Subject: Noctilucent clouds
Thought it would be useful to remind everyone that we are in peak Noctilucent Cloud season. They were seen over London on June 7th I gather.
Look north/northwest from about 10pm, if it’s not raining!!
SLS Committee member
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 June 2020
Sky 2020 - June
Full Moon – 5th
Last Quarter – 13th
New Moon – 21st
Comet 58P Jackson-Neujmin was at perihelion on May 27th at
1.377 AU. This month it travels from Pisces right through Cetus,
Aries and into Taurus. Its last observable magnitude was 10.6* on May
further information on this comet or others listed, please visit the
'Comet' section in the website above.
From the 29th
May – 3rd June the asteroid Ceres (9th mag) passes close
to the star Skat (3.2 mag) in Aquarius. On the 30th at
4:00am its just 1¼ degrees below Skat. (For further information
please visit the 'Asteroid' section in the website above)
Comet C/2019 Y4-A Atlas was at perihelion on May 31st at
0.249AU. Its not visible from our location this month. Due to the
fragmentation of the comet its not expected to brighten, and will not
reach naked eye visibility.
This month (after midnight from the 1st) and low in the south east
are Jupiter and Saturn. During this time they will separate another
degree then on the 30th they will be 6 degrees apart.
will bring the two giant planets very close together - less than a ¼
of a degree apart.
Comet C/2020 F5
Master is in the constellations of Octans and Apus this month, which
are both in the southern hemisphere. It reaches perihelion on March
24th 2021 when it will be at 4.322AU distance. Its
currently around 15 magnitude.
Comet C/2019 N1
Atlas is in the constellations of Draco and Ursa Major this month. It
reaches perihelion on December 1st when it will be at
1.705 AU distance. Its currently at around 15 magnitude.
Comet C/2019 F1
Atlas-Africano is in the constellations of Virgo and Hydra this
month. It reaches perihelion on June 22nd 2021 when it
will be at 3.596AU distance. Its currently at around 15 magnitude.
Comet 246P Neat
is in the constellations of Coma Berenices and Virgo this month. It
reaches perihelion on February 22nd 2021 when it will be
2.864AU distance. Its currently at around 15 magnitude.
Comet C/2020 F8
Swan will be close to Capella (0 mag) in Auriga in the NNE on the 1st
at 10:30pm It will be 1 degree from Capella to the lower right
towards the star Epsilon Aurigae (3 mag). Its last observed magnitude
was 5.6 (May 14th)
Comet 88P Howell
stays in close proximity to Porrima in Virgo for the first 10 days
this month. It then moves slowly towards Spica. It is at perihelion
(1.353AU) on September 26th. This comet stays within our
solar system and at its furthest from the Sun (Aphelion), when its
4.858AU distance. Its elliptical orbit round the Sun takes just 5.47
years, so its a regular visitor. Its currently at around 15
at midnight the star Zeta Virginis (3.3 mag) in Virgo is 5½ degrees
above left of the moon.
is at inferior conjunction on the 3rd.
From the 3rd
- 5th Comet C/2017 T2 Panstarrs (8.9 mag) will be passing
close to the star Dubhe (1.8 mag) in Ursa Major. On the 4th
at 10:30pm the comet will be 1 degree above Dubhe high in the north
midnight on the 3rd
the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in Libra is 4½ degrees to the right
of the moon and 1½ degrees below.
is at maximum eastern elongation on the 4th.
at 11:00pm the star Acrab (2.5 mag) in Scorpius is just ½ a degree
below right of the moon.
There is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on the 5th. It starts
in Somerset at 9:10pm (when moon rises) and ends at 10:04pm with the
maximum eclipse at 9:15pm. At certain times when the moon is well
above the horizon you may see a shading of dark on its surface though
its unlikely this time. (These times are set for Glastonbury). The
Moon rises in Somerton at 9:11pm.
From the 5th - 7th Mercury passes close to the
star Mebsuta (3rd mag) in Gemini. On the 6th at 10:00pm
Mercury will be just 1 degree below left of Mebsuta in the WNW.
Mercury is 9 degrees above the horizon at 298 degrees azimuth.
Mars will be passing through Aquarius. On the 6th
at 4:00am Mars is 1¾ degrees above the star Iota Aquarii (4.2 mag).
On the 7th
at the same time Mars will be midway between Iota Aquarii and Phi
Aquarii (4.2 mag) and 1½ degrees from both.
midnight on the 6th
the star Mu Sagittarii (3.8 mag) in Sagittarius is 3½ degrees above
left of the moon.
the night of the 7th
at 1:00am the star Nunki (2 mag) in Sagittarius is just 4 degrees to
the right of the moon. Jupiter is 10¼ degrees to the left of the
moon with Saturn 5¼ degrees to the left of Jupiter.
1:00am on the night of the 8th
Saturn will be 3¾ degrees to the upper left of the moon and Jupiter
5 degrees to the upper right of the moon.
is at opposition on the 10th.
at 4:00am the star Delta Capricorni (2.8 mag) in Capricorni is just 4
degrees to the upper right of the moon low in the south east.
4:00am on the 12th
the star Skat (3.2 mag) in Aquarius is 2½ degrees below the moon
with the star Tau Aquarii (4 mag) just ¼ of a degree above right of
the moon. Mars is 11 degrees to the left of the moon and 2½ degrees
From the 12th - 15th Mars passes within 2
degrees of Neptune. On
at 4:00am Mars is 3½ degrees above the moon with Neptune just 1¾
degrees above Mars and ½ a degree to the left. On
the 14th at 3:00am Neptune is 1¾ degrees directly above
Mars in the ESE.
From the 15th
- 17th Comet C/2020 F8 Swan (5.6 mag) will be passing
close to the star Theta Aurigae (2.6 mag) in Auriga. On the 15th
at 10:30pm it will be 1 degree to the upper right of the star Theta
Aurigae low in the NW and just 7¼ degrees above the horizon at 326
4:00am on the 16th
the star Nu Piscium (4.4 mag) in Pisces is 1¾ degrees above right of
the crescent moon.
at 4:00am Uranus is 4 degrees above the crescent moon and 1½ degrees
to the left.
4:00am on the 18th
the Pleiades star cluster is 11½ degrees to the left of the crescent
moon and 4 degrees above, low in the ENE.
at 4:20am a thin crescent moon will be low in the ENE at 66 degrees
azimuth and just 3½ degrees above the horizon. Venus will be just 2½
degrees to the left of the moon and ½ a degree lower.
A total eclipse
of the Sun occurs on the 21st. The path of totality
starts in mid-Africa, Northern India and China. The partial phases
will be seen over most of Africa, south eastern Europe, Asia and
10:00pm on the 22nd
the Star Pollux (1.1 mag) in Gemini will be 6 degrees above a very
thin crescent moon low in the WNW. The moon is 7½ degrees above the
horizon at 300 degrees azimuth.
reaches aphelion (the furthest point in its orbit from the Sun) on
at 10:30pm the Beehive Star Cluster is 3 degrees to the left of a
thin crescent moon.
At 4:15am on the 25th Venus will be due ENE (67.5 degrees
azimuth) and 5 degrees above the horizon. The star Aldebaran (1st
mag) in Taurus is 5 degrees lower left of Venus and 1 degree above
At 10:30pm on the 25th the star Regulus (1.3 mag) in Leo
is 4 degrees below the crescent moon and 1 degree to the right.
On the 26th at 10:30pm the star Chertan (3.3 mag) in Leo
is 6 degrees to the upper right of the crescent moon.
At 10:30pm on the 28th the star Porrima (2.7 mag) in Virgo
below right of the moon.
On the 29th at 10:30pm the star Spica (1st mag) in Virgo
is 8 degrees below right of the moon.
At 10:30pm on the 30th the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in
Libra is 3 degrees to the lower left of the moon.
Orbiter: The science payload is composed of 10 instruments.
3/10) MAG – Magnetometer (UK): It will provide in situ measurements
of the heliospheric magnetic field with high precision. This will
facilitate detailed studies into the way the Sun's magnetic field
links into space and evolves over the solar cycle; how particles are
accelerated and propagated around the Solar System, including to the
Earth; how the corona and solar wind are heated and accelerated.
News: It was announced on May 7th that a team of
astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and other
institutes have discovered a black hole lying just 1,000 light-years
from Earth. The black hole is closer to our Solar System than any
other found to date and forms part of a triple system that can be
seen with the naked eye. The team found evidence for the invisible
object by tracking its two companion stars using the MPG/ESO 2.2
metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. They say this
system could just be the tip of the iceberg, as many more similar
black holes could be found in the future.
At the end of the science phase in November 2019, when Hayabusa 2
visited the asteroid 162173 Ryugu, it used its ion engines for
changing orbit and returning to Earth. Later this year when Hayabusa
2 flies past Earth, it will release the capsule spinning at one
revolution per 3 seconds. The capsule will re-enter the Earth's
atmosphere at 12km a second and will deploy a radar-reflective
parachute at an altitude of about 10km and eject its heat-shield,
while transmitting a position beacon signal. The sample capsule is
planned to land at the Woomera Test Range in Australia. The
spacecraft collected and stored the samples in separate sealed
containers inside the Sample Return Capsule (SRC) which has a
thermal insulation. The samples will be curated and analyzed at
JAXA's Extraterrestrial Sample Curation Centre. The total distance to
its return is 5.24 billion km. After the capsule has been delivered
to Earth it has a potential mission extension to fly by new targets
to explore. One candidate is asteroid 2001 WR! For a flyby on 27th
June 2023. Another option is a Venus flyby in 2024 to set up an
encounter with an asteroid in 2029, which would allow Hayabusa 2 to
conduct infrared observations of Venus with similar cameras to those
on Akatsuki for comparison of results.
Saturn's rings are arguably the flattest structure known to man,
being some 300,000km end to end but with a vertical thickness of
about 10 metres.