Sky Notes - July 2019

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Earth's aphelion, Jupiter and Saturn
  • Partial Luar Eclipse
  • Meteors: Capri-Cornids, Alpha Cygnids and Delta-Aquarids
  • July 2019 Sky Charts

Sky Notes - June 2019

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn
  • Meteors: Ophiuchids, June Lyrids
  • Summer Solstice
  • Noctilucent Cloud
  • June 2019 Sky Charts

Chief star in Hydra - the traditional name Alphard is from the Arabic (al-fard), "The Solitary One", no doubt because there are no other bright stars in Alphard’s immediate vicinity.  The European astronomer Tycho Brahe dubbed it Cor Hydrae, Latin for 'the heart of Hydra'.  At magnitude +1.8 Alphard is a ‘bright’ second magnitude star and lies approximately 177 light years away. [Read more about Crossing the Line: objects of the month]

Sky Notes - May 2019

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn
  • Ceres: at opposition
  • Meteors: Aquarids
  • May 2019 Sky Charts

Sky Notes - April 2019

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: AM: Venus, Jupiter, Saturn; PM: Mars
  • Meteors: Virginids, alpha Scorpiids, Lyrids
  • Features: Dwarf Planet Pallas, Moon & Beehive Cluster
  • April 2019 Sky Charts

The Spring Equinox

The date of the Vernal Equinox and of astronomical spring in the northern hemisphere (the official start of spring) falls on March 20th this year.  This is when the Sun's path (‘the ecliptic’) first crosses the celestial equator on its apparent journey northwards into the sky.  The orientation of the Earth at the spring or autumnal equinox is such that neither of Earth’s poles are inclined toward the Sun and all locations experience equal hours of daylight and darkness; hence the term equinox. [Read more about The Spring Equinox]

Sky Notes - March 2019

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: AM: Venus, Saturn, Jupiter; PM: Mercury, Mars
  • Meteors: Virginids
  • Spring Equinox
  • March 2019 Sky Charts

Cursa in EridanusContinuing the tour of stellar objects crossing the meridian line this month: Cursa: the most northerly star of the River constellation Eridanus. [Read more about Crossing the Line: objects of the month]

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: AM: Venus, Saturn, Jupiter; PM: Mars, Uranus, Mercury
  • Meteors: Alpha Aurigids
  • February 2019 Sky Charts

Auriga ConstellationContinuing the tour of stellar objects crossing the meridian line this month: Capella from the constellation Auriga - the sixth brightest star in the night sky; and Epsilon Aurigae - an unusual binary system that lies just below it. [Read more about Crossing the Line: objects of the month]

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