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Get a heads up on the best celestial events to observe

Lunar Eclipse 21st Jan 2019

No one has mentioned this yet, but just in case . . .

If you want to see it all you need to observe from 2:30am early on Monday morning.
Totality from about 4:45am to 5:45am

It is good to take dozens of photos of the moon at each stage but you need to be dedicated when it happens early morning. Setting the alarm for 4:30am, observing from a warm south/south-western facing bedroom, and getting ...
Read more : Lunar Eclipse 21st Jan 2019 | Views : 1350 | Replies : 1

C/2018 V1 (Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto)

It is all a bit uncertain at the moment, but a new comet has been detected near the sun.
Comet Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto has been coming towards the sun at an acute angle which made it impossible for us to see it until now. It is a morning object in Virgo at the moment, but I've not seen any accurate orbital elements yet. It will swing around the sun, and appear in the evening sky at some ...
Read more : C/2018 V1 (Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto) | Views : 1451 | Replies : 4

Comet 46p/Wirtanen

I was just checking out what to have a look at tonight and came across this:

It's a bit difficult to see at the moment being very low in the south and heading south. But at the beginning of November it turns to head north and on 16th December, at closest approach, it increases in magnitude to an estimated nice bright 3 when it will be nestled on ...
Read more : Comet 46p/Wirtanen | Views : 2280 | Replies : 8

Heads-up for an ISS / Dragon Craft passage

Timings and location given are specific to NW England, but later in time if further East, and higher in the sky if further South.

I'm not sure how visible this will be, but tomorrow evening, we should see a passage of the ISS from about 21:52 - starting above Venus, and taking about 6 minutes to travel low from West to East until it disappears above Mars.

All very usual.

However - earlier in the ...
Read more : Heads-up for an ISS / Dragon Craft passage | Views : 2383 | Replies : 5

Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner

Comet of the month from the S@N magazine August Sky Guide (page 57) is 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. Currently high in the North East in Cassiopeia it moves into Camelopardalis on the 19th brightening from +8.8 to +7.2. A good circumpolar viewing opportunity.

I probably won't see it from cloudy Ireland but according to Trevor the Weather the skies are clear back home next week!
Read more : Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner | Views : 1172 | Replies : 2

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on Friday Evening.

When the full moon rises on Friday 16th September part of the sunlight shining on the moon will be obscured by the earth. For instance at 9pm the top half of the moon will be slightly less bright than the lower half. It isn't very spectacular like a proper lunar eclipse, but it will be worth checking it out.
Read more : Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on Friday Evening. | Views : 3028 | Replies : 0

Perseid Meteors

On 31st July I went outside at around 11:30pm local time. While looking up I saw a Perseid meteor. It reminded me that the number of these will increase until the best time which occurs on the evening of Friday 12th August and the early morning of the Saturday 13th. (However see the edit below) Perseids can be identified because they appear to originate from the constellation of Perseus. (In fact they are left over ...
Read more : Perseid Meteors | Views : 2894 | Replies : 5

Mars at opposition

At the moment Mars is a fine sight blazing away in the south east at midnight. It is starting to move over to the south now fairly rapidly, and rising a little higher by midnight, and getting even brighter. It is still very low down, but anyone wanting to see a fair sized disk, and hopefully some detail will have to observe it in the next couple of weeks. It will get smaller again just ...
Read more : Mars at opposition | Views : 5391 | Replies : 5

Aurora tonight - worth it?

Some major geomagnetic activity going on at mo' - good chance of auroral displays for tonight and tomorrow-night. For years I've wanted to see an aurora (it's near the top of my bucket list) but I've always been foiled by something. To make matters worse, I'm living in Warrington (long story) and thus reaching dark skies has proven hard work!

Thanks to the closure of the WCML, I cannot reach Penrith by train tonight, so ...
Read more : Aurora tonight - worth it? | Views : 2556 | Replies : 1

9th May transit of Mercury

From my location Mercury will start to pass in front of the Sun on Monday 9th May at 12:12pm (1112 UT) It finishes at 7:37pm (1837UT). Mercury is so far away from us that its position won't be very different wherever it is observed in the UK. Therefore the time won't differ by more than a minute or so across the UK.

Hopefully at least some of the afternoon will be clear enough to see ...
Read more : 9th May transit of Mercury | Views : 4735 | Replies : 7


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