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 February.

From Adrian Zielonka

Astronomy
News

Night Sky 2019 - February

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Sets

Venus Rises

1st – 7:48am

10th – 7:34am

20th – 7:15am

28th – 6:58am

1st – 5:01pm

10th – 5:17pm

20th – 5:35pm

28th – 5:49pm

10th – 5:55pm

15th – 6:29pm

20th – 7:00pm

25th – 7:23pm

1st – 5:04am

10th – 5:16am

20th – 5:23am

28th
– 5:25am

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

1st – 5:32am

2nd – 6:23am

3rd – 7:07am

4th – 7:44am (New)

5th – 8:14am

6th – 8:40am

7th – 9:02am

8th – 9:22am

9th – 9:42am

10th – 10:01am

11th – 10:22am

12th – 10:46am (FQ)

13th – 11:14am

14th – 11:49am

1st – 1:56pm

2nd – 2:46pm

3rd – 3:42pm

4th – 4:42pm (New)

5th – 5:45pm

6th – 6:49pm

7th – 7:54pm

8th – 9:00pm

9th – 10:05pm

10th – 11:12pm

12th – 12:21am (FQ)

13th – 1:32am

14th – 2:44am

15th – 3:55am

15th – 12:34pm

16th – 1:31pm

17th – 2:40pm

18th – 4:00pm

19th – 5:24pm (Full)

20th – 6:49pm

21st – 8:13pm

22nd – 9:34pm

23rd – 10:52pm

25th – 12:07am

26th – 1:19am (LQ)

27th – 2:26am

28th – 3:27am

16th – 5:02am

17th – 6:00am

18th – 6:49am

19th – 7:28am (Full)

20th – 8:00am

21st – 8:27am

22nd – 8:52am

23rd – 9:16am

24th – 9:41am

25th – 10:07am

26th – 10:37am (LQ)

27th – 11:12am

28th – 11:54am

A useful site:

www.heavens-above.com



A S Zielonka



There is an uncrewed
test flight this month of the Commercial Crew Program which will provide
data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft,
and ground systems, as well as on-orbit,
docking and landing operations. The flight test will also provide
valuable data toward NASA certifying SpaceX's crew transportation system
for carrying astronauts to and from the ISS.

Comet 46P Wirtanen will be in the
constellation of Ursa Major for this month though not near any bright
stars. (For further information please visit the 'Comet section in the
website above'.) I did manage to see it with binoculars
a couple of evenings in December.

On the 1st
at 6:25am a thin crescent Moon is 5 degrees above the horizon and due
south east with Venus 6½ degrees to the upper right of it, and Jupiter 9
degrees to the right of Venus. At
7:00am Saturn is 3 degrees above the south east horizon and 11½ degrees
to the lower left of the Moon.

An occultation of Pluto by the Moon occurs around 8:00pm on the 2nd. This will be visible from the southern half of Canada, western USA, northern Mexico and Hawaii.

At 7:00am on the 2nd
a very thin crescent Moon will be 2 degrees above the south east
horizon and less than half a degree above it is the planet Saturn. An
occultation of Saturn by the Moon
occurs on the 2nd at 7:00am. This
happens in the daytime and would have been visible from all of southern
Europe, the northern half of Africa and Asia.

The star Mu Sagittarii (3.8 mag) in Sagittarius is less than ½ a degree to the left of Venus on the 6th between 6:00 – 7:00am.

An occultation of Vesta by the Moon during the daytime occurs on the 6th at 8:00am in western Russia.

Comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto is at perihelion on the 6th at a distance of 1.280AU from the Sun. On the 14th
Jan it was at 10th magnitude and in the constellation
of Virgo. Lets hope this brightens up more to be seen. (For further
information please visit the 'Comet section in the website above'.)

On the 6th
at 6:00pm a very thin crescent Moon will be 6 degrees above the horizon
in the WSW. The 3.2 magnitude star Skat in Aquarius is just 4½ degrees
to the left of the Moon.

There is a planned launch on the 7th* at
9:20am* from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. A Russian Soyuz FG
rocket will be tasked with lifting the Progress MS-11 cargo spacecraft
into orbit for a supplies delivery to the ISS. Progress MS-10 is the
164th overall mission of the Russian cargo vehicle
since its first flight in 1978 and the 74th to the ISS.

At 6:00pm on the 7th
Neptune will be 5½ degrees to the right of the thin crescent Moon and 2
degrees to the lower right of the 4.2 magnitude star Phi Aquarii in
Aquarius.

On the 8th at 7:00pm the 3.5 magnitude star Iota Ceti in Cetus is just 4½ degrees to the lower left of the crescent Moon.

The Alpha Centaurids meteor shower reaches its peak on the 8th at approximately 7:35pm. The direction to look is towards the south east.

At 7:00pm on the 10th Mars will be 6½ degrees above right of the Moon. Uranus is just 2 degrees to the upper left of Mars.

Between the 11th - 14th
Mars & Uranus are in close conjunction. On the 13th at 6:30pm Uranus will be 1 degree to the lower left of Mars.... and at the same time on the 14th Uranus will be approximately midway between Mars and the star Omicron Piscium (4.2
mag) in Pisces.

On the 11th at 10:00pm the 4.2 magnitude star Mu Ceti in Cetus is just 2 degrees to the upper left of the Moon.

At 5:00am on the 12th
Comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto will be in the west and very close to the star
Eta Leonis (3.4 mag) in Leo. By 6:00am the comet will have moved
approximately ½ a degree to the right.
Its also at its closest to us at a distance of 0.298 AU. The majority
of astronomical bodies go round the Sun in anti-clockwise direction. A
small amount of comets like Comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto go round the Sun
clockwise.

At 10:00pm on the 12th the star Ain (3.5 mag) in Taurus is 3½ degrees to the lower left of the Moon.

On the 13th at midnight the 0.8 magnitude star Aldebaran in Taurus is just 2½ degrees to the upper left of the Moon.

At midnight on the 14th the 2.9 magnitude star Zeta Tauri in Taurus is 4 degrees above left of the Moon.

On the 15th at midnight the star Mu Geminorum (2.8 mag) in Gemini is just 2 degrees above right of the Moon.

At 9:00pm on the 16th the star Wasat (3.5 mag) in Gemini is just 1 degree above the Moon.

At midnight on the 17th
the star Asellus Australis (3.9 mag) in Cancer is 3 degrees to the left
of the Moon. Midway between and just above them is the Beehive Cluster
(M44).

Between the 17th - 19th Venus and Saturn are in close conjunction. On the 18th
at 6:00am Saturn is just 1 degree below Venus which is 4½ degrees above
the horizon in the south east. The star Pi Sagittarii (2.8 mag) in
Sagittarius is about ¼ of a degree to the right of Venus on the 18
th.

There is a close conjunction between Mercury and Neptune on the 18th and 19th at 6:20pm. On the 18th
Mercury's position is
254 degrees azimuth (247.5 is WSW) and 4½ degrees above the horizon
with Neptune 1 degree to the upper left of Mercury (On the 19th Neptune is 1 degree below Mercury) .

On the 19th at 7:00pm in the east the bright star Regulus in Leo is 4 degrees above right of the Moon.

At midnight on the 21st
the star Porrima (2.7 mag) in Virgo is 3½ degrees below left of the
Moon... and at 6:00am on the following morning they are just 1½ degrees
apart.

On the 22nd
at midnight Zeta Virginis (3.3 mag) is 4 degrees to the above left of
the Moon and the star is Spica (0.9 mag) (both in Virgo) is 7 degrees to
the lower right.

Mercury is at perihelion (closest to the Sun in its orbit) on the 25th.

At 5:45am on the 26th the star Acrab (2.5 mag) in Scorpius is just 2.5 degrees to the lower right of the Moon.

On the 27th at 6:00am Jupiter is 4½ degrees to the lower left of the crescent Moon.

At 6:45pm on the 27th
Mercury will be 262 degrees azimuth (in the west) and 7 degrees above
the horizon. The star Lambda Piscium (4.4 mag) in Pisces is just 2
degrees to the upper right of
Mercury.

Mercury is at maximum eastern elongation from the Sun on the 27th.

At 6:00am on the 28th Jupiter is 8 degrees to the right of the crescent Moon in the SSE with Venus and Saturn 10½ degrees apart in the south east.

Between the 25th - 28th
at 6:00am in the SSE Jupiter will be passing close to the star Theta
Ophiuchi (3.2 mag) in Ophiuchus. They will be just 2½ degrees
apart. Jupiter will be above left of the star.

On the 28th at 6:30am Venus is due south east and 8 degrees above the horizon.

There is a planned launch on the 28th*
from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space
Station (ISS). NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Hammock Koch and
Alexey Ovchinin
of the Russian space agecy Roscomos are to launch aboard a Soyuz
spacecraft as members of Expeditions 59 and 60. (See below)

* = Dates and times are subject to change.

Fact: The Full Moon on the 19th
is also known as a Supermoon. This full moon was known by early Native
American tribes as the Full Snow Moon because the heaviest snows usually
fell
during this time of year. Since hunting is difficult, this moon has
also been known by some tribes as the Full Hunger Moon, since the harsh
weather made hunting difficult. This is the second of three supermoons
for 2019. The Moon will be at its closest approach
to Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

News: On January 12th,
a cotton sprout poked out of a planter on the far side of the Moon.
This comes 9 days after the Chinese lander, the Chang'e 4, made history
with the first soft landing
in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, one of the largest known impact craters
in the solar system. The lander's rover, dubbed Jade Rabbit 2, started
watering the seeds on January 3rd to see whether the plant
could survive in a low-gravity, high-radiation
enviroment. It appeared the success was short lived when Beijing's
'Xinhua News Agency announced that the experiment had already come to an
end less than 24 hours later. The 18 centimeter lunar greenhouse also
contained potato and rock cress (related to cabbage
and mustard) seeds, as well as fruit fly eggs. China's ambitious list
of missions include the late 2019 launch of Chang'e 5 to collect samples
from the near side of the Moon (the first since the Soviet Luna samples
back in 1976) and a 2020 mission to Mars.
It becomes clear that China intends to position itself at the forefront
of 21st-century space exploration.

Nick Hague (b.1975) is married to Lt. Col. Catie Hague and have two sons. On October 11th
2018 Hague and Aleksey Ovchinin boarded Soyuz MS-10 on the way to the
ISS, but the launch was aborted
mid-flight due to a booster failure; the crew landed safely after a
ballistic descent, minutes from launch. During his flight the Soyuz
spacecraft aborted at an altitude of 31 miles. He earned astronaut wings
for the aborted flight even though he never reached
the Karman Line. He is also a Doctor Who fan.

Christina Hammock Koch
(b.1979) has experience both in space science instrument development and
remote scientific field engineering. She worked as an Electrical
Engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Laboratory for High
Energy Astrophysics, where she contributed to scientific
instruments on several NASA missions. She has completed a winter-over
season at the Admunsen-Scott South Pole Station. While in Antarctica,
she was a member of the Firefighting Teams and Ocean/Glacier Search and
Rescue Teams. From 2007 – 2009 at the Johns
Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory's Space Department she
contributed to instruments studying radiation particles for NASA
missions, including Juno and the Van Allen probes. In 2010, she returned
to remote scientific field work with tours including
Palmer Station in Antarctica and multiple winter seasons at Summit
Staion in Greenland.

Aleksey Ovchinin
(b.1971) has a
wife, Svetlana, and a daughter, Yana. In September 2013, he took part
in the CAVES (Cooperative Adventure from Valuing and Exercising human
behaviour and performance Skills) mission in the Sa Grutta caves on the
island of Sardinia. During the mission, five
astronauts and cosmonauts (Michael Barratt, Jack Fisher, Jeremy Hansen,
Paolo Nespoli and Satoshi Furukawa) from different space agencies
worked in a multicultural and multi-ethnic team in extreme conditions
underground. In the Autumn of 2015, Ovchinin and
Cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka tasted 160 culinary dishes, designed for
astronauts on board the ISS, over an 8-day period. His hobbies include
hunting, fishing and music.

Hi All

Here is the astronomy news for January 2019

From Adrian

Astronomy
News

Night Sky 2019 - January

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Rises

Venus Rises / Sets

1st – 8:14am

10th – 8:12am

20th – 8:04am

30th – 7:51am

1st – 4:14pm

10th – 4:25pm

20th – 4:41pm

30th – 4:58pm

1st – 7:11am

5th – 7:25am

10th – 7:41am

1st – 4:16am

10th – 4:29am

20th – 4:45am

30th – 5:01am

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

1st – 3:20am

2nd – 4:30am

3rd – 5:37am

4th – 6:40am

5th – 7:37am

6th – 8:26am
(New)

7th – 9:08am

8th – 9:42am

9th – 10:11am

10th – 10:35am

11th – 10:57am

12th – 11:17am

13th – 11:36am

14th – 11:57am
(FQ)

15th – 12:19pm

1st – 1:35pm

2nd – 2:02pm

3rd – 2:35pm

4th – 3:14pm

5th – 3:59pm

6th – 4:52pm
(New)

7th – 5:49pm

8th – 6:51pm

9th – 7:54pm

10th – 8:58pm

11th – 10:03pm

12th – 11:09pm

14th – 12:16am
(FQ)

15th – 1:25am

16th – 2:37am

16th – 12:45pm

17th – 1:17pm

18th – 1:58pm

19th – 2:50pm

20th – 3:56pm

21st – 5:12pm
(Full)

22nd – 6:34pm

23rd – 7:58pm

24th – 9:20pm

25th – 10:39pm

26th – 11:56pm

28th – 1:10am

29th – 2:21am

30th – 3:30am

31st – 4:34am

17th – 3:51am

18th – 5:05am

19th – 6:17am

20th – 7:22am

21st – 8:16am
(Full)

22nd – 9:00am

23rd – 9:35am

24th – 10:03am

25th – 10:29am

26th – 10:52am

27th – 11:15am
(LQ)

28th – 11:39am

29th – 12:06pm

30th – 12:37pm

31st – 1:14pm

A useful site:
www.heavens-above.com

A S Zielonka



Comet 46P/Wirtanen was at perihelion last month when it made a close approach to the Earth. It starts the year as a 'potentially' naked eye object in Camelopardalis. The comet circles through the front paws Ursa Major. It
remains well placed as it fades into March. It is currently at 6.5 magnitude (For further information please the 'Comets' section in the website above).

On the morning of the 1st at 7:00am you will see the Moon in the SSE with Venus 7 degrees to the lower left of it and Jupiter 6 degrees
above the horizon in the south east. The asteroid Ceres is 4½ degrees above Venus towards the star Zubeneschamali (2.6 mag) in Libra (For further information please the 'Asteroids & Sky Chart' sections in the website above).

Saturn is at superior conjunction (with the Sun) on the 2nd.

At 6:30am on the morning of 2nd Venus will be 4½ degrees to the upper right of the crescent Moon with Jupiter 13 degrees to the lower
left and just 3 degrees above the horizon.

On the 3rd at 7:00am Jupiter is just 2½ degrees to the lower right of the thin crescent Moon.

The Quadrantids meteor shower reaches its peak during the night of the 3rd.

At 7:30am on the morning of the 4th a very thin crescent Moon will be 5 degrees above the south east horizon with Mercury 4½ degrees
to the lower left of it and barely a degree above the horizon.

There is a partial eclipse of the Sun on the 6th which will only be seen from about half of China, Eastern Russia, Japan and the south west corner of Alaska.

Venus is at maximum western elongation on the 6th
and is 47 degrees from the Sun.

There is a planned launch on the 7th* from Kennedy Space Center, Florida of a Falcon 9 rocket to the International
Space Station (ISS). This will be the first uncrewed test flight of the Commercial Crew Program and will provide data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft, and ground systems, as well as on-orbit, docking and landing operations.
The flight test also will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying SpaceX’s crew transportation system for carrying astronauts to and from the ISS.

On the 7th at 4:50pm a very thin crescent Moon will be 6½ degrees above the horizon in the SW.

At 6:00pm on the 8th the 4.2 magnitude star Iota Capricorni is just 1½ degrees above the thin crescent Moon in the south west.

On the 9th at 6:00pm the 2.8 magnitude star Delta Capricorni is 5 degrees to the lower right of the crescent Moon.

At 6:00pm on the 10th the crescent Moon will be midway between the stars Lambda Aquarii (3.7mag) and Skat (3.2 mag) in Aquarius. Neptune is 6¼ degrees above the Moon.

On the mornings of the 10th & 11th around 6:00am the star Acrab (2.5 mag) in Scorpius will be 2½ degrees to the lower right of the planet Venus.

Pluto is at superior conjunction (with the Sun) on the 11th.

On the 11th at 6:00pm Neptune is 9 degrees to the right of the Moon and midway between the stars Phi Aquarii (4.2 mag) and Lambda Aquarii (3.7mag) in Aquarius.

At 6:00pm on the 12th Mars will be 6½ degrees directly above the Moon.

Saturn and Mercury are in close conjunction on the 13th. At 7:52am they will be both be just above the horizon low in the south east.

On the 13th at 6:35pm Mars will be 10 degrees directly to the right of the Moon.

At 8:00pm on the 14th Uranus is 5½ degrees to the upper right of the Moon. It's also 1½ degrees above the star Omicron Piscium (4.2 mag) in Pisces.

On the 15th at 6:00pm the star Mu Ceti (4.2 mag) in Cetus is less than a degree to the right of the Moon.

At 6:00pm on the 17th the star Aldebaran (0.8 mag) in Taurus is 1 degree to the lower right of the Moon.

On the 18th at 8:00pm the star Zeta Tauri (2.9 mag) in Taurus is just 1½ degrees above the Moon.

At midnight on the 19th the 4th magnitude star Mekbuda in Gemini is just 2½ degrees to the left of the Moon.

There is a Total Eclipse of the Moon during night of the 20th which will be seen in full from the UK. The Penumbral phase begins – 2:36:30am. Partial phase – 3:33:54am, Totality – 4:41:17am,
Partial phase 5:43:16am, Penumbral phase – 6:50:39, Penumbral phase ends – 7:48:00am. Its at greatest eclipse at 5:12:16am. Hope some of you manage to see some of the eclipse even though I don't expect you to see all of it.

On the 22nd at 10:00pm the bright star Regulus in Leo is 3 degrees below the Moon in the east.

Between the 21st - 24th Venus & Jupiter pass close by to one another. On the 23rd at 6:00am Jupiter is just 2½ degrees to
the lower right of Venus low in the south east.

At 10:30pm on the 23rd the 2.7 magnitude star Porrima is just 3 degrees to the upper right of the Moon in the east.

On the 26th at 6:00pm the star Epsilon Piscium (4.2 mag) in Pisces is just 1 degree above right of Mars... and two days later at the same time Mars will be 1½ degrees to the left of the star.

On the 28th at 7:00am the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in Libra is 4½ degrees below the Moon.

Mercury is at superior conjunction (with the Sun) on the 30th.

At 7:00pm on the 30th Jupiter is 10 degrees to the lower left of the crescent Moon withVenus 8½ degrees to the left of Jupiter in the SSE. Saturn is 23 degrees to the lower left of Venus and
just 3 degrees above the SE horizon.

On the 31st at 7:15am the thin crescent Moon will be midway between Venus and Jupiter and 5 degrees from one another. Saturn is 22 degrees to the lower left and 5½ degrees above the horizon.
An occultation of Venus by the Moon occurs today over the central equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean and some of the countries in north west South America.

* = Dates and times are subject to change.

Facts: The first man-made object to escape the gravitational pull of the planet Earth was First Cosmic Ship that was renamed Luna 1. On the 4th January 1959 it passed by the Moon and entered a 450 day orbit around the Sun
somewhere between Earth and Mars.

News: NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft completed its 1.2 billion-mile journey to arrive at the asteroid Bennu on Monday 3rd
December. The spacecraft executed a maneuver that transitioned it from flying toward Bennu to operating around the asteroid. At about 11.8 miles from Bennu's Sun-facing surface, OSIRIS-REx will begin a preliminary survey of the asteroid. The spacecraft will
commence flyovers of Bennu's north pole, equatorial region, and south pole, getting as close as nearly 4 miles above Bennu during each flyover. The spacecraft will enter orbit around Bennu on December 31st - thus making Bennu,
which is only about 1,600 feet (492 metres) across - or about the length of five football fields - the smallest object ever orbited by a spacecraft. It's a critical step in OSIRIS-REx's years long quest to collect and eventually deliver at least two ounces
(60 grams) of regolith - dirt and rocks - from Bennu to Earth.

Hi All

 

Here is the astronomy news for December.

 

From Adrian Zielonka

 

 

Astronomy
News

 

Night Sky 2018 - December

 

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Rises

Venus Rises

1st – 7:52am

10th – 8:03am

20th – 8:11am

30th – 8:15am

1st – 4:07pm

10th – 4:04pm

20th – 4:06pm

30th – 4:13pm

1st – 6:59am

10th – 6:10am

20th – 6:26am

30th – 7:03am

1st
– 4:10am

10th – 4:02am

20th – 4:03am

30th – 4:13am

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

1st – 12:34am

2nd – 1:50am

3rd – 3:04am

4th – 4:18am

5th – 5:30am

6th – 6:41am

7th – 7:48am
(New)

8th – 8:49am

9th – 9:44am

10th – 10:30am

11th – 11:08am

12th – 11:40am

13th – 12:07pm

14th – 12:30pm

15th – 12:52pm
(FQ)

1st – 1:55pm

2nd – 2:18pm

3rd – 2:40pm

4th – 3:04pm

5th – 3:30pm

6th – 4:00pm

7th – 4:35pm
(New)

8th – 5:17pm

9th – 6:06pm

10th – 7:00pm

11th – 8:00pm

12th – 9:02pm

13th – 10:06pm

14th – 11:11pm

16th – 12:17am

16th – 1:12pm

17th – 1:32pm

18th – 1:54pm

19th – 2:19pm

20th – 2:48pm

21st – 3:26pm

22nd – 4:13pm
(Full)

23rd – 5:12pm

24th – 6:23pm

25th – 7:41pm

26th – 9:01pm

27th – 10:21pm

28th – 11:39pm

30th – 12:54am

31st – 2:08am

17th – 1:24am

18th – 2:34am

19th – 3:47am

20th – 5:02am

21st – 6:18am

22nd – 7:33am
(Full)

23rd – 8:42am

24th – 9:41am

25th – 10:28am

26th – 11:05am

27th – 11:36am

28th – 12:02pm

29th – 12:25pm
(LQ)

30th – 12:47pm

31st – 1:10pm

A useful site:

www.heavens-above.com

 

 

 

A S Zielonka

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a planned launch this month of a Chinese Long March 2D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China. The Gaofen-6 remote sensing satellite will join the country's primary civilian Earth Observation
infrastructure comprising a variety of differently-instrumented satellites operating from different orbits to capture a comprehensive set of land, ocean and atmospheric parameters. It carries a package of three cameras, one for black-and-white imaging at a
two-meter ground resolution, one for colour imaging at eight-meter resolution and one for wide-angle colour imaging at a 16-meter GSD. It is intended as a replacement for the first Gaofen satellite launched in 2013.

 

 

 

On the 1st & 2nd Comet 46P Wirtanen will just 2 degrees from the 4.4 magnitude star Tau Eridani in the constellation of
Eridanus. Its location at 11:30pm is approximately 12 degrees above the horizon in the SSW. It was at 6.5 magnitude on 14th November. For further information please see the “Comet Section” in the website above.

 

 

 

On the 1st at 7:00am the 1st magnitude star Spica in Virgo is 6 degrees to the right of Venus in the SE.

 

 

 

At 7:00am on the 2nd the 2.7 magnitude star Porrima is just 1½ degrees below the Moon.

 

 

 

There is a scheduled launch on the 3rd* at 11:31am* from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Oleg Kononenko of
the Russian Space Agency Roscomos are the next crew to launch to the International Space Station (ISS). See News Extra below.

 

 

 

On the 3rd at 6:00am in the SE the Moon will be approx midway between Zeta Virginis (3.3 Mag) and Spica in Virgo with Venus 8 degrees
below left of the Moon.

 

 

 

On the 3rd & 4th at 7:00am Comet C/2018 L2 Atlas will be just 2½ degrees from the 2nd magnitude star Rasalhague in Ophiuchus.
On the 2nd it was at perihelion (1.712AU) and a distance 2.424AU from Earth. It was at 10th*** magnitude on the 6th November. For further information please see the “Comet Section” in the website above.

 

 

 

From the 3rd – 8th Mars will be passing close to the star Lambda Aquarii and the planet Neptune. At 6:00pm on the 4th
the star Lambda Aquarii will be just ¾ of a degree above right of Mars in the south. At 6:00pm on the 7th Mars and the Neptune will be just a small fraction of a degree apart.

 

 

 

There is a scheduled launch on the 4th* at 6:38pm* from Cape Canaveral, Florida. An uncrewed SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft will lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40. It will deliver
supplies and equipment to the ISS.

 

 

 

At 6:00am on the 4th Venus is 6 degrees to the above right of the crescent Moon.

 

 

 

On the 5th at 7:00am Mercury is 4 degrees above the horizon and 7½ degrees below left of the crescent Moon.

 

 

 

At 7:30am on the 6th a thin crescent Moon is 5½ degrees above the SE horizon with Jupiter 4 degrees below it and Mercury 6 degrees
above right of the Moon.

 

 

 

On the 8th at 4:30pm a very thin crescent Moon will be 4½ degrees above the horizon in the SW with Saturn 7 degrees above left of the
Moon. The 3.8 magnitude star Mu Sagittarii in Sagittarius is 1.8 degrees above left of the Moon.

 

 

 

An occultation of Saturn by the Moon occurs on the 9th at 5:00am over central Siberia.

 

 

 

At 5:00pm on the 9th low in the SW a thin crescent Moon will be 6½ degrees above the horizon with Saturn 5½ degrees to the lower right
of it. The 2.8 magnitude star Pi Sagittarii in Sagittarius is 2¼ degrees to the upper left of the Moon.

 

 

 

Around the 10th Comet 64P Swift-Gehrels will be within the constellation of Triangulum and at a distance 0.571AU from the Earth. On
the 14th November it was at 9th magnitude. For further information please see the “Comet Section” in the website above.

 

 

 

At 5:30pm on the 11th the asteroid Vesta is 3 degrees to the lower right of the Moon. For further information please see “Asteroid”
section in the website above.

 

 

 

Comet C/2018 V1 Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto is at perihelion (closest to the Sun in its orbit) 0.387 AU on Dec 12th.

 

 

 

Comet 46P Wirtanen is at perihelion on the 12th. At a distance 1.055AU from the Sun.

 

 

 

On the 12th at 6:00pm the star Phi Aquarii (4.2 Mag) in Aquarius is a ¼ of a degree below Mars.

 

 

 

An occultation of Pluto by the Moon occurs on the 12th at 4:00am over Siberia, Japan and most of China.

 

 

 

Around 8:30pm on the 12th as the Moon approaches the horizon in WSW, the 3.6 magnitude star Nashira in Capricornus is less than ½ a
degree above the Moon.

 

 

 

On the 13th at 9:00pm Mars will be 16 degrees above left of the Moon in the south west, with Neptune just 4 degrees below right of
Mars.

 

 

 

From the 14th - 17th Comet 46P Wirtanen will be at its closest to the Earth at a distance of 0.078AU (7,254,000 miles).
It is in the constellation of Taurus. It was at 6.5 magnitude on 14th November. For further information please see the “Comet Section” in the website above.

 

 

 

Comet 38P/Stephan-Oterma was at perihelion on the 10th November. Its closest to Earth from the 14th - 19th December
when it is at 0.766AU (71.238 million miles). Its in the constellation Lynx which is to the left Castor and Pollux in Gemini. It was at 10th magnitude on the 14th November. For further information please see the “Comet Section” in the
website above.

 

 

 

At 10:00pm on the 14th Mars will be 4½ degrees above right of the Moon in the WSW. Neptune is just 4 degrees to the right of the Moon.

 

 

 

The Geminids meteor shower reaches its peak on the 14th
at 10:30am, so the best viewing period maybe before dawn.

 

 

 

Mercury is at maximum western elongation from the Sun on the 15th.

 

 

 

On the 15th at 6:30pm the Moon will be due South with Mars 8½ degrees to the right of it.

 

 

 

A 10:00pm on the 17th the Moon will be in the south west with Uranus 7½ degrees directly above it. The 4.2 magnitude star Omicron is
1½ degrees below Uranus.

 

 

 

On the 18th at 9:45pm Uranus is 8 degrees to the right of the Moon. The 4.3 magnitude star Xi Ceti 11484 is just 1 degree left of the
Moon and by midnight they will be less than ¼ degree apart.

 

 

 

At midnight on the 19th the 3.7 magnitude star Xi Tauri in Taurus is just 3½ degrees to the lower left of the Moon.

 

 

 

On the 20th* the astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Alexander Gerst and cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev will undock their Soyuz spacecraft from the International Space Station (ISS) and land in Kazakhstan.

 

 

 

From the 20th - 22nd Mercury and Jupiter will be passing very close to each other. On the 21st low in the south
east and just a few degrees above the horizon, Mercury is 1 degree above Jupiter.

 

 

 

On the 20th at midnight the 3.6 magnitude star Gamma Tauri in Taurus is 1¼ degrees to the lower right of the Moon.

 

 

 

Just before 6:00am on the 21st low in the WNW the Moon will be 2 degrees above the horizon with Aldebaran (0.8 Mag) 1½ degrees to the
left of it.

 

 

 

On the 22nd at 6:30am the Moon is 7½ degrees above the horizon and due WNW with the 2.9 magnitude star Zeta Tauri in Taurus just 2
degrees above it.

 

 

 

Venus is a just under 3 degrees and above left of the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 Mag) in Libra on the 22nd.

 

 

 

At midnight on the 22nd the 2.8 magnitude star Mu Geminorum is 2 degrees upper left of the Moon.

 

 

 

The Ursids meteor shower reaches its peak at 6:00am on the 23rd.

 

 

 

At 6:00am on the 23rd the 4.1 magnitude star Nu Geminorum is 1 degree below the Moon in the west.

 

 

 

On the 23rd at 10:00pm the 3.5 magnitude star Wasat in Gemini is just 1¼ degrees to the upper left of the Moon.

 

 

 

The Comae Berenicids meteor shower reaches its peak between 4:00 – 5:00am on the 26th.

 

 

 

Venus is at perihelion (closest to the Sun in its orbit) on the 26th.

 

 

 

At 7:00am on the 26th the bright star Regulus in Leo will be just 6¾ degrees to the left of the Moon.

 

 

 

On the 27th at 6:00am the asteroid Ceres is approximately 3 degrees to the upper left of Venus in the direction of the 2.6 magnitude
star Zubeneschamali in Libra.

 

 

 

At 7:15am on the 29th the star Porrima in Virgo is just 4 degrees to the lower left of the Moon.

 

 

 

On the 30th at 6:20am in the south the asteroid Pallas will be 2½ degrees below the Moon.

 

 

 

On the 30th at 7:00am Jupiter is due south east and 7½ degrees above the horizon.

 

 

 

If any of you are up on the morning of the 1st January at 7:00am you will see the Moon in the SSE with Venus 7 degrees to the lower
left of it and Jupiter 6 degrees above the horizon in the south east.

 

 

 

* = Dates and times are subject to change.

 

 

 

Facts: Yuri Gagarin (b.1934) became the first man in space in April 1961. He entered into an apprenticeship at the age of 16 as a foundryman at the Lyubertsy Steel Plant near Moscow. After graduating
from both the seventh grade and vocational school with honours in moldmaking and foundry work, he was selected for further training at the Saratov Industrial Technical School, where he studied tractors. At a local flying club in Saratov he learned to fly a
biplane and a Yak-18 trainer.

 

 

 

News Extra: Anne McClain (b.1979) was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. She graduated from the United States Military Academy, where she earned a bachelor,s degree in mechanical engineering.
McClain then came to England where she attended the University of Bath where she earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering, and the University of Bristol where she earned a master's degree in international security. McClain is also an avid rugby player
and plays at a competitive level. Her army commitments thwarted her international career and prevented her participation in the 2006 Women's Rugby World Cup. In June 2013 she was selected by NASA as part of Astronaut Group 21, becoming the youngest astronaut
on the NASA roster.

 

David Saint-Jacques (b.1970) was born and raised in Quebec. He is married and has three children. He began his career as a biomedical engineer at the Quebec firm Electromed. His studies also included
theoretical work on astronomical observation and design, fabrication and commissioning of instruments for the Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope and for the William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands. He was selected in May 2009 by the Canadian
Space Agency.

 

Oleg Kononenko (b.1964) is married and have
a son and daughter. In March 1996 he was selected as a cosmonaut candidate. His first mission to the ISS was as a flight engineer that was launched in April 2008. In his previous three missions to the ISS he has spent a total of 533 days in space.