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.

Astronomy News

Night Sky 2021 - March

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Rises

Moon Phases

1st – 6:55am

10th – 6:36am

20th – 6:13am

30th – 6:51am

1st – 5:52pm

10th – 6:07pm

20th – 6:24pm

30th – 7:41pm

1st – 6:03am

5th – 6:00am

10th – 5:57am

15th – 5:53am

Last Quarter – 6th

New Moon – 13th

First Quarter – 21st

Full Moon – 28th

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

- - - - - - -

1st – 8:47pm (E)

2nd – 10:11pm

3rd – 11:36pm (ESE)

5th – 1:00am

6th – 2:21am

7th – 3:34am

8th – 4:35am

9th – 5:22am

10th – 5:58am

11th – 6:24am

12th – 6:46am (ESE)

13th – 7:03am

14th – 7:18am

15th – 7:33am (E)

16th – 7:48am

17th – 8:04am (ENE)

18th – 8:22am

19th – 8:45am

1st – 8:14am (W)

2nd – 8:33am

3rd – 8:53am (WSW)

4th – 9:16am

5th – 9:44am

6th – 10:21am

7th – 11:09am

8th – 12:09pm

9th – 1:18pm

10th – 2:32pm

11th – 3:48pm (WSW)

12th – 5:01pm

13th – 6:13pm

14th – 7:23pm (W)

15th – 8:32pm

16th – 9:40pm

17th – 10:49pm (WNW)

18th – 11:57pm

20th – 1:04am

20th – 9:13am

21st – 9:50am

22nd – 10:38am

23rd – 11:38am

24th – 12:48pm

25th – 2:06pm

26th – 3:28pm (ENE)

27th – 4:52pm

28th – 7:18pm (E)

29th – 8:45pm

30th – 10:13pm (ESE)

31st – 11:41pm

- - - - - - -

All times

in notes are set

for

Somerton

unless stated

21st – 2:09am

22nd – 3:07am

23rd – 3:57am

24th – 4:38am

25th – 5:10am

26th – 5:36am (WNW)

27th – 5:58am

28th – 7:17am

29th – 7:35am (W)

30th – 7:55am

31st – 8:17am (WSW)

- - - - - - -

- - - - - - -

Please note

that the clocks

go 1 hour forward

on the night

of the 27th

A useful site: www.heavens-above.com

A S Zielonka

On the 1st at 11:00pm the star Theta Virginis (4.38 mag) in Virgo is 2 degrees below right of the Moon.

From the 1st – 9th Mars passes near to The Pleiades. On the 4th at 8:00pm their just 2½ degrees apart. At 8:00pm on the 9th the star 19038 (4.3 mag) “Hipparcus Catalogue” in Taurus is less than a ¼ of a degree to the left of Mars.

From the 1st – 10th the asteroid Vesta will pass close to the star Chertan (3.3 mag) in Leo. On the 4th at 9:00pm Vesta will be 1¼ degrees to the left of Chertan in the ESE.

The Moon is at perigee (365,423km) on the 2nd at 5:19am. At midnight on the 2nd the star Kappa Virginis (4.18 mag) in Virgo is 2 degrees below left of the Moon... then at 5:00am on the 3rd Kappa Virginis is 1 degree above right of the Moon.

From the 2nd – 7th Mercury passes close to Jupiter. A close conjunction occurs at 6:15 on the 5th when they are less than a ¼ of a degree apart. Their position are 2 degrees above the horizon at 118.5 degrees azimuth.

On the night of the 3rd at 1:00am the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in Libra is 3 degrees to the right of the Moon and 1 degree above.

At 5:30am on the 5th the star Omega Scorpii (4.2 mag) in Scorpius is a ¼ of a degree to the right of the Moon. An occultation of its neighbouring star Omega Scorpii (3.9 mag) occurs at 4:24:49am and ends at 5:33:02am. (These times are set for Yeovilton)

On the 6th at 5:30am the star Theta Ophiuchi (3.2 mag) in Ophiuchus is 3 degrees to the left of the Moon and 1½ degrees below.

Mercury is at maximum western elongation (27.3 degrees) from the Sun on the 6th.

At 5:30am on the 7th the star Kaus Borealis (2.8 mag) in Sagittarius is 4 degrees to the left of the Moon and 1 degree below.

On the 8th at 5:30am the star Tau Sagittarii (3.3 mag) in Sagittarius is 2 degrees below right of the crescent Moon, with the star Nunki (2 mag) 3½ degrees to the right of the Moon and 1 degree above.

At 5:47am on the 9th the crescent Moon is due south east and just 2 degrees above the horizon. Saturn is 11 degrees left of the Moon at 124 degrees azimuth and just 2½ degrees above the horizon.

Comet C/2021 A2 Neowise (10.5 mag – Feb 13th*) is in the constellation of Auriga the best part of this month. On the 9th at 8:00pm (and virtually overhead looking westwards) Neowise is just ½ a degree from the star Eta Aurigae (next to four 8/9 mag stars in a row). On the 14th and 15th Neowise passes within ½ a degree of the star Epsilon Aurigae (3 mag). (for further information on this comet or others please see the 'Comet' section in the website above)

On the 10th at 6:00am Saturn is at 127 degrees azimuth and 5 degrees above the horizon with Jupiter at 118 degrees azimuth and 2 degrees above the horizon. Mercury is also nearby at 114.5 degrees azimuth and barely half a degree above the horizon.

Neptune is at superior conjunction on the 11th.

Venus and Neptune are in close conjunction on the 14th though to near the Sun for observing.

Mercury is at aphelion on the 14th.

At 6:45pm on the 14th the a very thin crescent Moon is 5 degrees above the horizon at 262 degrees azimuth.

On the 15th at 7:30pm the star Nu Piscium (4.4 mag) in Pisces is 3¼ degrees above the thin crescent Moon and 2¼ degrees to the left.

From the 16th – 20th Mars passes close to the two stars Kappa Tauri (4.2 mag) and Upsilon Tauri in Taurus. On the 18th at 8:00pm Upsilon Tauri is less than ½ a degree to the lower left of Mars. Kappa Tauri is 1 degree to the lower left of Mars.

At 8:00pm on the 16th the star Xi Ceti (4.3 mag) in Cetus is just ¾ of a degree to the left of the thin crescent Moon, with Uranus 5½ degrees above the Moon and ½ a degree to the right.

On the 17th at 8:00pm the star Mu Ceti (4.2 mag) in Cetus is 5 degrees below the crescent Moon, with Uranus 6 degrees right of Mu Ceti.

The Moon is at apogee (405,253km) on the 18th at 5:03am. At 8:00pm the Pleiades star cluster is 6 degrees above right of the crescent Moon.

On the 19th at 8:30pm Mars will be 2½ degrees to the upper right of the Moon. The star Kappa Tauri (4.1 mag) in Taurus is 2 degrees to the right of the crescent Moon with the star Upsilon Tauri (4.2 mag) 1 degree below Mars.

At midnight on the 20th the star Zeta Tauri (2.9 mag) is 3 degrees to the left of the crescent Moon and ½ a degree below.

On the 21st at 8:00pm the two stars Nu Geminorum (4.1 mag) and Mu Geminorum (2.8 mag) in Gemini point the way to the Moon.

At midnight on the 22nd the star Wasat (3.5 mag) in Gemini is 2½ degrees below left of the Moon.

From the 23rd – 24th Mars passes close to the star Tau Tauri (4.2 mag) in Taurus. On the 24th at 8:00pm Tau Tauri is ¾ of a degree to the lower left of Mars.

On the 24th at 8:00pm the Beehive star cluster is 5½ degrees to the right of the Moon.

There is a scheduled test flight on the 25th* from Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA and Boeing are targeting the launch of Starliner's second uncrewed flight test as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. Boeing's Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) is a critical developmental milestone on the company's path to fly crew missions for NASA to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission will launch Starliner on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket to dock with the space station and return to land in the western United States about a week later as part of an end-to-end test flight to prove the system is ready to fly crew.

At midnight on the 25th the star Eta Leonis (3.4 mag) in Leo is ¾ of a degree above the Moon.

Venus is at superior conjunction on the 26th and is therefore not visible this month.

On the 26th at midnight the stars Chertan (3.3 mag) and Iota Leonis (4 mag) both in Leo, form an equalateral triangle (5½ degrees apart) in the night sky looking south.

At 8:00pm on the 27th the star Nu Virginis (4 mag) in Virgo is 1 degree above right of the Moon

On the 28th at 11:00pm the star Porrima (2.7 mag) in Virgo is 1½ degrees to the right of the full Moon.

At 5:30am on the 30th the star Kappa Virginis (4.1 mag) is 5¼ degrees to the left of the Moon and 1 degree above. The Moon is at perigee (360,309km) at 7:17am.

On the 31st at 5:30am the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in Libra is 1½ degrees below left of the Moon. At 6:00am in the south east Saturn is 7 degrees above the horizon at 130 degrees azimuth with Jupiter 4 degrees above the horizon at 119 degrees azimuth.

* = Dates and times are subject to change.

News: The nearest solar system to our own may actually host two potentially life-supporting planets as a new candidate emerges around Alpha Centauri A, a new study reports.

The first United Arab Emirate's Hope Probe made it to the red planet on Feb 9th. It will stay in orbit and study its atmosphere for one complete Martian year (687 days).

China's first fully homegrown Mars mission, Tianwen-1, arrived in orbit around the red planet on Feb 10th. It will begin scouting the potential landing site for its Mars rover, due to be deployed in May.

NASA has selected SpaceX to deliver the first two segments of the moon-orbiting Gateway space station for its upcoming Artemis program, which aims to put astronauts back on the Moon.

NASA's Europa Clipper probe is scheduled to lift off in October 2024 and arrive in orbit around Jupiter in April 2030. Getting to Jupiter will be just the beginning for Clipper. The probe will then perform nearly 50 flybys of Europa over about four Earth years, studying the thickness of the moon's ice shell and assessing the habitability of its huge, buried ocean of salty liquid water, among other tasks. Clipper's observations will also help mission planners pick out promising sites for the Europa lander, if that latter mission does indeed get of the ground in the coming years.

Facts: The oldest active probe – Mars Odyssey – has been orbiting the planet for 20 years. It currently holds the record for the longest surviving continually active spacecraft in orbit around a planet other than Earth. As of October 2019 it is in a polar orbit around Mars with a semi-major axis of about 3,800 km or 2,400 miles. It has enough propellant to function until 2025.

 

Hi All

Here is the astronomy news for January.

Wishing you all have a very Happy Christmas and A Happy New Year.

From Adrian

Astronomy News

Night Sky 2021 - January

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Sets

Venus Rises 

1st –8:14am

10th –8:11am

20th –8:03am

30th – 7:50am

1st –4:15pm

10th –4:26pm

20th –4:41pm

30th – 4:59pm

5th –4:51pm

10th –5:18pm

20th –6:12pm

30th – 6:25pm

1st –6:48am

10th –7:06am

20th –7:19am

30th – 7:24am

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

- - - - - - - 

1st –6:39pm

2nd –7:56pm

3rd –9:15pm(ENE)

4th –10:34pm

5th –11:54pm (E)

7th –1:14am

8th –2:37am(ESE)

9th –4:01am

10th –5:25am

11th –6:44am

12th –7:52am

13th –8:46am

14th –9:26am

15th –9:56am

16th –10:19am(ESE)

17th –10:37am

18th –10:53am

19th –11:08am (E)

1st –10:12am

2nd –10:43am

3rd –11:07am(WNW)

4th –11:28am

5th –11:46am

6th –12:04pm (W)

7th –12:23pm

8th –12:44pm(WSW)

9th –1:11pm

10th –1:45pm

11th –2:30pm

12th –3:28pm

13th –4:38pm

14th –5:54pm

15th –7:11pm

16th –8:25pm(WSW)

17th –9:37pm

18th –10:46pm (W)

19th –11:54pm

20th –11:23am

21st –11:39am

22nd –11:57am(ENE)

23rd –12:20pm

24th –12:48pm

25th –1:24pm

26th –2:12pm

27th –3:12pm

28th –4:22pm

29th –5:40pm

30th –7:00pm(ENE)

31st – 8:21pm

- - - - - - - 

All times

in notes are set

for

Somerton

unless stated 

21st –1:02am

22nd –2:09am(WNW)

23rd –3:17am

24th –4:26am

25th –5:32am

26th –6:33am

27th –7:26am

28th –8:09am

29th –8:43am

30th -9:10am(WNW)

31st – 9:33am

- - - - - - - 

Moon Phases

Last Quarter – 6th

New Moon – 13th

First Quarter – 20th

Full Moon – 28th

A useful site: www.heavens-above.com

A S Zielonka

At midnight on the 1st the star Epsilon Leonis (2.9 mag) in Leo is 7 degrees to the left of the Moon in the south east... and at 6:05am on the 2nd the stars Rasalas (3.8 mag) and Epsilon Leonis point the way to the moon in the south west.

From the 1st – 10th Comet C/2020 M3 Atlas (9.4 mag – Dec 9th) passes close to the star Capella (0 mag). On the 3rd at 8:00pm they are high in the west, with Comet Atlas is just ½ a degree above Capella. 

On the 2nd at 9:00pm the star Eta Leonis (3.4 mag) in Leo is ¾ of a degree above the Moon in the ENE... and at 6:00am on the 3rd with the star Regulus, all three form an equilateral triangle. Eta Leonis is to the right of the Moon. 

The Quadrantids meteor shower reaches its peak on the 2nd/3rd though they can be seen from the 1st – 5th

At midnight on the 3rd the star Chertan (3.3 mag) in Leo is 4 degrees to the left of the Moon and 2½ degrees above... and at 6:00am on the 4th the star Iota Leonis (4 mag) is 2 degrees above left of the Moon. 

On the night of the 5th at 1:00am the star Porrima (2.7 mag) in Virgo is 2½ degrees upper right of the Moon. 

From the 5th - 20th Comet C/2020 P1 Neowise (11.5 mag – Nov 28th) passes close to the star Unukalhai (2.6 mag) in Serpens. On the 10th at 6:00am Neowise is just ½ a degree below right of Unukalhai. The crescent Moon is directly below them near the horizon in the south east. 

At 6:00am on the 7th the star Spica (0.9 mag) in Virgo is 7 degrees to the right of the Moon and 2½ degrees below. 

On the 8th at 6:00am the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in Libra is 3 degrees below the crescent Moon and ½ a degree to the left.

At 6:30am on the 9th the star Acrab (2.5 mag) in Scorpius is 5½ degrees to the lower left of the crescent Moon. The moon is at perigee (367,387km) at 3:37pm

From the 9th – 12th Mercury passes close to Jupiter and Saturn. On the 10th at 5:00pm Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury will be low in the south west. Jupiter is 4½ degrees above the horizon at 231 degrees azimuth. Mercury is 2 degrees below Jupiter. Saturn is 2¼ degrees to the lower right of Jupiter and 1¾ degrees slightly upper right of Mercury. On the 11th Mercury is 1½ degrees to the lower left of Jupiter. On the 12th Mercury is 2 degrees to the left of Jupiter. 

On the 10th at 6:45am the star Antares (1 mag) in Scorpius is 5 degrees to the lower right of a thin crescent Moon. 

At 7:30am on the 11th a very thin crescent Moon maybe seen low in the south east 6½ degrees to the right of Venus. The Moon is 4 degrees above the horizon at 139.5 degrees azimuth and Venus just 2 ½ degrees above the horizon at 133 degrees azimuth. 

On the 14th at 5:00pm the crescent Moon is due south west at 225 degrees azimuth with Mercury 4 ½ degrees to its right. Jupiter is 4¼ degrees to the lower right of Mercury, with Saturn 1½ degrees above the horizon at 235.5 degrees azimuth, and just 2¾ degrees lower right of Jupiter. 

Pluto is at superior conjunction on the 14th.

At 5:00pm on the 15th the star Delta Capricorni (2.8 mag) in Capricornus is 4 degrees to the right of the Moon. 

On the 16th at 5:00pm the star Tau Aquarii (4 mag) in Aquarius is 1 degree to the lower right of the Moon. 

At 5:00pm on the 17th Neptune is 5½ degrees to the right of the Moon and 3 degrees above. 

From the 17th – 23rd the asteroid 39 Laetitia (10.4 mag) passes close to the star Meissa (3.3 mag) in Orion. During the evenings of the 20th and 21st Laetitia will be ½ a degree from Meissa.

On the 18th at 5:00pm the star Iota Ceti (3.5 mag) in Cetus is 5½ degrees below the Moon and 1¼ degrees to the right. 

Mercury is at perihelion on the 19th

From the 19th – 22nd the asteroid 8 Flora (10.1 mag) passes close to the star Mu Ceti (4.2 mag) in Cetus. On the 20th Flora is ¾ of a degree from Mu Ceti and on the 21st at 8:00pm Flora will be approximately midway between Mu Ceti and the Moon. 

At midnight on the 20th Mars is 7 degrees above the Moon and 2 degrees to the right. Uranus is 6¼ degrees above the Moon and just ½ a degree to the right. Uranus is 1½ degrees to the lower left of the Moon.

The moon is at apogee (404,360km) on the 21st at 1:11pmAt 8:30pm Mars is 7 degrees to the right of the Moon with Uranus 1½ degrees below Mars and ¾ of a degree to the left. 

From the 21st – 26th Comet C/2020 S3 Erasmus (5.6 mag – Dec 9th) passes close to the star Albali (3.7 mag) in Aquarius. On the 24th at 5:30pm Comet Erasmus will be midway between Albali and 102624 “Hipparcus Cat ID” (4.4 mag) will be low in the WSW and just 5 degrees above the horizon at 252 degrees azimuth. 

From the 22nd – 25th Mercury passes close to the star Delta Capricorni (2.8 mag) in Capricornus. On the 24th at 5:30pm Mercury will be 2¾ degrees above right of Delta Capricorni which is 6½ degrees above the horizon at 235 degrees azimuth.

On the 22nd at 8:30pm the star 16369 “Hipparcus ID” (4.1 mag) in Taurus is 3 degrees below the Moon and 1 degree to the left. 

At 11:30pm on the 23rd the star Ain (3.5 mag) in Taurus is 1½ degrees to the left of the Moon. 

Mercury reaches maximum eastern elongation on the 24th

Saturn is at superior conjunction on the 24th.

From the 25th – 31st Comet 88P Howell (9.1 mag – Dec 9th) passes close to Neptune. At 6:00pm on the 28th Howell will be 1½ degrees to the lower left of Neptune. Neptune is 2½ degrees to the left of the star Phi Aquarii (4.2 mag) in Aquarius and 1 degree above. 

On the 25th at midnight the star Propus (3.3 mag) in Gemini is 1¾ degrees to the left of the Moon and 1 degree below. Mu Geminorum is 3¼ degrees to the left of the Moon. 

At midnight on the 26th the star Wasat (3.5 mag) in Gemini is 3½ degrees to the left of the Moon and 1 degree below. 

On the 27th at 8:00pm the stars Castor (1.5 mag) and Pollux (1.1 mag) in Gemini point the way to the Moon. 

At 6:00pm on the 28th the Beehive star cluster is 2¾ degrees to the right of the Moon. 

On the 29th at midnight the star Eta Leonis (3.4 mag) in Leo is 2 degrees to the left of the Moon and ¾ degree below. 

Jupiter is at superior conjunction on the 29th

At 11:30pm on the 30th the star Chertan (3.3 mag) in Leo is 6¼ degrees to the left of the Moon. 

On the 31st at 11:30pm the star Denebola (2.1 mag) in Leo is 8 degrees to the upper left of the Moon.

* = Dates and times are subject to change. 

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

10/10) SoloHI – Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager (United States): Images both the quasi-steady flow and transient disturbances in the solar wind over a wide field of view by observing visible sunlight scattered by solar wind electrons. SoloHi provides unique measurements to pinpoint coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

News: The planned launch date (at present) of the James Webb Space Telescope is October 31st.

Facts: On December 12th 1967, NASA launched the Pioneer 8 spacecraft on a mission to study the Sun and interplanetary space. It sent back data for nearly 30years.