the 12th the crescent Moon is due south west and only 4½ degrees above the horizon, amongst the stars of Scorpius.

On the 13th at 9:00pm the star Theta Ophiuchi (3.2 mag) is 1 degree above left of the first quarter Moon.

Mercury is at Maximum eastern elongation on the 14th.

Neptune is at opposition on the 14th. Around this date is the best time to view Neptune with binoculars or a small telscope. It will be brighter than any other time of the year

At 9:30pm on the 14th the star Kaus Borealis (2.8 mag) in Sagittarius is 2 degrees to the upper left of the Moon.

From the 15th - 30th Jupiter passes close to the star Delta Capricorni (2.8 mag). On the 20th at 9:00pm Delta Capricorni is 1½ degrees below Jupiter in the SSE.

There is a planned launch on the 16th* from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The mission Landsat 9 continues the nearly 50-year old legacy of the
Landsat series. Its an irreplaceable record of Earth's land surfaces as seen from space. The partnership between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, the Landsat program offers the longest continuous global record of the Earth's surface.

On the 16th at 9:30pm Saturn is 6½ degrees to the upper left of the Moon low in the south.

At 10:30pm on the 17th Jupiter is 8 degrees upper left of the Moon. The star Delta Capricorni (2.8 mag) is 1½ degrees below Jupiter. The star Zeta Capricorni (3.7 mag) is 1½ degrees below the Moon and ¼ of a degree to the left.

On the 18th at 10:30pm Jupiter is 8¼ degrees to the upper right of the Moon.

At 10:30pm on the 19th Neptune is 9 degrees to the upper left of the Moon.

On the 20th at 10:30pm Neptune is 7 degrees to the upper right of the Moon.

From the 20th August - 20th September around 4:00pm the asteroid Ceres (8.8 mag) will pass below the Hyades star cluster in the east. On the 2nd Sept Ceres is ½ a degree below
the star Theta Tauri (3.4mag). On the 13th & 14th Ceres is just under 1 degree below Aldebaran. The Hyades is the nearest open cluster and one of the best-studied star clusters.

At 10:30pm on the 22nd the star Nu Piscium (4.4 mag) is 3 degrees below left of the Moon.

From the 22nd - 24th Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko (11.3 mag – Aug 11th) will pass by the star Ain (3.5 mag) which is in the Hyades star cluster in Taurus. On the 23rd
at midnight Chur-Gera is a quarter of a degree upper left of Ain in the east. Chur-Gera is 0.537AU from the Earth. Chur-Gera's closest approach to Earth is from the 8th - 14th Nov when it will be 0.418AU. Chur-Gera is at perihelion on
the 2nd Nov. This comet is likely to brighten more over the next couple of months months, though by how much, is anybody's guess.

On the 23rd at 9:30pm the star Xi Ceti (4.3 mag) in Cetus is 1 degree below right of the Moon.

At 10:30pm on the 24th Uranus is 3 degrees above the Moon and 1½ degrees to the right.

On the 25th at 10:30pm the Pleiades star cluster is 5½ degrees to the upper left of the Moon.

At 10:30pm on the 26th the star Tau Tauri (4.2 mag) is 1½ degrees to the left of the Moon.
The Moon is at apogee (404,640km) at 10:44pm.

On the 27th
at midnight the star Zeta Tauri (2.9 mag) is 3½ degrees below the Moon and ¾ of a degree to the right.

At midnight on the 28th
the star Mu Geminorum (2.8 mag) is 3 degrees to the lower right of the Moon.

On the night of the 29th
at 12:30am the star Wasat (3.5 mag) in Gemini is 3¼ degrees below right of the last quarter Moon.

* = Dates and times are subject to change

News: Mission: Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer. This x-ray astronomy satellite will study active galactic nuclei, microquasars, pulsars and pulsar wind nebulae, magnetars, accreting X-ray binaries, supernova
remnants and the galactic centre.

The first flight of NASA's X-57, a small, experimental airplane powered by electricity will take place this autumn. All-electric technology will make flying cleaner, quieter and more sustainable. The flight
will take place at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Centre in California.

CAPSTONE – Cubesat Pathfinder Mission will validate new navigation technologies and verify dynamics in Gateway's planned orbit. It will launch aboard a Rocket Lab Electron rocket this Autumn.

In August astronomers have discovered the two reddest objects in the asteroid belt. A team led by Sunao Hasegawa (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan) found the two objects. Their named 203
Pompeja and 269 Justitia. Objects this red must have journeyed inward from beyond Neptune's orbit, and their presence in the main belt strengthens the case for giant planet migration early in the solar system's history.

The recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi dramatically brightened from magnitude 11.2 to 4.8 over August 8th – 9th. Irish amateur Keith Geary was the first to report the surprise outburst of RS
Ophiuchi, one of the few known recurrent novae. He captured photos of it glaring at magnitude 5 with his DSLR camera at 11:20pm on August 8th.

September Fact: The Hyades is the nearest open cluster and one of the best-studied star clusters. Its located about 153 light years away and consists of a roughly spherical group of hundreds of stars sharing
the same age, place of origin and motion through space. The brightest star being Aldebaran is unrelated to the Hyades, as it is located much closer to Earth and merely happens to lie along the same line of vision

Hi All

Here is the astronomy news for June.

From Adrian

Astronomy News

Night Sky 2021 - June

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Sets / Rises

Venus Sets

1st – 5:02am

10th – 4:57am

20th – 4:56am

30th – 5:00am

1st – 9:17pm

10th – 9:25pm

20th – 9:29pm

30th – 9:29pm

1st – 10:08pm

11th – Inf Conjunction

26th – 4:18am

30th – 4:05am

1st – 10:40pm

10th – 10:52pm

20th – 10:57pm

30th – 10:54pm

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

1st - 2:05am

2nd – 2:26am (ESE)

3rd – 2:43am

4th – 2:57am

5th – 3:11am (E)

6th – 3:25am

7th – 3:41am (ENE)

8th – 3:58 am

9th – 4:20am

10th – 4:48am

11th – 5:25am

12th – 6:11am

13th – 7:09am

14th – 8:16am

15th – 9:29am

16th – 10:44am (ENE)

17th – 12:02pm

18th – 1:20pm

19th – 2:41pm (E)

1st - 11:25am (WSW)

2nd – 12:40pm

3rd – 1:52pm

4th – 3:01pm (W)

5th – 4:09pm

6th – 5:17pm

7th – 6:26pm (WNW)

8th – 7:34pm

9th – 8:42pm

10th – 9:47pm

11th – 10:46pm

12th – 11:35pm

14th – 12:15am

15th – 12:45am

16th – 1:10am

17th – 1:30am (WNW)

18th – 1:48am

19th – 2:04am (W)

20th – 2:21am

20th – 4:05pm

21st – 5:32pm (ESE)

22nd – 7:01pm

23rd – 8:28pm

24th – 9:45pm

25th – 10:47pm

26th – 11:33pm

28th – 12:05am

29th – 12:29am (ESE)

30th – 12:48am

- - - - - - -

All times

in notes are set

for

Somerton

unless stated

21st – 2:40am (WSW)

22nd – 3:04am

23rd – 3:34am

24th – 4:15am

25th – 5:11am

26th – 6:21am

27th – 7:41am

28th – 9:02am

29th – 10:21am (WSW)

30th – 11:36am

- - - - - - -

Moon Phases

Last Quarter – 2nd

New Moon – 10th

First Quarter – 18th

Full Moon – 24th

A useful site: www.heavens-above.com

A S Zielonka

From the 30th May – 1st June Mars passes close to the star Kappa Geminorum (3.5 mag). On the 31st

Kappa Geminorum will be just under 2 degrees to the upper right of Mars.

At 4:00am on the 1st in the south east Jupiter is 7 degrees to the upper left of the Moon. At the same time Saturn is 13 degrees to the right of the Moon and 5½ degrees above the Moon.

At 4:00am low in the SSE at the beginning of the month the star Theta Capricorni (4 mag) is barely ½ a degree to the left of Saturn. On the 30th low in the south they will be 1½ degrees apart.

On the 1st at 9:45pm Venus is 7 degrees above the horizon in the WNW at 300.5 degrees azimuth. Mercury is 5 degrees to the lower right of Venus at 303 degrees azimuth. The star Elnath (1.6 mag) in Taurus is 8 degrees to the right of Venus.

On the 2nd at 4:00am Jupiter is 9½ degrees to the upper right of the Moon. The star Tau Aquarii (4 mag) in Aquarius is 1¼ degrees to the upper right of the Moon.

There is a planned launch on the 3rd* of SpaceX Commercial Resupply Mission-22 to the ISS. It will be launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

At 4:00am on the 3rd Neptune is 5 degrees above the Moon and 1½ degrees to the left.

On the 6th at 4:00am a crescent Moon will be 4½ degrees above the eastern horizon and at 84 degrees azimuth.

From the 5th – 7th at midnight the two stars Zosma (2.5 mag) and Chertan (3.3 mag) in Leo point the way to the asteroid Vesta. On the 6th two degrees to the lower left of Chertan in the west is Vesta.

At 4:00am on the 7th a thin crescent Moon will be 2 degrees above the horizon at 73.5 degrees azimuth. Uranus is 3 degrees to the left of the Moon and 2½ degrees above.

On the 8th at 4:15am a very thin crescent Moon is 1½ degrees above the horizon at 66 degrees azimuth. The Pleiades star cluster is 9 degrees to the left of the Moon and 3½ degrees above.

From the 9th – 12th Venus passes close to Mebsuta (3 mag) in Gemini. On the 10th at 10:00pm Mebsuta is 1 degree upper right of Venus low in the WNW at 301.5 degrees azimuth and just 8 degrees above the horizon. Venus is at perihelion (closest point from the Sun in its orbit) on the 12th.

Mercury is at aphelion (furthest point from the Sun in its orbit) on the 10th.

There is an annular Solar Eclipse on the 10th. Totality will start in mid Canada and travel across north western Greenland, the Arctic, including the North Pole ending in Siberia. The partial phase of the eclipse for us starts at 10:04:07am and ends at 12:18:04pm. Mid-eclipse is at 11:08:31am.

At 10:00pm on the 11th a very thin crescent Moon will be 4½ degrees above the WNW horizon at 305 degrees azimuth. Venus is 5 degrees above left of the Moon. The star Mebsuta (3 mag) in Gemini is 1¾ degrees to the right of Venus.

On the 12th at 10:00pm Venus is 6 degrees lower right of the thin crescent Moon. The star Wasat (3.5 mag) in Gemini is 2¾ degrees to the lower left of the Moon.

At 10:00pm on the 13th Mars is 2 degrees to the lower left of the crescent Moon. The Beehive star cluster is 6½ degrees to the left of the Moon and 1 degree above.

Comet C/2020 T2 Palomar (11 mag – May 17th) is at perihelion on the 11th July and 2.055AU from the Sun. On the night of the 13th June looking approximately 45 degrees above the horizon in the south west the two stars Arcturus (0.05 Mag) and Muphrid (2.6 mag) in Bootes point the way to comet Palomar. At midnight Comet Palomar is 4 degrees to the lower right of Muphrid.

On the 14th at 10:00pm the Beehive star cluster is 6½ degrees to the lower right of the crescent Moon. Its approximately midway between the Moon and Mars.

At 12:30am on the night of the 15th the star Eta Leonis (3.4 mag) in Leo is ½ a degree above the crescent Moon low in the WNW at 290 degrees azimuth. The star Regulus (1.3 mag) is 2 degrees above the horizon at 266.5 degrees azimuth.

From the 16th – 18th Venus passes close to the star Wasat (3.5 mag) In Gemini. On the 17th at 10:15pm Wasat is just 1½ degrees to the lower left of Venus. Venus is 5½ degrees above the horizon at 301 degrees azimuth.

On the 17th at 11:30pm the star Nu Virginis (4 mag) in Virgo is ½ a degree upper left of the crescent Moon.

At 11.30pm on the 18th The star Porrima (2.7 mag) in Virgo is 2¾ degrees to the left of the Moon.

On the 19th at 11:30pm the star Spica (1 mag) in Virgo is 5½ degrees below left of the Moon. The star Theta Virginis (4.3 mag) is 4 degrees to the lower right of the Moon. Both of the stars to the Moon form a perfect 90 degree rightangle.

At 10.30pm on the 20th the star Kappa Virginis (4.1 mag) in Virgo is 1½ degrees to the upper right of the Moon.

The June solstice occurs on the 21st at 4:21am. The North Pole of the Earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its northernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees north latitude, which marks the first day of summer.

On the 21st at 10:30pm the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in Libra is 5½ degrees to the right of the Moon and 1 degree above.

At 11:30pm on the 22nd the star Sigma Scorpii (2.9 mag) in Scorpius is 4 degrees below the Moon and 1 degree to the left. The star Antares (1 mag) is 2 degrees to the lower left of Sigma Scorpii.

On the 23rd at 11:30pm the star Theta Ophiuchi (3.2 mag) in Ophiuchus is less than ½ a degree to the left of the Moon.

On the 24th and 25th Castor (1.5 mag) and Pollux (1.1 mag) point the way to Venus. At 10:15pm Venus will be 6 degrees above the horizon at 299 degrees azimuth.

At midnight on the 24th the star Kaus Borealis (2.8 mag) in Sagittarius is 1¼ degrees above the Moon low in the SSE.

On the night of the 26th at 12:05am the Moon is due south east and just 3 degrees above the horizon. Saturn is 8 degrees to the left of the Moon and 2½ degrees above. The star Theta Capricorni (4 mag) is 1¼ degrees to the left of Saturn.

At 12:30am on the night of the 27th the Moon is 2½ degrees above the south east horizon. Saturn is 9 degrees above right of the Moon. Jupiter is 13 degrees to the left of the Moon and 2 degrees above.

On the night of the 28th at 1:00am the Moon is 3½ degrees above the south east horizon with Jupiter 5½ degrees above the Moon... ...Then at 4:00am Jupiter is 6 degrees above right of the Moon.

On the 29th at 4:30am Mercury is low in the ENE at 63 degrees azimuth and just 3 degrees above the horizon. Aldebaran (0.8 mag) in Taurus is upper right of Mercury at 70.5 degrees azimuth and 5½ degrees above the horizon.

At 4:00am on the 30th Neptune is 7 degrees upper left of the Moon.

On the 30th at 10:15pm Mars will be 7 degrees left of Venus and 2½ degrees above with the Beehive Star cluster approximately midway between them.

* = Dates and times are subject to change.

News: China launched the Tianhe module on the 29th April into orbit, which contains living quarters for crew members for a new space station which should be operational by 2022. The new, 66 tonne, multi-module is set to be operational for at least 10 years. Beijing plans to have at least 10 more similar launches, carrying all the additional equipment into orbit, before the completion of the station next year. It will orbit Earth at an altitude of 340 to 450km (210-280 miles) which is much the same as the ISS. The ISS is due to be retired after 2024, which could potentially leave Tiangong as the only space station in Earth's orbit. When the Tiangong is up and running, it will be only a quarter of the size of the ISS.

China and Russia have announced plans to build a lunar space station. It comes as Russia prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its first-ever manned space flight. They will use their accumulated experience in space science, research and development and use of space equipment and space technology to jointly devlop a road map for the construction of an “international lunar scientific research station” the statement (in Mandarin) said.

On the 15th May China successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars. The six-wheeled Zhurong robot was targeting the region Utopia Planita, a vast terrain in the planet's northern hemisphere. Only the Americans have really mastered landing on Mars until now. All other countries that have tried have either crashed or lost contact soon after reaching the surface.

NASA's Osiris-Rex leaves asteroid Bennu, and heads for home. After five years on mission, including more than two years spent exploring the 500 metre asteroid 101955 Bennu Osiris-Rex fired its thrusters for 7 minutes on Monday 10th May. This burn set the spacecraft moving 600mph relative to the asteroid to start its 2½ year journey back to Earth.

Saturn is the only planet we know of whose magnetic field is almost exactly aligned with its axis of rotation. In a new analysis of data collected during the final orbits of the Cassini mission, astronomers propose the field's unique nature might come from a thick layer of helium ”rain” that's falling slowly onto the planet's mettalic hydrogen core.

In mid-May a star in the constellation of Cassiopeia that flared into view during mid-March has erupted to naked-eye visibility at 5.5 mag. The end two stars Schedar (2.2 mag) and Caph (2.2 mag) of the “W” shaped constellation point towards the Nova. The Nova is approximately 6 degrees from Caph.

Facts: China sent its first astronaut Yang Liwei (b.1965) into space in 2003 making it the third country to do so, after the Soviet Union and the United States.