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CentaurZ

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Everything posted by CentaurZ

  1. The annual Geminid Meteor Shower may already be underway. It is expected to peak during the night of 2021 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 gibbous Moon during the shower’s peak this year may provide some interference before it sets in the pre-dawn hours. Descriptions of the shower or perhaps even lucky photos 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 might attempt to spot the nearly two-day-old Moon after sunset on Sunday, December 5th. Most others should have better luck the following evening. Photos and descriptions of the young crescent Moon this month would be welcome additions to this thread.
  3. The shadows of the Galilean satellites #3 Ganymede and #4 Callisto will be simultaneously transiting Jupiter during the evening of 2021 NOV 23 for observers in the Americas. Photos and descriptions of the transits would be welcome additions to this thread.
  4. Asteroid 1 Ceres will appear within Taurus in opposition to the Sun on 2021 NOV 27 at magnitude +7.2. It is the largest main belt asteroid, and has also been designated a dwarf planet. Ceres was discovered in 1801, and has a mean diameter of 845 km. Photos and descriptions of Ceres would be welcome additions to this thread.
  5. A Partial (magnitude 97%, nearly total) Lunar Eclipse will be presented to many observers with clear skies on 2021 NOV 19. This will occur in the early hours after midnight for most of North America, and in the evening for Australia and New Zealand. For the British Isles and Norway, the partial eclipse will have just begun at moonset/sunrise. The rest of continental Europe will be shut out from the partial phase, but most Europeans will be able to view a penumbral phase. Below is a preview graphic for the upcoming eclipse as seen against an imaginary blue wall to make the shadow fully apparent. The predicted event timings are in CST (UT-6), but will occur at essentially the same real time for all observers experiencing nighttime. The depicted orientation and Moon altitudes are for an observer at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium. Photos and descriptions of the eclipse would be welcome additions to my similar thread in the forum for Observing-Lunar.
  6. A Partial (magnitude 97%, nearly total) Lunar Eclipse will be presented to many observers with clear skies on 2021 NOV 19. This will occur in the early hours after midnight for most of North America, and in the evening for Australia and New Zealand. For the British Isles and Norway, the partial eclipse will have just begun at moonset/sunrise. The rest of continental Europe will be shut out from the partial phase, but most Europeans will be able to view a penumbral phase. Below is a preview graphic for the upcoming eclipse as seen against an imaginary blue wall to make the shadow fully apparent. The predicted event timings are in CST (UT-6), but will occur at essentially the same real time for all observers experiencing nighttime. The depicted orientation and Moon altitudes are for an observer at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium. Photos and descriptions of the eclipse would be welcome additions to this thread.
  7. The annual Leonid Meteor Shower should already be underway. It is expected to peak during the night of 2021 NOV 16-17. 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 10 to 15 per hour. The real show begins after Leo rises around midnight and intensifies until morning twilight. At the shower’s peak the nearly Full Moon should could provide interference. Descriptions of the shower or perhaps even lucky photos would be welcome additions to this thread.
  8. 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 might attempt to spot the one-day-old Moon after sunset on Friday, November 5th. Most others should have better luck the following evening. Photos and descriptions of the young crescent Moon this month would be welcome additions to this thread.
  9. Uranus will appear in opposition to the Sun during 2021 NOV 04. At magnitude +5.6 it may be visible to sharp naked eyes under dark skies. It has always amazed me that Uranus was not discovered until William Herschel pointed a telescope at it in 1781. I would imagine that countless people observed it by naked eye before then, but assumed it was a fixed star and never noticed that over a period of time it changed position relative to the actual fixed stars. I first observed it by naked eye fifty years ago, but of course I knew that it existed and exactly where to look. Photos and descriptions of Uranus would be welcome additions to this thread.
  10. Venus' dichotomy (half phase - 50% illumination) is expected on October 22. Greatest eastern elongation from the Sun is expected on October 29. The difference in timing is twofold: The orbits of Venus and Earth are slightly eccentric, and observed eastern dichotomy usually occurs about 6 or 7 days earlier then would be expected from geometric calculations, likely due to a Venusian atmospheric effect.
  11. Asteroid 1 Ceres (also dwarf planet) as viewed geocentrically will appear to pass only 6.9 arcminutes from the first magnitude star Aldebaran on 2021 NOV 03 at 08:37 UT. Photos and descriptions of the event would be welcome additions to my similar thread in the forum for Observing-Planetary.
  12. Asteroid 1 Ceres (also dwarf planet) as viewed geocentrically will appear to pass only 6.9 arcminutes from the first magnitude star Aldebaran on 2021 NOV 03 at 08:37 UT. Photos and descriptions of the event would be welcome additions to this thread.
  13. The shadows of the Galilean satellites #1 Io and #3 Ganymede will be simultaneously transiting Jupiter during the night of 2021 OCT 18-19. Io itself will also be transiting at that time. The chart time of 01:15 CDT is equivalent to 06:15 UT. Photos and descriptions of the transits would be welcome additions to this thread.
  14. The annual Orionid Meteor Shower may already be underway. It is expected to peak during the night of 2021 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 about 30 meteors per hour may be seen by some sharp-eyed folks, although this number can vary from year to year. 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 Full Moon near the shower peak will likely provide interference. Descriptions of the shower or perhaps even lucky photos would be welcome additions to this thread.
  15. Elusive Mercury has commenced its apparition in the predawn eastern sky following its inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on 2021 OCT 09. This is a favorable apparition for observers not south of the tropics. Photos and descriptions of Mercury during this apparition would be welcome additions to this thread.
  16. 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 might attempt to spot the more than one-day-old Moon after sunset on Thursday, October 7th. Most others should have better luck the following evening. Photos and descriptions of the young crescent Moon this month would be welcome additions to this thread.
  17. The Harvest Moon will be on display during the night of 2021 SEP 20-21. This is the term for the Full Moon occurring nearest to the Autumnal Equinox. A Full Moon rises near the time of Sunset. For northern hemisphere observers this week, the moonrises occur separated by much less than the average of one day plus 50 minutes. Hence farmers can take advantage of several days of extended light for harvesting.
  18. 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 might attempt to spot the one-day-old Moon after sunset on Tuesday, September 7th. Most others should have better luck the following evening. Photos and descriptions of the young crescent Moon this month would be welcome additions to this thread.
  19. Asteroid 2 Pallas will appear within Pisces in opposition to the Sun on 2021 SEP 11 at magnitude +8.6. It has high orbital eccentricity and inclination from the ecliptic. Pallas was discovered in 1802, and has a mean diameter of 512 km. Photos and descriptions of Pallas would be welcome additions to this thread.
  20. A waning crescent Moon will occult (cover) the magnitude +9.7 asteroid 7 Iris at nighttime for telescopic observers in much of North America on 2021 SEP 01. For observers in western Eurasia (including the British Isles) this will be a rather difficult if not impossible daytime event. The immersion will occur on the lunar bright limb, with emersion from the dark limb. Lucky observers on a graze path can witness the star passing through lunar hills and valleys. Those between of the two graze 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.
  21. Bright giant planet Jupiter will appear in opposition from the Sun during the night of August 19-20. Photos and descriptions of Jupiter along with its four great Galilean satellites during its current apparition would be welcome additions to this thread.
  22. A waxing gibbous Moon will occult (cover) the magnitude +2.1 star Nunki (Sigma Sagittarii) for observers in the far southern USA, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America during the night of 2021 AUG 18-19. Nunki is the 6th brightest star than can be occulted by the Moon The immersion will occur on the lunar dark limb, with emersion from the bright limb. Lucky observers on a graze path can witness the star passing through lunar hills and valleys. Those between of the two graze 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.
  23. The annual Perseid Meteor Shower is already underway. The Perseids are usually the finest shower of the year. Normally at the peak more than sixty meteors per hour may be seen by some sharp-eyed folks. The Perseids are debris from the periodic comet 109P Swift-Tuttle. The shower is expected to peak during the night of 2021 AUG 12-13. Its radiant is in the constellation Perseus. That is the direction toward which the meteor tails point, but the meteors are equally likely to appear anywhere in your sky. For observers north of the tropics, the meteors appear virtually all night, although most prolifically during the hours before dawn. This year the waxing crescent Moon near the shower’s peak should not provide much interference. Descriptions of the shower or perhaps even lucky photos would be welcome additions to this thread.
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