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 April.

Hoping you are all well through this covid crisis and that you've had at least your first Vaccine. I had mine a few weeks ago.

From Adrian

Astronomy News

Night Sky 2021 - April

Sunrise

Sunset

Mercury Sets

Venus Sets

1st – 6:46am

10th – 6:27am

20th – 6:05am

30th – 5:46am

1st – 7:44pm

10th – 7:59pm

20th – 8:15pm

30th – 8:32pm

24th – 8:54pm

26th – 9:12pm

28th – 9:29pm

30th – 9:46pm

20th – 8:43pm

25th – 8:58pm

30th – 9:14pm

Moon Rise

Moon Set

Moon Rise

Moon Set

- - - - - - -

2nd – 1:07am

3rd – 2:26am

4th – 3:33am

5th – 4:24am

6th – 5:02am

7th – 5:31am

8th – 5:53am (ESE)

9th – 6:11am

10th – 6:26am

11th – 6:40am (E)

12th – 6:55am

13th – 7:10am

14th – 7:27am (ENE)

15th – 7:47am

16th – 8:13am

17th – 8:46am

18th – 9:29am

1st – 8:43am

2nd – 9:18am

3rd – 10:03am

4th – 11:00am

5th – 12:08pm

6th – 1:21pm

7th – 2:36pm

8th – 3:50pm (WSW)

9th – 5:02pm

10th – 6:12pm (W)

11th – 7:20pm

12th – 8:29pm

13th – 9:37pm (WNW)

14th – 10:46pm

15th – 11:54pm

17th – 1:00am

18th – 2:00am

19th – 2:53am

19th – 10:23am

20th – 11:28am

21st – 12:41pm

22nd – 2:00pm (ENE)

23rd – 3:21pm

24th – 4:45pm

25th – 6:10pm (E)

26th – 7:39pm

27th – 9:09pm (ESE)

28th – 10:40pm

30th – 12:06am

- - - - - - -

All times

in notes are set

for

Somerton

unless stated

20th – 3:36am

21st – 4:10am

22nd – 4:38am

23rd – 5:00am (WNW)

24th – 5:20am

25th – 5:38am (W)

26th – 5:56am

27th – 6:16am (WSW)

28th – 6:41am

29th – 7:12am

30th – 7:53am

- - - - - - -

Moon Phases

Last Quarter – 4th

New Moon – 12th

First Quarter – 20th

Full Moon – 27th

A useful site: www.heavens-above.com

A S Zielonka


There is a scheduled landing (splashdown) of the SpaceX Crew-1 in late April or early May. NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi are due to return to Earth from the ISS.


The asteroid 4 Vesta (6.5 mag) throughout April stays within the constellation of Leo. (for further information please see the 'Asteroid' section in the website above).


On the1st at 5:45am the star Acrab (2.5 mag) in Scorpius is 4 degrees to the left of the Moon and 1 degree above.


There is a scheduled flight test on the 2nd. For this second uncrewed flight test, Boeing's CST-100 Starliner will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. OFT-2 will fly a new, reusable Starliner crew nodule providing additional on-orbit experience for the operational teams prior to flying missions with astronauts.


At 5:00am on the 2nd the star Antares (1 mag) in Scorpius is 5 degrees to the lower right of the Moon.


On the 4th at 5:00am in the SSE the star Nunki (2 mag) in Sagittarius is ¾ of a degree to the left of the last quarter Moon.


At 5:45am on the 6th Saturn is 5½ degrees to the upper left of the crescent Moon in the south east. Jupiter is 5 degrees above the horizon at 119 degrees azimuth and 16 degrees to the left of the Moon.


On the 7th at 5:45am the crescent Moon is 1 degree above the horizon at 123.5 degrees azimuth. Jupiter is 5¾ degrees above left of the Moon. Saturn is 11 degrees above right of the Moon.


At 6:00am on the 8th the crescent Moon is on the horizon at 115 degrees azimuth with Jupiter 11 degrees above right of it.


On the 13th at 8:45pm a very thin crescent Moon is 6½ degrees above the horizon at 282 degrees azimuth. Uranus is 3½ degrees to the right of the Moon and ¾ of a degree below.


The Moon is at apogee (406,119km) on the 14th at 6:46pm. At 10:30pm the thin crescent Moon is barely above the WNW horizon. The Pleiades star cluster is 8 degrees above the Moon and 2 degrees to the right.


On the 15th at 10:30pm the star Ain (3.5 mag) in Taurus is 2½ degrees to the left of the crescent Moon and a ¼ of a degree above. The star Kappa Tauri (4.2 mag) is 2¼ degrees above the Moon. The Pleiades star cluster is 8½ degrees to the right of the Moon and 2 degrees below.


At midnight on the 16th Mars is 7 degrees to the upper left of the crescent Moon. The star Zeta Tauri (2.9 mag) is 6 degrees to the left of the Moon and 2 degrees above.


An occultation of Mars occurs on the 17th. This will be visible fro the equatorial regions of Africa and Asia.


At 11:30pm on the 17th Mars is 4½ degrees to the lower right of the crescent Moon. The star 1 Geminorum (4.1 mag) in Gemini is just 1¼ degrees to the lower left of the Moon.


On the 18th at 9:00pm the star Mebsuta (3 mag) in Gemini is just 2 degrees to the lower right of the crescent Moon.


Mercury is at superior conjunction on the 19th.


At 9:00pm on the 19th the star Kappa Geminorum (3.5 mag) in Gemini is just 1 degree to the lower right of the Moon... then at 1:00am the stars Castor (1.5 mag) and Pollux (1.1 mag) point the way to the Moon.


There is a scheduled launch (no earlier than the 20th*) to the ISS. NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 mission will launch four astronauts aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the space station. It will be the first mission to fly two international partner crew members as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will join as mission specialists. (See ISS News below)


On the 20th at midnight the Beehive star cluster is 3 degrees below the Moon.


There is a very close conjunction between Venus and Uranus on the 22nd. At 8:35pm (16 mins after sunset) low in the WNW Venus is at 290 degrees azimuth and just 2 degrees above the horizon with Uranus just above it.


The Lyrids meteor shower reaches its peak on the night of the 22nd. The nearly full moon will be a problem this year. Its glare willwill block out all but the brightest meteors. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. They will radiate from the constellation Lyra though they can appear anywhere in the sky.


At midnight on the 22nd the star Rho Leonis (3.8 mag) in Leo is 4½ dgerees below the Moon and 1½ degrees to the left.


From the 24th April - 1st May Mars passes alongside the stars 1 Geminorum (4.1 mag), Propus (1.3mag) and Mu Geminorum (2.8 mag) in Gemini. At 9:30pm on the 28th Propus is 2½ degrees to the lower left of Mars.


On the 24th at midnight the star Zaniah (3.8 mag) in Virgo is 3 degrees below the Moon.


There is a close conjunction between Venus and Mercury on the 25th. At 8:40pm (17 mins after sunset) low in the WNW Venus is at 291 degrees azimuth with Mercury 1 degree above right.


Then at 10:00pm the star Theta Virginis (4.3 mag) is just 2 degrees to the lower right of the Moon.


Mars is midway between Elnath (1.6 mag) and Zeta Tauri (2.9mag) in Taurus at 10:00pm on the 25th. Elnath is 4 degrees to the upper right of Mars.


On the 26th at midnight the star Kappa Virginis (4.1 mag) is just ½ a degree above the Moon.


Mercury is at perihelion on the 27th.


The Moon is at perigee (357,378km) on the 27th at 4:23pm. At 10:00pm the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in Libra is 4 degrees to the upper right of the Moon.


On the 28th at midnight low in the south east the two stars named Omega Scorpii (3.8 & 4.1 mag) in Scorpius are just 1½ degrees to the upper right of the Moon... Then at 5:00am they are 4 degrees to the right of the Moon.


From the 29th April – 3rd May Comet C/2021 D1 Swan (11.5 mag) will be passing close to the star Iota Aurigae (2.6 mag) in Auriga. At 10:00pm on the 1st May looking west, Comet Aurigae is ¾ of a degree to the upper right of Iota Aurigae. (For further information on this or other comets please see the “Comet” section in the website above.


Uranus is at superior conjunction on the 30th.


At 5:00am on the 30th the star Theta Ophiuchi (3.2 mag) in Ophiuchus is just 1 degree to the right of the Moon... Also at the same time in the south east, the star Theta Capricorni (4 mag) in Capricorn is just ¾ of a degree left of Saturn


On the 30th at 8:55pm Venus is at 294 degrees azimuth and 3 degrees above the horizon. Mercury is 4½ degrees above Venus and 1 degree to the left.


* = Dates and times are subject to change.


News: The Perserverance rover's Red Planet touchdown site has now been renamed for Octavia E Butler (1947 - 2006) the noted African American science fiction author. She was the first African American woman to win both the Hugo and Nebula awards that honour great science fiction, and the first science fiction writer overall who received a Mac Arthur Fellowship.

Mission team members at NASA announced on March 10th that the Perseverance Rover has begun using its rock-zapping SuperCam instrument on Mars. SuperCam, mounted in the head of the rover, is actually five instruments in one. Among the first targets for analysis are rocks dubbed Maaz and Yeehgo (Maaz & Yeigo, are Navajo words meaning “Mars” and “Dilligent”). Its equipped with a microphone, which has picked up the gentle whoosh of the Martian wind as well as the not-so-gentle snaps generated by the laser when it hits a rock target.

As cleanup operations are underway at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, some scientists are proposing a replacement for the esteemed radio dish. Cleanup isn't only about removing machinery; there are enviromental effects too. For example, workers are also excavating soil contaminated with hydraulic oil released during the collapse. The next generation Arecibo Telescope, could pack hundreds, and maybe even more than 1,000 smaller radio dishes into the same space now occupied by the single 305-metre dish (with no suspended instrument platform required).


ISS News:

Shane Kimbrough (b.1967) is a retired U.S. Officer, and a NASA astronaut. He was part of the first group of candidates selected for NASA astronaut training following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. He is a veteran of two space flights. On is last mission in 2017 to the ISS he performed two Extravehicular Activities (EVA's) with Thomas Pesquet.


Megan McArthur (b.1971) is married to fellow astronaut Bob Behnken, and they have one son. She was a member of the STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. She was the ascent and entry flight engineer and was the lead robotics crew member for the mission. In a pre-flight interview, she put it as: “I'll be the last one with hands on the Hubble Space Telescope.” This will be her second time in space.


Akihiko Hoshide (b.1968) first mission was onboard Space Shuttle Discovery in May 2008. It was the second of three missions to deliver the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) to the ISS. During his second mission to the ISS in 2012, he performed 3 EVA's. During his third EVA he took hold of the record for the most cumulative space walk time for a Japanese astronaut of 21 hours and 23 minutes. During this mission he is scheduled to become only the second Japanese astronaut to take command of the station, following Koichi Wakata in 2014.


Thomas Pesquet (b.1978) was born in Rouen, France and considers Dieppe his hometown. He is married to Anne Mottet. Arriving at the ISS in November 2016, he became the first French astronaut since Leopod Eyharts who helped install the Columbus European laboratory module. His arrival marked the beginning of the European Proxima mission, which included 50 science experiments for ESA and CNES. During this mission he will become the first European astronaut to launch on board an American Commercial Crew Vehicle.


Facts: On January 31st 1961 a chimpanzee named Ham (from the central African nation of Cameroon) was launched into space, strapped into a nosecone of a Mercury-Redstone rocket. The rocket reached an altitude of 251km. Ham survived the flight itself, but nearly drowned when the capsule started filling with water after its ocean splashdown. Fortunately, the helicopter recovery team reached him in time. Ham's treat on emerging from the spacecraft was an apple, which he devoured eagerly. After his flight, Ham lived for 20 years by himself, in a zoo in Washington DC.

Asteroidal Occultation

Just a quick note to let you know that I have just picked up an
asteroidal occultation visible from Othery on the evening of 9th March.
Asteroid 2589 Daniel will occult Regulus at approx 20h20m47s. Clearly
this will be an eyes only needed event so everyone can see it from
home. Hope it's clear.

Nigel

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.