Monthly Roundup

 

Monthly [May 2018] Observing

As mentioned in the Albedo; Saturday 21st April saw Astronomy Adventures and East Sussex AS members undertake a charity viewing session entitled ‘Observing from the Grave Yard’, at Wartling Church, East Sussex and raised £500 for the church helped by wonderful weather for observing the night sky.

Moon

The moon is rather full at the moment, the best time for observing is in the middle of the month when it is a nice cresent so we are looking at the 2nd and 3rd week of the month.

 

Occultation of Iota Capricornus

An early morning object (3am) should be observable on the 8th May.

 

Night Sky Observing

Orion is pretty much gone now, Gemini is sinking at this time of the year.

 

Cancer is observable and was of course mentioned in the previous meeting with the Open Cluster. This is 3 times the size of the moon and is still there for observing. Well worth a look.

 

Looking directly south we have Leo the lion. Lots going on in Leo.

This time of the year is called the Galaxy Season as there are lots and lots of galaxies to see.

Still to the south is Virgo; again lots of galaxies in Virgo; the Virgo Cluster - to which there are 2,000 galaxies in that particular area although you will need to have a telescope to see them. But even with a small telescope you will see at least a dozen of them still.

Also this month you will have Jupiter rising now that is really bright in the south east.

 

Dwarf Nova in Perseus (V362 Per)  

You may have heard the news about a nova in Perseus. It is linked with a variable star which ranges from 13 to 14 mag. At the moment it has gone Nova and is mag. 6 which means you can see it with the naked eye although more clearly with binoculars. 

(Ref: BAA Article)

 

 

Leo

As mentioned in last months' meeting, Leos' galaxy's M66 and M65. Leo is easy to find. Look for a backward question mark which is its head/Sickle shape; the orange/red star Algieba in the middle and ending with the bright white star Regulus, which is one of the [23rd] brightest stars in the sky at the moment. The tail, with the triangle containing Denebola and underneath is the M65/66 galaxies. 

 

 

 

Sometimes missed are the galaxies and Nebula that can be found in Ursa Major and the Plough. These are directly above us so provide a great view as there is less atmosphere to interfere. For example at the Society dark site, M51, although faint, is visible with 10x50 binoculars. It is well worth looking out for.

Alcor and Mizar, the double star is also worth looking out for, in the handle of the Plough. 

M82, a cigar shaped galaxy  and M81 and face on spiral, both visible with binoculars are also really nice objects. 

 

 

 

Everything you see in the picture below is a galaxy. The extremely bright stars have been masked to allow the remainder of the image to show.

 

Bootes the Heardsman is coming up in the east. 

Something that is a "real wow" with a small telescope and binoculas is M13 is a large globular cluster, sometimes called the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules or Hercules Globular Cluster. Many stargazers call it the finest globular cluster in the northern hemisphere. It contains about 300,000 stars. Is 145 light years across and is 22,000 light years away.

The 16 inch telescope will resolve stars in the cluster so is well worth looking at.

 

The Planets

In the evening sky we have Venus at the moment. The picture below is of Venus taken on the 19th of Apr 2018. In it there is Taurus the Bull, the Moon, the Pleiades and Venus all in a line.  This is going to happen again on the 18th May 2018. 

 

Venus will be moving from Taurus in to Gemini over the course of the month. 

 

Small Asteroids: Ceres

Coming out of Cancer, a good way of spoting this minor planet is, on the 3rd June it is very close (2' of arc) to Epsilon Leonis (mag 3)

 

Jupiter

High in the sky at the moment in Libra.

 

Small telescope/binoculars will be able to spot the moons (and you too can create the moon chart as recorded by Galileo Galilei back in 1609-10). 

 

Great Red Spot Transit times:

 

Saturn

Saturn is coming up in the early hours now. Unfortunately the current view won't show the rings as seen below as they are becoming more edge on in 2025. Take the opportunity to see Saturn now before they completely close up for some time. It is a wonderful sight to see Saturn through a telescope. 

 

Mars

Another, still very early morning object, Mars is moving closer to us through the year so is well worth looking at. 

 

 

Comet 

12 mag. C/2016 M1 (Panstarrs) but getting brighter. 

 

Meteors 

Aquarids in the morning sky of the 6th. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find us

May Meeting:
The Manor Barn,
4 De La Warr Road, Bexhill on Sea, TN40 2JA

Other Meetings:
Egerton Park Indoor Bowls Club,
Egerton Road,
Bexhill, East Sussex TN39 3HL

(Meetings: first Thursday of each month [excl. Aug] 8-10:pm)

Charity

ESAS is a registered charity No. 1110848
HMRC Gift Aid No. XT19893

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