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CentaurZ

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About CentaurZ

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  1. The brightest asteroid 4 Vesta currently rises in the early evening at magnitude +6.2. It will appear within Leo in opposition to the Sun on 2021 MAR 04 at magnitude +5.8. That’s within the limit of normal naked eye visibility. Vesta was discovered in 1807, and has a mean diameter of 525 km. Photos and descriptions of Vesta would be welcome additions to this thread.
  2. 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 (Dark Moon). Sharp-eyed observers may attempt to spot the more than one-day-old Moon after sunset on Friday, February 12th. Photos and descriptions of the young crescent Moon this month would be welcome additions to this thread.
  3. Asteroid 18 Melpomene will appear within Cancer in opposition to the Sun on 2021 FEB 02 at magnitude +9.5. It might have a satellite. Melpomene was discovered in 1852, and has a mean diameter of 141 km. Photos and descriptions of Melpomene would be welcome additions to this thread.
  4. During the predawn hours of 2021 APR 02, there may appear to be a fifth Galilean satellite around Jupiter. Actually, it will be the magnitude +5.9 star 44 Capricorni. Some observers in eastern North America may be able to witness the star during nighttime being occulted by Jupiter for over an hour. This would be a daytime occultation for Europe. Optical aid would be needed to witness this due to the brilliance of Jupiter overwhelming the star. I calculate that the star will be occulted from 08:48 to 10:00 UT (03:48 to 05:00 CDT – 04:48 to 06:00 EDT). Photos and descriptions of
  5. During the predawn hours of 2021 APR 02, there may appear to be a fifth Galilean satellite around Jupiter. Actually, it will be the magnitude +5.9 star 44 Capricorni. Some observers in eastern North America may be able to witness the star being occulted by Jupiter during nighttime for over an hour. This would be a daytime occultation in Europe. Optical aid would be needed to witness this due to the brilliance of Jupiter overwhelming the star. I calculate that the star will be occulted from 08:48 to 10:00 UT (03:48 to 05:00 CDT – 04:48 to 06:00 EDT). Photos and descriptions
  6. Asteroid 15 Eunomia is currently the second brightest asteroid at magnitude +8.6. Eunomia will appear within Cancer in opposition to the Sun on 2021 JAN 21 at magnitude +8.4. Eunomia is the most massive stony asteroid. It was discovered in 1851, and has a mean diameter of 268 km. Photos and descriptions of Eunomia would be welcome additions to this thread.
  7. Mercury, Jupiter & Saturn will form a tight trio in the early evening southwestern sky during the weekend of 2021 JAN 09-10. Photos and descriptions of the grouping would be welcome additions to my similar thread in the forum for Observing-Planetary.
  8. Mercury, Jupiter & Saturn will form a tight trio in the early evening southwestern sky during the weekend of 2021 JAN 09-10. Photos and descriptions of the grouping would be welcome additions to this thread.
  9. Elusive Mercury has commenced its apparition in the western sky after sunset following its superior conjunction behind the Sun on 2020 DEC 19. This should be a rather favorable apparition except for observers south of the tropics. Photos and descriptions of Mercury during this apparition would be welcome additions to this thread.
  10. During periods of about six months separated by about six years, mutual events occur involving the Galilean satellites occulting and transiting each other, with similar effects from their shadows. The next such period will commence on 2021 JAN 03 and end on 2021 JUN 26. Photos and descriptions of these events would be welcome additions to my similar thread in the forum for Observing-Planetary. The timing predictions posted below should not vary by much more than one second among locations.
  11. During periods of about six months separated by about six years, mutual events occur involving the Galilean satellites occulting and transiting each other, with similar effects from their shadows. The next such period will commence on 2021 JAN 03 and end on 2021 JUN 26. Photos and descriptions of these events would be welcome additions to this thread. The timing predictions posted below should not vary by much more than one second among locations.
  12. The annual Quadrantid Meteor Shower may already be underway, and is expected to peak during the night of 2021 JAN 02-03. Its radiant is in the no longer official constellation Quadrans Muralis, which is now part of Boötes. That is the direction toward which the meteor tails point, but the meteors are equally likely to appear anywhere in your sky. It is conjectured that the Quadrantids are debris from the asteroid 2003 EH1, which in turn may have been a castoff from comet C/1490 Y1. The peak rate of the Quadrantids can be as great as the normally most prolific annual showers at possibly a
  13. I noted in my original post that occultations of Saturn by Jupiter are exceptionally rare. And we also don't see mutual planetary occultations very often in the cases of any pairs of planets. We are currently in an unusually long dry spell. The most recent case was an 1818 occultation of Jupiter by Venus, with no observation reports. The only report ever of a mutual planetary occultation was by an amateur astronomer who observed Venus occulting Mercury in 1737. The next mutual planetary occultation will be when Venus occults Jupiter in 2065, but that will be almost impossible to observe with
  14. Indeed, there have been less complete descriptions published elsewhere. 2080 might also be difficult for me, since I am currently 75. I noted in my original post that occultations of Saturn by Jupiter are exceptionally rare. And we also don't see mutual planetary occultations very often in the cases of any pairs of planets. We are currently in an unusually long dry spell. The most recent case was an 1818 occultation of Jupiter by Venus, with no observation reports. The only report ever of a mutual planetary occultation was by an amateur astronomer who observed Venus occulting Mercury in
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