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Time really flies May 15, 2015

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy.
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So I logged in today to start uploading a series of posts from last week’s Enriching Scholarship at UM, and a little award thing popped up.

Apparently I’ve been doing this for 7 years now. Feels like 3 or 4.

I hope that means I’m having fun, ’cause the alternative is that I’m getting old, and loosing my perspective on time.

7yrs

May 2015 Urban Observing May 4, 2015

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy.
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May means late sunsets, but above freezing nights. It still gets pretty cold though, so don’t leave your coat behind just yet! (also, I’m pressed for time, so I apologize in advance for the horrible writing. I hope to add posts with pictures latter in the month…)

Special Events

Meteor Showers

Look for the Eta Aquariids in the first two weeks of the month. Observers near the equator may see rates of up to 60 meteors per hour! Further from the equator, rates will be closer to 10 to 30 per hour. The actual peak will be just before dawn on May 7, when a waxing gibbous moon makes meteor watching difficult.

Moon

  • New Moon May 18
  • Full Moon May 3

Planets

Mercury makes it’s best evening appearance all year in the evening to start the month! Greatest eastern elongation is on the 6th, so look soon!

Venus shines bright in Taurus at the start of the month, in Gemini at the end. Look for a nice conjunction with the crescent Moon on the 21.

Mars is pretty much gone from the skies this month.

Jupiter remains an excellent target in the evening, hanging out in Cancer all month. Look for it high in the SW early, WSW late in the month. The Moon passes it on the 23 – 24.

Saturn returns, finally! Opposition occurs on the 22, so it only gets better for the next few months. Unfortunately, sunset also gets later, so I’d look now, while it’s big, bright, and dark at a reasonable time!

May 6, 10 PM

May 6, 10 PM

Earth Day Meteor Shower – NASA Science April 21, 2015

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, MichiganAstro.
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Earth Day Meteor Shower – NASA Science.

If it’s clear and dark where you are tomorrow night/ Thursday morning, you should go look for meteors.

Lyra is nearly at zenith around 5 AM, but the sky will start getting light around then, so the best time to observe will be about 1 – 4 AM.

The radiant of the Lyrids is about half way between the east horizon and zenith  at 3 AM on April 23.

The radiant of the Lyrids is about half way between the east horizon and zenith at 3 AM on April 23.

Evening Gathering April 21, 2015 April 20, 2015

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, MichiganAstro, Urban Observing.
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There’s a gathering of goodies for urban observers this week in the west.

The best night is April 21, about half an hour after sunset. Venus, the Moon and Aldebaran gather about 30º above the west horizon that night. to the right and a little lower, you’ll find the Pleiades. Grab a pair of binoculars or a small ‘scope to find Mars and Mercury, just above the WNW horizon. As long as you have those binoculars out, look over to the WSW for the Orion nebula, M42.

If you miss the evening of the 21, don’t worry. You’ll get a few more nights for everything but the Moon. And if it’s Mercury you’re after, next week will be better.

Looking west at 8:45 PM on April 21 from Ann Arbor.

Looking west at 8:45 PM on April 21 from Ann Arbor.

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