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CentaurZ

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About CentaurZ

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    Nebula

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    https://www.CurtRenz.com/astronomy.html

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    Chicagoland
  1. CentaurZ

    Lunar X - 2018 DEC 14

    The Lunar X may be seen by telescopic observers in the Americas during Friday 2018 DEC 14 for an approximately four-hour period centered on 18:27 CST (DEC 15 - 00:27 UT). Some western European observers may be able to glimpse the beginning of the event just before the Moon sets. The X should appear as the Sun rises on the clustered rims of the craters Blanchinus, La Caille and Purbach, while a waxing nearly Half Moon graces the sky. This is something to check-off from your astronomical “to-do” list. Photos and descriptions of the Lunar X would be welcome additions to this thread.
  2. Giant Jupiter is starting its apparition in the eastern predawn sky following its conjunction behind the Sun on 2018 NOV 26. Photos and descriptions of Jupiter and its four great Galilean satellites would be welcome additions to this thread.
  3. The annual Geminid Meteor Shower may already be underway. It is expected to peak during the night of 2018 DEC 13-14. Its radiant is in the constellation Gemini. That is the direction toward which the meteor tails point, but the meteors are equally likely to appear anywhere in your sky. The Geminids are debris from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon. The Geminids have been presenting an increasingly intense shower in recent years. At the peak between 120 and 160 meteors per hour may be seen by some sharp eyed folks. The show begins after Gemini rises in the early evening and intensifies until morning twilight. Although observers south of the tropics will have to wait until midnight. The waxing crescent Moon during the shower peak should not be much of a hindrance. Descriptions of the shower or perhaps even lucky photos would be welcome additions to this thread.
  4. It’s nearly time for my monthly New Moon spotting challenge. I use the term New Moon in its classical sense of one’s first sighting of the Moon following its solar conjunction (Dark Moon). Some sharp-eyed North Americans might want to attempt spotting the more than half-day-old Moon after sunset on Friday, December 7. Most observers should have much better luck during the following evening. Photos and descriptions of the young crescent Moon this month would be welcome additions to this thread.
  5. Elusive Mercury has commenced its apparition in the predawn eastern sky following its inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on 2018 NOV 27. Photos and descriptions of Mercury during this apparition would be welcome additions to this thread.
  6. Arizona amateur astronomer Don Machholz discovered his twelfth comet on 2018 NOV 07. It is designated C/2018 V1 Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto, since two Japanese apparently spotted it near the same time. It has become unusual for humans to discover comets in this era of automated sky searches. The comet can currently be observed by telescope in the predawn sky in the constellation Virgo. It is expected to pass 0.6676 AU from Earth on 2018 NOV 27. It’s currently at magnitude +8.9, with maximum brilliance of about +7.0 expected around DEC 01. Perihelion is expected to come on DEC 03 at 0.3870 AU from Sun. Photos and descriptions of the comet would be welcome additions to this thread. EDIT: Some of the figures above and the graphic below have been updated due to new JPL orbital elements as of 2018 NOV 20.
  7. Asteroid 3 Juno will appear in opposition to the Sun in the constellation Eridanus during the night of 2018 NOV 16-17 at magnitude +7.4. That’s somewhat beyond naked eye visibility, but makes it easily seen with binoculars or a small telescope. Juno is a main belt stony asteroid discovered in 1804 by Karl Harding in Germany. It has a mean diameter of 233 km. Juno is named after the ancient Roman goddess who was the wife of Jupiter. Photos and descriptions of Juno would be welcome additions to this thread.
  8. The annual Leonid Meteor Shower may already be underway. It is expected to peak during the night of 2018 NOV 17-18. Its radiant is in the constellation Leo. That is the direction toward which the meteor tails point, but the meteors are equally likely to appear anywhere in your sky. The Leonids are debris from the periodic comet 55P Tempel-Tuttle. The Leonids vary considerably each year in their rates. At the peak, sharp-eyed observers may see as few as ten meteors per hour or as many as a hundred, although in exceptional years this can reach the thousands. This year the expectation is for around 25 per hour. The real show begins after Leo rises around midnight and intensifies until morning twilight. At the shower’s peak the waxing gibbous Moon may briefly provide some interference until it sets during the wee hours of the morning. Descriptions of the shower or perhaps even lucky photos would be welcome additions to this thread.
  9. It’s nearly time for my monthly New Moon spotting challenge. I use the term New Moon in its classical sense of one's first sighting of the Moon after its solar conjunction. Some sharp-eyed North Americans might want to attempt sighting the less than half-day-old Moon after sunset on Wednesday, November 7. Most observers should have much better luck during the following evening. Photos and descriptions of the young crescent Moon this month would be welcome additions to this thread.
  10. Get ready for hysterical Unidentified Flying Object sighting reports! Venus has commenced its apparition as the brilliant Morning Star in the eastern sky before sunrise following its inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on 2018 OCT 26. Photos and descriptions of Venus during this apparition would be welcome additions to this thread.
  11. Uranus will appear in opposition to the Sun during the night of 2018 OCT 23-24. At magnitude +5.7 it normally would be visible to sharp naked eyes under dark skies. However the Full Moon barely south (beneath for northern hemisphere observers) of Neptune in Pisces will provide substantial interference. Better viewing opportunities may be presented a week or so on either side of the Full Moon. Photos and descriptions of Uranus would be welcome additions to this thread.
  12. CentaurZ

    Lunar X - 2018 OCT 16

    The Lunar X may be seen by telescopic observers in Europe and the Americas during Tuesday 2018 OCT 16 for an approximately four-hour period centered on 16:09 CDT (21:09 UT). This will be an evening event in Europe, and an afternoon event in the Americas. The X should appear as the Sun rises on the clustered rims of the craters Blanchinus, La Caille and Purbach, while a waxing Half Moon graces the sky. This is something to check-off from your astronomical “to-do” list. Photos and descriptions of the Lunar X would be welcome additions to this thread.
  13. The annual Orionid Meteor Shower may already be underway. It is expected to peak during the night of 2018 OCT 20-21. Its radiant is in the constellation Orion. That is the direction toward which the meteor tails point, but the meteors are equally likely to appear anywhere in your sky. The Orionids are debris from the famous periodic comet 1P/Halley. At the peak between 10 and 70 meteors per hour may be seen by some sharp eyed folks. The show begins after Orion rises in the late evening and intensifies until morning twilight. Since Orion lies on the celestial equator, the shower is easily observed from all geographic latitudes. The waxing gibbous Moon during the shower peak this year may provide some interference until it sets a few hours before sunrise. Descriptions of the shower or perhaps even lucky photos would be welcome additions to this thread.
  14. The waxing nearly Half Moon will occult (cover) the magnitude +3.8 star Omicron Sagittarii for observers in North America during the evening of Monday 2018 OCT 15. For Chicagoland observers, an unusual 13-month drought will follow for nighttime lunar occultations of planets and stars brighter than magnitude +4.1. The current series of 19 monthly Omicron Sagittarii occultations extends from 2018 JUN 01 to 2019 OCT 05. However the large majority are not visible at nighttime from any particular location. The next series will commence on 2028 OCT 23. The upcoming immersion will occur on the lunar dark limb and emersion on the bright limb. Observers on a graze path will witness the star winking on and off as lunar hills and valleys pass by. Those between the two paths will see a full occultation. Photos and descriptions of the occultation would be welcome additions to this thread. If you would like specific occultation or graze predictions for your location, please reply to this post with your longitude, latitude, elevation and time zone.
  15. CentaurZ

    October New Moon Spotting

    It’s nearly time for my monthly New Moon spotting challenge. I use the term New Moon in its classical sense of one’s first sighting of the Moon after its monthly solar conjunction. Some sharp-eyed North Americans with clear skies might be able to spot the less than one-day-old Moon after sunset on Tuesday, October 9. Others should have better luck during the following evening. Photos and descriptions of the young crescent Moon this month would be welcome additions to this thread. Below is a photo that I shot from Arlington Heights, Illinois of the Moon on 2011 OCT 28 at 18:18 CDT while it was aged 2.14 days.
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