Monthly [April 2017] Observing
Also refer to page 10 of this months' Albedo for more viewing information.
Mars and Mercury
Mars and Mercury in the western skys, Mercury is pretty low down in the skies now, you can still spot Mars quite well
If you can find Mars in the western skies, then on the 10th you can track to find Ceres, the largest asteroid in the Asteroid belt, and should be visible with a pair of binculars or a small telescope (magnitude 7).
Again in the west, and with binoculars or a small telecope, on the 28th April you should be able to spot the Orange Giant star Aldebaran in Taurus and this is while the sun is still up.
Make the most of Orion while you can as we are coming in to the summer months and it is now setting early and will be going completely.
The constellation Leo with the Triplet (also known as the M66 Group) consisting of the spiral galaxies M65, M66 and NGC 3628. You will need a larger telescope for these but well worth a look if you can (in fact; if the dark site is up and running in the next couple of weeks then this is certainly something that will be focused on).
In Virgo, Jupiter is the brightest object in the south eastern skies, just above Spica and is well worth a look.
Transit times for the great red spot are all within a reasonable time in the evenings.
Saturn is coming up in the morning skies and in the next couple of monthly it is going to be really prominant in the south.
International Space Station (ISS)
There has been some great passes of the ISS recently, we had some on the weekend that some of us observed. The dates for catching the next are as follows. They are all pretty much directly over head and a magnitude of -2 and -3.
Although not the spectacular meteor shower but with 10-15 per hour it should still provide some interest. Peaking on the 22nd, you may see meteors in the early hours before dawn. Look to the east towards the constellation of Lyra.
Visible in binoculars, a magnitude +7.
Visible with binoculars or a small telescope.
Last month's challenge was M44, Praesepe... this proved quite a challenge for everyone
This month's challenge:
The Galileon Moons. This is something you can all see - if you have binoculars (10x50 binolculars) or any small telescope you can still spot these moons. Andy would love to see a few hands up next month.