| Observatory |
Some observing hilights
to look forward to...
The following tips on current and upcoming astronomical events
have been gathered from magazines and other sources by Dave Gamble
with the objective of giving OC RASC members a heads-up on
special personal astro-experiences to look forward to.
Tues. May 2 – This is First Quarter Moon night with the nicely divided lunar disk looking down as the Okanagan spring develops.
Wed. May 3 – The swelling phase of the Moon will arrive in the vicinity of bright Regulus in Leo in tonight’s sky.
Fri. May 5 - The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will arrive this evening and will peak in the early morning hours tomorrow. The Eta Aquarids do not count as one of the most prominent meteor showers, though they do make their mark in the southern hemisphere, and the waxing gibbous Moon will not help. That said, it could be worthwhile to look to the southeastern pre-dawn sky to spot shower members radiating upwards from the vicinity of Aquarius' water jar.
Fri. May 5 – Mars continues to drop closer to the Sun in the western sky, but for those who are up to the challenge, the small ruddy disk can be seen about the width of your three middle fingers to the north of Aldebaran in Taurus above the western horizon this evening.
Sun. May 7 – There will be an interesting grouping of the almost Full Moon, bright Jupiter and blue-white Spica in tonight’s sky.
Wed. May 10 – This is Full Moon night with our neighbour shining down on orchard blossoms and sunflower (Arrowleaf) covered hillsides. Not that it is unenthusiastic about spring, but the Moon is now near apogee from Earth, or the farthest away, so it is lacking its largest size.
Thurs. May 11 – Jupiter’s Galilean moons offer many examples of celestial mechanics in action, and a noteworthy one occurs tonight between 6.59 pm and 7.06pm. Watch for a double shadow transit to progress across the planet’s surface.
Sat. May 13 – The waning gibbous Moon will pay a call on Saturn tonight, calling attention to the fact that the ringed planet is preparing to take its place with Jupiter as one of the highlights of the late spring night sky.
Wed. May 17 – Early this morning the innermost planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation, still a challenging target as dawn starts to brighten the sky.
Thurs. May 18 - Again this week there is a double shadow transit across Jupiter’s disk to enjoy. Io’s shadow will be joined by Europa’s and the small black spots will perform between 8.53pm to 9.43pm.
Thurs. May 18 – This is Last Quarter Moon night. The half-lit disk will rise around midnight, remaining high in the sky to look down on the next morning’s activities. The dark Moon period is about to begin!
Mon. May 22 – An attractive grouping of the waning crescent Moon and bright Venus can be seen in the pre-dawn sky this morning. The thin crescent will be about the width of two fingers below Venus which is beginning its performance as the Morning Star.
Wed. May 24 – Saturn has reached the point where its rings are at their maximum tilt, giving an almost 27_ view of the banded ringed surface.
Thurs. May 25 – For those getting hooked on Jupiter’s shadow transits, there will be another double tonight with the small dark spots transiting Jupiter’s disk between 10.47pm and 12.20am.
Thurs. May 25 – This is New Moon night with our neighbour completely out of the way for deep sky observing, sketching and imaging.
Fri, May 26 – Jupiter and its moons are going all out to keep us entertained. Tonight there will be a double shadow transit with the shadows of Io and Europa crossing the disk between 10.47pm and 12.19am.
Mon. May 29 – For those itching to see an interesting celestial grouping, this evening the waxing crescent Moon will pose about the width of two fingers to the lower left of the Beehive Cluster M44. This will be well seen in binoculars, but a telescope would add more of the sparkle of the Beehive swarm.
Wed. May 31 – A viewing opportunity will present itself tonight as the First Quarter Moon will be just to the left of Regulus in Leo.