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.

 

Here is the astronomy new for April 2020.

Astronomy
News

Night
Sky 2020 - April

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Rises...

Venus Sets

1st
6:46am

10th
6:26am

20th
6:05am

30th
– 5:45am

1st
7:44pm

10th
7:59pm

20th
8:16pm

30th
– 8:32pm

..at the beginning
of the month less than ½ hour before the Sun and is not visible
this month.

1st
12:15am

10th
12:29am

20th
12:35am

30th
– 12:27am

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

-
- - - - - -

1st
11:12am

2nd
12:14pm

3rd
1:27pm

4th
2:48pm

5th
4:13pm (ENE)

6th
5:39pm

7th
7:06pm (E)

8th
8:34pm

9th
10:01pm (ESE)

10th
11:26pm

12th
12:45am

13th
1:56am

14th
2:56am

15th
3:42am

16th
4:19am

17th
4:47am

18th
5:09am (ESE)

19th
5:29am

20th
5:46am

1st
3:15am

2nd
4:09am

3rd
4:53am

4th
5:29am

5th
5:58am (WNW)

6th
6:23am

7th
6:46am (W)

8th
7:08am

9th
7:31am

10th
7:57am (WSW)

11th
8:27am

12th
9:05am

13th
9:52am

14th
10:48am

15th -
11:50am

16th
12:57pm

17th
2:05pm

18th
3:12pm (WSW)

19th
4:19pm

20th
5:25pm

21st
6:02am (E)

22nd
6:18am

23rd
6:35am

24th
6:54am (ENE)

25th
7:16am

26th
7:44am

27th
8:20am

28th
9:06am

29th
10:03am

30th
11:10am

 

-
- - - - - -

 

 

All
times in notes

are
set for

Somerton

unless
stated

 

21st
6:31pm (W)

22nd
7:37pm

23rd
8:45pm (WNW)

24th
9:53pm

25th
11:01pm

27th
12:09am

28th
1:11am

29th
2:07am

30th
2:53am

 

-
- - - - - -

 

Moon Phases

First
Quarter – 1st

Full Moon – 8th

Last Quarter – 14th

New Moon – 23rd

First
Quarter – 30th

A
useful site: www.heavens-above.com

 

A
S Zielonka

 

 

 

 

Comet
C/2019 Y4 Atlas (10 mag on March 9
th)
is in the constellation of Camelopardalis this month. It is at
perihelion on May 31
st
when it will be just 0.253AU (23,529,000 million miles) from the Sun.
Its closest to the Earth on the the May 22
nd/23rd
when it will be 0.781AU distance. Unfortunately there are no bright
stars to locate it by. This is a comet that could brighten up to be a
classic – though comets can be unpredictable. The last time it was
near the Sun was 5,520 years ago. (For further information on this
and other comets listed please see the 'Comet' section in the website
above).

 

Comet C/2017 T2 Panstarrs (8.5 mag on March 9th) is
mainly in Camelopardalis constellation this month. Unfortunately
there are no bright stars to locate it by. It reaches perihelion on
May 4th when its 1.615AU from the Sun.

 

Comet 88P Howell (16 mag on March 9th) is within the constellation of
Virgo this month. On the 9th/10th
May the comet will be at its closest to Earth at 1.080AU. Around May
20
th it will be
within half a degree of the star Porrima (2.7mag) in Virgo.

 

There is a close conjunction between Mars and Saturn on
the 1st. At 5:30am Saturn is 1 degree above Mars and due
south east (135 degrees azimuth) and 7 degrees above the horizon.
Jupiter is 6½ degrees right of Saturn.

 

At midnight on the 1st the star Wasat
(3.5mag) in Gemini is just 1 degree below left of the Moon.

 

During the evenings of the 2nd - 4th
of April the planet Venus will be amongst the stars of the Pleiades
star cluster.

 

On the 2nd at midnight the Beehive Star
cluster is 5 degrees to the left of the Moon and 2 degrees above.

 

At 9:00pm on the 4th the star Eta Leonis (3.4
mag) in Leo is 2 degrees above the Moon with Regulus (1st
mag) 3 degrees below right. An occultation of this star by the Moon
occurs over southern Africa.

 

On the 5th at 9:00pm the star Chertan (3.3
mag) in Leo is 5½ degrees above left of the Moon.

 

At 8:00pm on the 7th the star Porrima (2.7
mag) in Virgo is 5 degrees above right of the Moon... then the
following morning at 5:00pm the star Spica (1st mag) is 7½
degrees to the lower left of the Moon.

 

Comet C/2020 A2
Iwamoto (11 mag on March 9th) is in the constellation of
Auriga this month. On the 8th at 10:00pm Iwamoto will be
between the stars Menkalina (1.9 mag) and Capella (0 mag), and just 3
degrees from Menkalina. It was at perihelion on the January 8th.

 

There is a
scheduled launch on the 9th* at 9:04am* of a Soyuz
spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). Expedition 63
crew members, Chris Cassidy (NASA) and Russian space agency
Roscomos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner
will spend six months in space. (See ISS News below)

 

Comet C/2019 Y1 Atlas (10 mag on March 9th)
is in the constellation of Cassiopeia this month. On the 9th
at midnight looking north the comet will be between the stars Schedar
(2.2 mag) and Caph (2.2 mag) with the comet just 1½ degrees from
Schedar. Please note that there are many stars in the close up of
this area.

 

In October 2018 the BepiColombo mission to Mercury was
launched. On the 10th, a year and a half after the launch it needs
its first gravity assist (flyby) from the Earth to get there. At
9:10pm on this day it will be around 11,000 km from Earth. Its second
gravity assist (flyby) is when it gets to Venus this October.

 

The Asteroid Vesta (8.4 mag) is approximately midway
between Venus and the star Aldebaran during this month. From the 10th
- 15th it passes close to the star Ain (3.5 mag) in
Taurus. On the 14th at 9:00pm its less than 1 degree from
the star Ain. (For further information please see the 'Asteroid'
section in the website above).

 

At 1:00am on the night of the 10th the star
Acrab (2.5 mag) in Scorpius is 1 degree below the Moon.

 

On the 12th at 5:00am the star Theta Ophiuchi
(3.2mag) in Ophiuchus is 3½ degrees to the lower left of the Moon.

 

At 5:00am on the 13th the star Kaus Borealis
(2.8 mag) in Sagittarius is 3¾ degrees to the left of the Moon and 2
degrees below.

 

On the 14th at 5:00am Jupiter is 10½ degrees
to the left of the Moon. The star Nunki (2nd mag) in Sagittarius is
3½ degrees to the right of the Moon.

 

At 5:00am on the 15th low in the south east
Jupiter will be 4 degrees upper right of the crescent Moon. Saturn is
4½ degrees to the upper left of the Moon. All three forming a nice
triangular shape with the gap between Saturn and Jupiter now only 5½
degrees.

 

On the 16th at 5:00am Mars is 3 degrees above
left of the crescent Moon which is just 4¼ degrees above the horizon
at 132.5 azimuth. Saturn is 10 degrees above right of the Moon.

 

At 5:00am on the 17th the crescent Moon is 1
degree above the horizon at 121.5 azimuth. Mars is 11½ degrees upper
right of the Moon.

 

There is a
scheduled landing on the 17th* of the Expedition 62 crew.
NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir and cosmonaut Oleg
Skripochka of Roscosmos return to Earth from the ISS aboard their
Soyuz spacecraft, landing in Kazakhstan.

 

On the 18th at 6:30am the crescent Moon is 2¼
degrees above the horizon at 117 degrees azimuth. Because the Moon on
this day is 5½ degrees below the ecliptic plane (which the Sun is
on) the Moon will not be visible pre-dawn now till the evening of the
24th, unless its a clear blue sky at the time of sunrise.

 

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower reaches its peak on the
5th/6th May though they can be seen between
18th April - 27th May.

 

From the 19th April - 4th May low
in the south east Mars passes by a trail of stars in Capricornus. At
5:30am each day Mars position as follows: On the 19th
Theta Capricorni (4 mag) is 1 degree above left of Mars, on the 25th
Iota Capricorni (4.2mag) is less than a ¼ of a degree to the upper
left, on the 1st Nashira (3.6 mag) is 1 degree above and
on the 4th May Delta Capricorni (2.8 mag) is 1 degree
below right.

 

At 7:00am on the 19th the crescent Moon is 12
degrees above the horizon at 123.5 degrees azimuth (if its a clear
sky).

 

On the 20th at 7:00am a thin crescent Moon
may be seen at 10 degrees above the horizon and at 113 degrees
azimuth (if its a clear sky).

 

The Lyrids meteor shower reaches its peak on the
21st/22nd though they can be seen between the
13th - 29th.

 

At 9:00pm on the 24th a very thin crescent
Moon is 7 degrees above the horizon at 286 degrees azimuth. The
Pleiades star cluster is 10 degrees above the Moon and 2½ degrees to
the right.

 

On the 25th at 10:30pm the crescent Moon is
3¼ degrees above the WNW horizon. Venus is 12½ degrees above the
Moon. Aldebaran (1st mag) in Taurus is 4½ degrees to the
left of the Moon. This month is ideal for viewing the phases Venus as
you would with the Moon.

 

Saturn is at superior conjunction (with the Sun) on the
26th.

 

At 10:30pm on the 26th Venus is 6½ degrees
to the upper right of the crescent Moon. The star Zeta Tauri (2.9
mag) in Taurus is 6 degrees upper left of the Moon.

 

On the 27th at 9:30pm the star 28734 (from
the Hipparcus Catalogue) (4.1 mag) in Gemini is about a quarter of a
degree to the upper right of the Moon.

 

At midnight on the 28th the star Mekbuda (4
mag) in Gemini is 2¾ degrees to the lower left of the Moon.

 

Around 10:00pm on the 29th the stars Castor
(1.5 mag) and Pollux (1.1 mag) in Gemini point the way to the Moon.

 

At 5:00am on the 30th low in the SSE Saturn
and Jupiter are just 5 degrees apart

 

On the 30th at 10:00pm the Beehive Star
Cluster is 4 degrees to the lower right of the Moon.

 

At 11:00pm on the 30th the star Elnath (1.5
mag) in Taurus is 3½ degrees above left of Venus low in the WNW.

 

* = Dates and times
are subject to change.

 

News: Solar
Orbiter
: The science payload is
composed of 10 instruments.

1) SWA - Solar
Wind Plasma Analyser (UK) consists of a suite of sensors that will
measure the ion and electron bulk properties (including density,
velocity and temperature) of the solar wind, thereby characterizing
the solar wind between 0.28 and 1.4 AU from the Sun. In addition to
determining the bulk properties of the wind, SWA will provide
measurements of the solar wind ion composition for key elements (e.g.
the C, N, O group and Fe, Si or Mg).

 

ISS
News: Christopher J Cassidy (b.1970) was selected as an
astronaut by NASA in 2004 and is a veteran of two space flights. He
is a U.S.Navy SEAL, and has been deployed twice to the Mediterranean
and twice to Afganistan. He has been the recipient of Bronze Star
with combat 'V' and Presidential Unit Citation for leading a nine-day
operation at the Zharwar Kili Cave on the Afghanistan/Pakistan
border. This is third time in space.

Anatoly
Ivanishin
(b.1969) is married
to Svetlana Ivanishina. They have one son, Vladislav (b.1993).
Anatoly has served in combatant units of the Russian Air Force. Since
1992, he served as a senior fighter pilot in the 159th Fighter
Aviation Regiment based in Petrozavodsk, Karelia, part of the 6th Air
Army. During the Service he flew Su-27 jet fighter aircraft. He has
logged 507 hours of flying time and has successfully made 180
parachute jumps. This is also Anatoly's third time in space.

Ivan
Viktorovitch Vagner
(b.1985) is a Russian Engineer and Cosmonaut
who was selected in October 2010. He graduated from the Baltic State
Technical University in 2008, before working as an engineer for RKK
Energia. This will be Ivan's first flight into space.

 

Facts:
Crew members of Expedition 44, the 44th trip to the ISS, back in 2015
successfully grew lettuce onboard the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft. New
research shows the produce was just as nutritious as Earth-grown
lettuce, despite the challenging growing conditions in deep space.

 

 

 

Here is the astronomy news for March 2020.

 

Astronomy
News

Night
Sky 2020 - March

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Rises

Venus Sets

1st
6:55am

10th
6:35am

20th
6:13am

30th
– 6:50am

1st
5:52pm

10th
6:08pm

20th
6:25pm

30th
– 7:41pm

15th
– 5:41am

20th
– 5:33am

25th
– 5:27am

29th
– 6:23am

1st
10:02pm

10th
10:26pm

20th
10:51pm

30th
– 12:11am

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

-
- - - - - -

1st
9:45am (ENE)

2nd
10:12am

3rd
10:46am

4th
11:30am

5th
12:26pm

6th
1:36pm

7th
2:55pm

8th
4:20pm (ENE)

9th
5:47pm

10th
7:15pm (E)

11th
8:41pm

12th
10:06pm

13th
11:29pm (ESE)

15th
12:49am

16th
2:02am

17th
3:06am

18th
3:59am

19th
4:41am

20th
5:14am

21st
5:41am

1st -
12:02am (WNW)

2nd
1:10am

3rd
2:18am

4th
3:24am

5th
4:24am

6th
5:15am

7th
5:58am

8th
6:32am (WNW)

9th
7:00am

10th
7:24am

11th
7:46am (W)

12th
8:08am

13th
8:32am (WSW)

14th
9:00am

15th
9:33am

16th
10:13am

17th
11:01am

18th
11:58am

19th
1:01pm

20th
2:07pm

21st
3:14pm (WSW)

22nd
6:02am (ESE)

23rd
6:21am

24th
6:38am

25th
6:54am (E)

26th
7:11am

27th
7:28am

28th
7:48am (ENE)

29th
9:13am

30th
9:43am

31st
– 10:22am

 

-
- - - - - -

 

Moon Phases

First Quarter – 2nd

Full Moon – 9th

Last Quarter – 16th

New Moon - 24th

22nd
4:22pm

23rd
5:28pm

24th
6:34pm (W)

25th
7:40pm

26th
8:46pm

27th
9:53pm (WNW)

28th
11:01pm

30th
1:09am

31st
– 2:14am

-
- - - - - -

Clocks
go forward

an
hour

on
the night

of
the 28th

 


- - - - - - -

All
times in notes

are
set from

Somerton

unless
stated

A
useful site: www.heavens-above.com

 

A
S Zielonka

 

 

 

 

From the Feb 29th
– March 9
th
Comet C/2017 T2 Panstarrs (9th mag on Feb10th) will be within 2½
degrees of the star Epsilon Cassiopeiae (3.3mag) in Cassiopiea. On
the 9th it is 1.759AU from the Earth It reaches perihelion on May
4
th when its
1.615AU from the Sun. (For further information on this comet or
others listed, please see the 'Comet' section of the website above)

 

At 5:30am on the 1st the asteroid Vesta is 6 degrees above
the Moon and 2 degreesto the left. (For further info please see the
'Asteroid' and 'Sky chart' section in the website above)

 

Comet C/2020 A2 Iwamoto (11.5 mag Feb 10th) is half a
degree to the upper right of the star Errai (3.2 mag) in Cepheus on
the 1st at 9:30pm in the north. Errai is 11 degrees from
the Pole Star. It was at perihelion on Jan 8th

 

On the 1st at 9:30pm the Pleiades star cluster is 7½
degrees to the upper right of the Moon. The star Lambda Tauri (3.4
mag) in Taurus is 4¾ degrees to the lower left of the Moon.

 

There is a scheduled launch on the 2nd* at 6:45am* from
Cape Canaveral in Florida. A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft will
deliver NASA science investigations, supplies, and equipment to the
International Space Station (ISS).

 

At 7:00pm on the 2nd Aldebaran in Taurus is 3¾ degrees
below the first quarter Moon.

 

On the 3rd at 7:00pm the star Zeta Tauri (2.9 mag) in
Taurus is ¾ of a degree below the Moon.

 

At 11:00pm on the 4th the star Mebsuta (3 mag) in Gemini
is 2¼ degrees above right of the Moon.

 

On the 5th at 11:00pm the star Kappam Geminorum (3.5 mag)
in Gemini is 2 degrees above right of the Moon

 

At 11:00pm on the 6th The Beehive Cluster is 1 degree
below right of the Moon.

 

There is a close conjunction between Venus and Uranus on the 7th
& 8th. At 7:00pm on the 7th Uranus is 2½
degrees to the left and on the 8th Uranus is 2¼ degrees
lower left.

 

Neptune is at superior conjunction (with the Sun) on the 8th.

 

On the 8th at 5:30am low in the west the star Eta Leonis
(3.4 mag) in Leo is 2½ degrees above left of the Moon.

 

At 5:30am on the 9th the star Chertan (3.3 mag) in Leo is
6½ degrees directly above the Moon.

 

On the night of the 9th at 1:00am the star Denebola (2.1
mag) in Leo is 8½ degrees directly above the Moon.

 

At midnight on the 10th the star Porrima (2.7 mag) in
Virgo is just 2 degrees below the Moon.

 

On the 11th at midnight the star Spica (1st
mag) in Virgo is 6 degrees below right of the Moon.

 

At 5:30am on the 13th the star Zebeneschamali (2.6 mag) in
Libra is 4 degrees to the lower left of the Moon.

 

On the 15th at 5:00am the star Antares (1st
mag) in Scorpios is 5½ degrees below the Moon and 2 degrees to the
right.

 

At 5:00am on the 16th the star Theta Ophiuchi (3.2 mag) in
Ophiuchus is 3 degrees to the right of the Moon and 1 degree below
with a few fainter stars between them.

 

On the 17th at 5:00am the star Kaus Borealis (2.8 mag) in
Sagittarius is 1½ degrees to the lower right of the Moon.

 

At 5:30am on the 18th low in the south east, Mars will be
2 degrees to the upper left of the crescent Moon with Jupiter 1½
degrees to the left of Mars. Saturn is 10 degrees to the left of the
Moon. There is also an occultation of Mars by the Moon today, though
this will only be visible across the southern ocean and the lower
half of South America.

 

On the 19th at 5:30am Saturn will be 4 degrees above the
crescent Moon and 1½ degrees to the left. Jupiter and Mars to the
right of them are just 1 degree apart.

 

Venus is at perihelion (its closest to the Sun in its orbit) on the
20th.

 

At 5:33am on the 20th the crescent Moon is in the south
east at 126 degrees azimuth and 1½ degrees above the horizon.

 

From the 20th March - 1st April Mars passes
between Jupiter and Saturn which are 6½ degrees apart in the early
morning sky. They will be low in the south east from 5:00am. There is
a close conjunction between Jupiter and Mars on the 20th
when they are only ¾ of a degree apart. On the 31st there
is a close conjunction between Saturn and Mars when they are just 1
degree apart. Later on this year there is a close conjunction between
the two giant planets.

 

On the 23rd at 5:40am Mercury will be in the ESE at 109
degrees azimuth and just 1½ degrees above the horizon.

 

Mercury will be at maximum western elongation from the Sun on the
24th.

 

Venus will be at maximum eastern elongation from the Sun on the 24th.

 

At 7:09pm on the 25th a very thin crescent Moon will be
seen due west (270 degrees azimuth) and just 4 degrees above the
horizon.

 

On the 26th at 8:00pm Uranus is 4½ degrees above the thin
crescent Moon and 2½ degrees to the right.

 

Mercury is at aphelion (its most distant from the Sun in its orbit)
on the 27th.

 

At 8:00pm on the 27th Venus is 12 degrees above the
crescent Moon. Uranus is 8 degrees to the right of the Moon and 6
degrees below.

 

On the 28th at 9:30pm Venus is 7½ degrees to the right of
the crescent Moon. The Pleiades star cluster is 5½ degrees to the
upper left of Venus.

 

Comet 88P Howell (14 mag on Feb 10th) is between the stars Zeta
Virginis (3.3 mag) and Spica (1st mag) in Virgo on the 27th
and 28th. It is 4½ degrees approx from Zeta Virginis. On
the 27th it is 1.289 AU from Earth. On the
9
th/10th
May the comet will be at its closest to Earth at 1.08 AU. Around May
20
th it will be
within half a degree of the star Porrima (2.7mag) in Virgo.

 

An occultation of the star Ain (3.5 mag) in Taurus by the Moon occurs
on the evening of the 29th. It disappears behind the Moon
at 7:20:51pm and reappears at 8:29:28pm. Aldebaran is 3 degrees to
the left of them. (These times are set from Yeovilton)

 

On the 30th at midnight the star Zeta Tauri (2.9mag) in
Taurus is 2¼ degrees above left of the Moon.

 

At midnight on the the 31st the star Mu Geminorum (2.8
mag) in Gemini is half a degree below left of the Moon.

 

* = Dates and times
are subject to change.

 

News: If all goes
according to plan the Solar Orbiter that was launched on February
10th will begin its official mission in November 2021,
when it will capture its first polar closeup by autumn 2022. It'll be
fixed at the same orbital speed as the Sun, and will be in lockstep
with the star, co-rotating around it so that it can image the same
spot over the course of the Sun's 25-day rotation. It's also equipped
with 10 incredible instruments (more on these, in later issues)
designed to withstand extreme conditions near the Sun. Ultimately, it
will make 22 elliptical orbits around the Sun before the mission
concludes. Its first gravity assist manoeuvre is with Venus, and will
be on December 26th. At its closest approach to the Sun,
it will get within a distance of about 26 million miles, and thats
closer than Mercury's orbit.

 

Facts: A thin
layer of frozen nitrogen ice covering the Tombaugh Regio (the heart
shape region) of Pluto, vapourises into the atmosphere each day, only
to condense each night as the Sun sets. This rhythmic pattern sends
billowing plumes of nitrogen gas into the atmosphere.