Saturday, June 18, 2011

Events for the Week 6/18 to 6/25

The total lunar eclipse enchanted the middle eastern world, the moon bathed in an eerie glow of red. See for yourself! What else is happening around the world this week as you look towards the heavens? Find out!

Events for Saturday, June 18, 2011

In the morning: "Venus gleams low in morning twilight all week," confirms. Venus will rise about one hour before the glorious sunrise and you'll see that Venus is 96% bright. Before dawn, you'll notice Venus passes about five degrees north of Aldebaran (magnitude 1 one star; only viewed by a telescope).

When the sun sets: Altair will help you find two lesser-known constellations. "Once you’ve found Altair, it’s a short hop to two small yet distinctive constellations, Delphinus the Dolphin and Sagitta the Arrow. Hold your hand an arm length away to find both star formations roughly one hand-width away from Altair. The Dolphin is found to the lower left of Altair, and the Arrow to Altair’s upper left," writes. The summer triangle is in good view tonight, as well as the rest f the summer! Vega and Arcturus will be high tonight.

Events for Sunday, June 19, 2011
In the morning: The beautiful red planet, shining at magnitude 1.4, will rise in the eastern sky, about two hours before the sunrise. It's moon(s) were up to something! If you search, Venus will appear to its lower-left, and Jupiter, to its upper right. Messier 45 (the famous Pleiades) will be approximately four degrees to the upper-left of the planet, if you look before the sun engulfs Mars with the twilight glow.

In the evening: You can find the little dipper! This portion of text was acquired from last week's astronomical events: "The big and little dipper are prominent features in our sky this week. June is about the best time to view them, use Polaris and the other 'pointers' to locate these constellations. The quotation below is taken from last week's astronomical events.
Locating the dippers are easy...In order to find it's lesser 'twin,' the small Dipper, locate two other stars outside its bowl (The Pointers), and they'll show you the path to the north star: Polaris. Once you've found Polaris, you can find the little Dipper. "Polaris marks the end of the handle of the Little Dipper. You need a dark night to see the Little Dipper in full, because it’s so much fainter than its larger and brighter counterpart." EarthSky writes....Read more"
Events for Monday, June 20, 2011

Tonight, asteroid 4 Vesta will be in good view. You can read much more about Vesta in last week's astronomical events. Look under the day for 6/12.
...If you would like to view this asteroid, try to locate Iota Capricorni (star at mag. four), and Vesta will be about two degrees east of this star; but only for this week. In August/September, Vesta will be at magnitude 5.6 and will be a stunning site; you will be able to see it...
Draco, the dragon, will also be in view, along with the previously sought-after dipper family. As you see in the picture below, Draco sits 'in' the family of the dippers, as it used to be a 'pole' or guider star. Thuban, was used as a pointer star for thousands of years and its said that the descending passage of the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Gizeh was built to point directly at Thuban. So, even our ancestors knew and celebrated this star. But, the celestial pole is always shifting. Five-thousand years ago, Thuban was at true celestial north. Now, it's Polaris. In four-thousand AD, Errai (in Cepheus) will be at true north, and in 7500 AD, Alderamin (also in Cepheus) will. 

Castor and Pollux (winter stars) have far, outstayed their season! When will they disappear?

Events for Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The summer solstice occurs tonight, or today. An article will be posted the day of about this astronomcial events that's highly acclaimed. 

Saturn will keep on visiting surrounding stars and more stars. If you would like to read more about the stars, a full, exhaustive overview was given in last week's astronomical events, day 6/14. It mentions everything you need to know to find Saturn, and to find out what's happening around it. An excerpt is given to you below.
...Saturn will be halfway to the zenith, in the south-west sky tonight around 10 pm local time wherever you are. Spica, a neighboring star, will lie only fourteen degrees to the left and a small degree below the planet, at magnitude 0.8 (fairly bright).  For this week only, Saturn will closely approach...
Events for Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Comet C/2009 P1 is brightening this time of year as well. You can read more at our meteor shower website, along with Boötids coming at the close of this great week! "In the coming months, Comet Garradd should brighten to near naked-eye visibility." encourages.

Tonight also gives us the closest-farthest full moon. Ha! Sounds like an oxymoron, but it's true. It will be the closest apogee of the year. What's apogee? Apogee is the point in which the moon is farthest from the earth. If you can remember the perigee full moon, back on March 19, 2011, perigee is the opposite of apogee. Of all 2011, this will be the closest apogee moon the earth will experience. You can read more here

Perigee Full Moon illustration/computer-generated
 EarthSky clarifies:
On June 23, 2011 the moon will be 404,271 kilometers from Earth. It’s the moon’s farthest point from Earth for the month of June. But it’s the moon’s closest farthest point for all of 2011.
Events for Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Last Quarter Moon occurs today at 7:48 a.m. EDT. The half-lit moon will rise after midnight local daylight time this morning and will climb 'in the southeastern sky against the background stars of Pisces the Fish.' Above it is the great square of Pegasus.

Events for Friday, June 24, 2011
The Moon is 1.9° south of Antares (Alpha Scorpii) at 7:41 A.M. EDT.  It also reaches apogee tonight, around 12:12 am EDT.

"The June Boötid meteor shower should peak the night of June 27/28, although observers often report seeing members several days earlier. The shower’s radiant (where the meteors seem to originate) lies in the constellation Boötes the Herdsman, which passes nearly overhead in late evening. Rates for this shower are typically fairly low, but reached nearly 100 meteors per hour in 1998 and about half that number in 2004," writes. We will be featuring more of the June Bootids at our meteor shower site, so stay tuned!

Radiant with locators

Events for Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tonight, dwarf planet 1 Ceres comes to one degree south of the moon 2:10 P.M. EDT. Because this is such a close passing, it's called a conjunction. You read about what happened with Jupiter and Phobos, on June 1 here. It also explains what an astronomical conjunction really is. Pluto is at opposition, directly on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun.

Mercury is retiring to the evening sky now, after taking part in the four-planet dance of 2011. This evening, it will rest around 5° above the west-northwestern horizon 30 minutes after sunset. It's shining peculiarly bright now, around magnitude -0.8, which should make it fairly easy to spot.  Mercury is in a 'fat, gibbous' phases, describes.

Jupiter will also remain extremely close to the moon tomorrow morning. They are very close. 

Solar System Calendar for this week

19 Jun 2011 06:03:27 Max. South Declination of Mercury, 24.9°
19 Jun 2011 18:57:07 Conjunction of Pallas with the Moon, 32.9°
19 Jun 2011 23:58:36 Conjunction of Vesta with the Moon, 7.2°
20 Jun 2011 22:01:34 Conjunction of Neptune with the Moon, 5.4°
21 Jun 2011 17:16:32 Summer Solstice
22 Jun 2011 19:06:32 Max. South Latitude of the Moon, 5.2°
23 Jun 2011 03:42:06 Conjunction of Ceres with the Moon, 16.5°
23 Jun 2011 11:48:16 Last Quarter
23 Jun 2011 17:35:55 Conjunction of Uranus with the Moon, 5.9°
24 Jun 2011 04:12:16 Moon at Apogee, 404271 km from Earth

Where are the Planets? How can I find them? Stop asking! Look here:

Mercury- (E)* magnitude -0.8; 5° above the west-northwestern horizon 30 minutes after sunset
Venus- (D) magnitude -3.8; east-northeast horizon as dawn grows bright; 20 minutes before sunrise
Mars- (D) magnitude +1.4; lower left of Jupiter, east, low at dawn
Jupiter- (D) magnitude -2.2 in southern Aries, east at dawn
Saturn- (N) magnitude +0.8 in Virgo, southwest after dusk (at night is the best time to view)
Uranus- (D) magnitude +5.9 in western Pisces, low in east-southeast before dawn
Neptune- (D) magnitude +7.9 in Aquarius, southeast before dawn
(and, yes) Pluto!- (N) magnitude +14.0 in Sagittarius, high around 1 or 2 am, depending where you live

*(E) Evening, (N) Night, (D) Dawn, (NV) Not Visible. 

Have a great viewing this week!!

I'm listing sources now: 
Abram's Planetarium - great resource on quick observation. I really recommend this.

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