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 - 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.

Hi all

Here is the astronomy news for May.

From Adrian.

Astronomy News

Night Sky 2021 - May

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Sets

Venus Sets

1st – 5:44am

10th – 5:28am

20th – 5:14am

30th – 5:03am

1st – 8:33pm

10th – 8:47pm

20th – 9:02pm

30th – 9:14pm

1st – 9:54pm

10th – 10:47pm

20th – 10:59pm

30th 10:21pm

1st – 9:18pm

10th – 9:45pm

20th – 10:14pm

30th – 10:36pm

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

1st – 1:22am (SE)

2nd – 2:21am

3rd – 3:05am

4th – 3:37am

5th – 4:00am (ESE)

6th – 4:19am

7th – 4:35am

8th – 4:49am (E)

9th – 5:03am

10th – 5:17am

11th – 5:33am (ENE)

12th – 5:52am

13th – 6:16am

14th – 6:46am

15th – 7:26am

16th – 8:16am (NE)

17th – 9:16am

18th – 10:25am

19th – 11:40am

1st – 8:47am (SW)

2nd – 9:54am

3rd – 11:08am

4th – 12:25pm

5th – 1:40pm (WSW)

6th – 2:52pm

7th – 4:02pm

8th – 5:11pm (W)

9th – 6:19pm

10th – 7:27pm (WNW)

11th – 8:36pm

12th – 9:44pm

13th – 10:51pm

14th – 11:54pm

16th – 12:50am (NW)

17th – 1:36am

18th – 2:12am

19th – 2:41am

20th – 3:04am (WNW)

20th – 12:58pm (ENE)

21st – 2:18pm

22nd – 3:40pm (E)

23rd – 5:05pm

24th – 6:33pm (ESE)

25th – 8:04pm

26th – 9:34pm

27th – 10:58pm

29th – 12:08am (SE)

30th – 1:00am

31st – 1:38am

- - - - - - -

All times

in notes are set

for

Somerton

unless stated

21st – 3:24am

22nd – 3:42am

23rd – 3:59am (W)

24th – 4:18am

25th – 4:39am (WSW)

26th – 5:06am

27th – 5:42am

28th – 6:30am (SW)

29th – 7:33am (SW)

30th – 8:48am

31st – 10:06am

- - - - - - -

Moon Phases

Last Quarter – 3rd

New Moon – 11th

First Quarter – 19th

Full Moon – 26th

A useful site: www.heavens-above.com

A S Zielonka

Arianespace will use a Soyuz rocket to launch 36 satellites into orbit for the OneWeb internet constellation. The Mission, called OneWeb 7 will lift off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Siberia sometime during this month*.

China's Tianwen-1 Mars rover will touch down on the Red Planet this month*.

On the 1st at 4:45am the star Kaus Borealis (2.8 mag) in Sagittarius is 1¼ degrees upper right of the Moon.

From the 1st – 5th Jupiter passes the star Iota Aquarii (4.2 mag) in Aquarius. On the 3rd at 4:30am low in the south east Iota Aquarii is 1¼ degrees below Jupiter.

From the 2nd – 4th Mercury passes close to the Pleiades low in the WNW. On the 4th at 9:05pm Mercury is 2½ degrees to the left of the Pleiades star cluster with Venus 6½ degrees below the Pleiades at 296 degrees azimuth and just 3 degrees above the horizon.

At 4:45am on the 3rd Saturn is 9 degrees to the left of the Moon and 3½ degrees above. The star Theta Capricorni (4 mag) in Capricorn is just ¾ of a degree to the left of Saturn.

On the 4th at 4:30am Saturn is 6 degrees above the Crescent Moon and 3½ degrees to the right. Jupiter is 11½ degrees to the left of the Moon and 3 degrees above. The star '106039' (4.5 mag) in Hipparcos Catalogue is 1 degree lower right of the Moon.

At 4:30am on the 5th the crescent Moon is in the south east and just 3 degrees above the horizon at 122 degrees azimuth. Jupiter is 5¾ degrees above the Moon and ¾ of a degree to the right.

On the 6th at 4:40am the crescent Moon is due ESE at 112.5 degrees azimuth and just 2¼ degrees above the horizon in the constellation of Aquarius.

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower can be seen from 19th April - 28th May. They reach their peak on the night of the 6th/7th May. Its produced by dust particles left behind by comet Halley. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight and will radiate from the constellation of Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

At 4:45am on the 7th a thin crescent Moon is barely a degree above the eastern horizon at 102 degrees azimuth. Neptune is 5½ degrees above the Moon and 2 degrees to the right.

From the 7th – 10th Venus passes close the Pleiades low in the WNW. On the 8th at 9:15pm Venus is 4 degrees to the lower left of the Pleiades with Mercury 8 degrees above Venus and 3½ degrees to the left. Venus is at 298 degrees azimuth and just 3½ degrees above the horizon.

From the 7th – 11th Mars passes close to the star Mebsuta (3 mag) in Gemini. On the 9th around 10:00pm Mebsuta will be ¾ of a degree upper right of Mars in the west.

On the 8th at 5:00am a very thin crescent Moon will be low in the east at 94 degrees azimuth and just 1 degree above the horizon.

An occultation of the planet Venus by the Moon occurs on the 12th. This will only be visible from the South Pacific ocean.

At 9:15pm on the 12th a very thin crescent Moon is just 3 degrees above the WNW horizon at 298 degrees azimuth. Venus is 2 degrees above the Moon. Mercury is 8 degrees above Venus and 4 degrees to the left. Aldebaran (0.8 mag) is 7½ degrees to the left of Venus. The Pleiades star cluster are 6 degrees to the right of the Moon and Venus.

On the 13th at 9:30pm Mercury is 2½ degrees to the upper right of the thin crescent Moon in the WNW. Venus is 9 degrees to the lower right of the Moon at 300.5 degrees azimuth and just 3½ degrees above the horizon.

From the 14th – 16th Venus passes close to the Stars Kappa Tauri (4.2 mag) and Upsilon Tauri (4.2 mag). On the 15th at 9:30pm Kappa Tauri is less than ½ a degree to the upper right of Venus, and on the 16th at the same time Upsilon Tauri is 1½ degrees to the right of Venus.

At 10:30pm on the 14th the star Zeta Tauri (2.9 mag) in Taurus is 4 degrees below the crescent Moon. The star Elnath (1.6 mag) is 6½ degrees to the right of the Moon. Mercury should easily be seen 6½ degrees below Elnath and 3 degrees to the right.

On the 15th at 10:30pm the star Mebsuta (3 mag) in Gemini is ½ a degree above left of the crescent Moon. Mars is 3½ degrees to the left of the Moon and 2 degrees above.

At midnight on the 16th the star Kappa Geminorum (3.5 mag) in Gemini is just 1¼ degrees above left of the Moon. Mars is 8 degrees to the lower right of the Moon.

Mercury is at maximum eastern elongation (22 degrees) from the Sun on the 17th.

There is a planned launch on the 17th *of an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It will put the U.S. Space Force's fifth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite (SBIRS GEO 5) into orbit.

On the night of the 17th at 1:00am the Beehive Star Cluster is 2½ degrees to the left of the Moon and 1 degree below.

At 9:30pm on the 19th the Moon is approximately midway between the stars Algieba (2 mag) and Regulus (1.3 mag) in Leo. The star Eta Leonis (3.4 mag) is just 2 degrees to the right of the Moon.

From the 20th – 24th Mercury passes within 3 degrees of the star Elnath (1.6 mag) in Taurus. On the 23rd at 9:30pm Venus is 6½ degrees below Elnath. On the 24th at 9:30pm Mercury is midway between Elnath and Zeta Tauri (2.9 mag) with Venus 4¼ degrees lower right of Mercury.

On the 20th at 10:00pm the star Chertan (3.3 mag) in Leo is 5 degrees above the Moon.

At 10:00pm on the 21st the star Nu Virginus (4 mag) in Virgo is 3 degrees to the right of the Moon and 1 degree above.

From the 21st – 25th Mars pases close to the star Wasat (3.5 mag) in Gemini. On the 23rd at 10:00pm Wasat is just 1½ degrees lower left of Mars.

On the 22nd at 10:00pm the star Porrima (2.7 mag) in Virgo is just 2 degrees to the right of the Moon.

At 10:00pm on the 23rd the star Spica (0.9 mag) in Virgo is 6 degrees below right of the Moon.

On the 24th at midnight the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in Libra is just 2¾ degrees lower left of the Moon.

At midnight on the 25th the star Theta Librae (4.1 mag) in Libra is 3¾ degrees to the upper left of the Moon... Then at 4:00am the following morning Theta Librae is 3½ degrees above the Moon and 1 degree to the right.

There is a Total Eclipse of the Moon on the 26th May. As the greatest eclipse occurs around midday not even a partial phase will be visible from any part of Europe or Africa. The penumbral phase starts at 9:47am and ends at 2:49pm. Totality only lasts for 14½ minutes.

From the 26th – 31st Venus passes close to Mercury. On the 28th at 9:30pm Mercury is ½ a degree to the left of Venus low in the WNW. On the 29th at the same time Mercury is 1 degree below Venus.

On the 26th at midnight low in the SSE the star Antares (1 mag) in Scorpius is 5 degrees to the right of the Moon and 2 degrees below.

From the 28th – 31st Comet C/2020 R4 Atlas (9.5 mag – April 16th) passes close to the star Zosma (2.5 mag) in Leo. On the 29th and 30th at midnight Comet Atlas is 2½ degrees to the right of Zosma.

Low in the south east at 12:30am on the night of the 28th, the star Nunki (2 mag) in Sagittarius is just 1 degree upper right of the Moon.

On the 30th at 4:00am Saturn is 13½ degrees to the left of the Moon and 6 degrees above. The star Theta Capricorni (4 mag) is less than ½ a degree to the left of Saturn.

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 4:15am on the 31st Saturn is 5 degrees above the Moon in the SSE.

* = Dates and times are subject to change.

News: NASA is working to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. Space Launch System (SLS), along with NASA's Orion spacecraft, the Human Landing System and the Gateway in orbit around the Moon, are NASA's backbone for deep space exploration. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts and cargo to the Moon on a single mission.

China's Chang'e 4 mission is currently exploring Von Karman crater on the Moon. A south pole site will also be the target for NASA's VIPER rover launching in 2023. The crewed Artemis initiative could also pay it a visit in the coming years.

NASA's Ingenuity carries inertial sensors, a laser altimeter,and two cameras: a 13-megapixel colour camera and a 0.5-megapixel black-and-white navigation camera. It also has internal heaters to withstand the cold Martian nights. There's also a piece of fabric from the original 1903 Wright flyer aboard Ingenuity, a swatch about the size of a postage stamp. The cost for design, development and construction of Ingenuity was $85 million.

Future helicopters could become standard aboard planetary missions to scout terrain ahead, look into shadowed craters, and more. While Ingenuity's mission is a short proof of concept, it's only the beginning. NASA plans on sending a much more ambitious nuclear-powered helicopter named Dragonfly to Saturn's large moon Titan, perhaps launching in 2027.

Facts: George Robert Carruthers (b.1939) was an African American inventor, who passed away at the age of 81 on December 26th 2020, is immortalized on the Moon. There, in the shadow of the abandoned Orion lunar module, sits a 2 foot 7inch gold-plated camera that he designed and built: the first astronomical telescope to observe the heavens from another celestial body. It was launched aboard Apollo 16 in 1972.