The Night Sky This Month

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Sinopsis

Ian Morison tells you what can be seen in the night sky this month.

Episodios

  • The night sky for November 2020

    The night sky for November 2020

    02/12/2020 Duración: 07min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during November 2020.Highlights of the MonthEarly November - still a good time to view Mars. This is still a great month to observe Mars which had its closest approach to Earth on October the 6th when it will lay 39 million miles from Earth and reached opposition on the 13th so the highest in the south around late evening. Wonderfully, at this opposition, Mars is far higher in the sky than at recent oppositions. In Pisces, Mars, outshining even Jupiter at the start of the month, can be seen rising in the east at sunset at the start of November. It crosses the meridian at 22:30 GMT on the 1st of the month and at 20:30 GMT by month's end. Its magnitude as November begins is -2.1 and fades to -1.2 by the end of the month. Its angular size is just over 20 arc seconds at the start of the month dropping to 14,8 arc seconds by month's end. Reaching an elevation of ~43 degrees when due south as seen from the UK, amateur teles

  • The night sky for October 2020

    The night sky for October 2020

    28/10/2020 Duración: 20min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during October 2020.The PlanetsJupiter Jupiter is now visible, low in the sky, just west of south when darkness falls as October begins and sets around 10:30 pm BST. Towards the end of the month it will be seen towards the southwest after sunset and sets by ~08:30 pm GMT. Its magnitude dims slightly from -2.4 to -2.2 during the month whilst its angular diameter falls from 40.5 to 37.1 arc seconds. Sadly, even when first seen after sunset, it will only have an elevation of ~14 degrees above the horizon so the atmosphere will limit our views. Due its position in the most southerly part of the ecliptic this has been a very poor opposition for those of us in the northern hemisphere.. Saturn Saturn, following Jupiter into the sky, some 8 degrees behind at the start of the month but reducing to 5.2 degrees by Halloween, Saturn is best seen in the south just after sunset on the 1st. Its magnitude drops slightly during the mo

  • The night sky for September 2020

    The night sky for September 2020

    21/09/2020 Duración: 28min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during September 2020.Haritina Mogosanu and Samuel Leske from the Carter Science Centre in New Zealand speaks about the Southern Hemisphere night sky during September 2020.The First point of LibraThese fancy words are naming the point on the celestial map where from Earth it looks like the Sun shifts celestial hemispheres. As the Sun is changing its position in relation to the background stars every day, the two main lines you will find on a celestial map, the celestial equator (see above) and the ecliptic cross over at equinoxes. 2000 years ago the September crossover occurred in the constellation Libra. Due to Earth’s wobble, which has a spinning top movement, the crossover happens now in Virgo. Astronomers however kept the First point in Libra as the name for the September equinox. In 400 years from now it will be in Leo. (by the way this is the same reason why the time when the Sun is in any particular zodiacal

  • The night sky for August 2020

    The night sky for August 2020

    07/08/2020 Duración: 16min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during August 2020.The PlanetsJupiter. Visible throughout the hours of darkness and lying up to the left of the 'teapot' in Sagittarius, Jupiter reached opposition on July 14. It is now visible in the south-southeast as darkness falls and crosses the meridian, so highest in elevation, at 11:30pm BST at the start of the month and by 9:30pm by month's end. Its magnitude dims slightly from -2.7 to -2.6 during the month whilst its angular diameter falls from 47 to 44 arc seconds. Sadly, even when due south, it will only have an elevation of ~16 degrees above the horizon so the atmosphere will limit our views. A 'highlight' gives the times when the Great Red Spot faces the Earth.Saturn. Following Jupiter into the sky, some 8 degrees behind Jupiter as August begins, Saturn reached opposition on the 20th of July so, again, is visible throughout the hours of darkness - along with Jupiter dominating the southern sky in the lat

  • The night sky for Month 4 2020

    The night sky for Month 4 2020

    01/04/2020 Duración: 16min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the night sky above the world's middle line during Month 4 2020.The PlanetsAs April begins, Jupiter rises some three and a half hours before the Sun shining at magnitude -2.1. It then follows Mars and precedes Saturn, just above Mars, into the pre-dawn sky. During the month it brightens to magnitude -2.3 whilst its angular size increases from 37.0 to 40.6 arc seconds. A low south-eastern horizon will be needed and our views of the giant planet and its Galilean moons will be somewhat hindered by the depth of atmosphere through which it will be observed.As April begins, Saturn rises at 05:33 UT, 20 minutes after Jupiter, and by its end at 02:50 UT whilst its magnitude increases slightly from +0.7 to +0.6 whilst its angular size increases from 16.1 to 16.9 arc seconds. Saturn reaches ‘quadrature', 90 degrees in angle from the Sun, on April 21st enhancing the three-dimensionality of its globe and rings. At 21 degrees, the rings are slightly less tilted to

  • The night sky for March 2020

    The night sky for March 2020

    16/03/2020 Duración: 18min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during March 2020.Ian Morison tells us what we can see in the northern hemisphere’s night sky during November 2019.The PlanetsJupiter As March begins, Jupiter rises more than 90 minutes before the Sun shining at magnitude of -2. It then follows Mars and precedes Saturn into the pre-dawn sky - all rising within the space of an hour. During the month it brightens to magnitude -2.1 whilst its angular size increases from 34.2 to 36.9 arc seconds. A low south-eastern horizon will be needed and our views of the giant planet and its Gallilean moons will be hindered by the depth of atmosphere through which it will be observed.Saturn At the start of March, Saturn rises at 05:33, half an hour after Jupiter, and, by its end, at 04:42 whilst its magnitude remains at +0.7 and it angular size increases from 15.5 to 16.1 arc seconds. Sadly, its low elevation before sunrise will limit our views of this most beautiful planet. Binocul

  • The night sky for February 2020

    The night sky for February 2020

    19/02/2020 Duración: 59min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during February 2020.The PlanetsJupiter As February begins, Jupiter rises more than 90 minutes before the Sun shining at magnitude of -1.9. During the month it brightens to magnitude -2.0 whilst its angular size increases slightly from 32.5 to 34.1 arc seconds. A low south-eastern horizon will be needed and our views of the giant planet and its Gallilean moons will be hindered by the depth of atmosphere through which it will be observed.Saturn passed directly behind the Sun on the 13th of January and, as February begins, will rise less than one hour before the Sun. Then, equipped with binoculars and a very low south-eastern horizon, it might be glimpsed at magnitude +0.58 in the pre-dawn sky - but please do not use binoculars after the Sun has risen. As February progresses, its magnitude actually reduces very slightly to +0.66 as it angular size increases from 15.1 to 15.5 arc seconds. Saturn crosses the Ecliptic (the

  • The night sky for January 2020

    The night sky for January 2020

    27/01/2020 Duración: 35min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during January 2020.The PlanetsJupiter passed behind the Sun on December 27th, 2019 and will be lost in the Sun's glare in the early part of January. But, by the middle of the month, it will become visible, shining at magnitude -1.9 in the pre-dawn sky and, by month's end, will rise about an hour before the Sun. A low eastern horizon will be needed and our views of the giant planet and its Gallilean moons will be hindered by the depth of atmosphere through which it will be observed.Saturn passes directly behind the Sun on the 13th of January so could not be seen until the very end of the month. Then, equipped with binoculars and a very low eastern horizon, it might be glimpsed at magnitude 0.6 in the pre-dawn sky as it rises about 40 minutes before the Sun - but please do not use binoculars after the Sun has risen.Mercury passes in front of the Sun (superior conjunction) on the 10th of January so will not be visible u

  • The night sky for December 2020

    The night sky for December 2020

    20/01/2020 Duración: 17min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during December 2020.The PlanetsJupiter, along with Saturn, still remains visible, low in the sky, west of south when darkness falls as December begins and sets around 19:00 GMT. Towards the end of the month it will be seen towards the southwest after sunset and sets by ~17:30 GMT. Its magnitude remains at -2.0 during the month whilst its angular diameter falls from 34.4 to 32.9 arc seconds. Sadly, even when first seen after sunset, it will only have an elevation of ~12 degrees above the horizon so the atmosphere will limit our views. Due its position in the most southerly part of the ecliptic this has been a very poor apparition for those of us in the northern hemisphere.SaturnClosely follows Jupiter into the sky, some 2 degrees behind at the start of the month but reducing to just 6 arc minutes on the evening of the 21st! [See highlight above.] Saturn is best seen in the south just after sunset on the 1s

  • The night sky for December 2019

    The night sky for December 2019

    10/12/2019 Duración: 37min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during December 2019.The PlanetsJupiter, shining on the 1st at magnitude -1.8 and with an angular size of 32 arc seconds, can be seen very low in the southwest as darkness falls at the start of December but, soon after, will be lost in the Sun's glare. Jupiter lies in the southeastern part of Ophiuchus and is heading towards the southernmost part of the ecliptic so, as it appears in the twilight, will only have an elevation of ~6 degrees. With its low elevation, atmospheric dispersion will take its toll and an atmospheric dispersion corrector would greatly help to improve our views of the giant planet and it four Gallilean moons.Saturn will be seen west of south as darkness falls at the start of the month. Then, its disk is ~16 arc seconds across and its rings - which are still, at ~24 degrees, nicely tilted from the line of sight - spanning some 36 arc seconds across. During the month its brightness remains +0.6 wit

  • The night sky for November 2019

    The night sky for November 2019

    15/11/2019 Duración: 29min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during November 2019.The Night SkyNorthern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the northern hemisphere’s night sky during November 2019.The PlanetsJupiter, shining on the 1st at magnitude -1.9 and falling to -1.8 during the month, can be seen very low in the southwest as darkness falls. As the month progresses, its angular size drops from 33.4 to 32.1 arc seconds - but, by the end of the month, will be lost in the Sun's glare. Jupiter lies in the southeastern part of Ophiuchus and is heading towards the southernmost part of the ecliptic so, as it appears in the twilight, will only have an elevation of ~8 degrees. With its low elevation, atmospheric dispersion will take its toll and an atmospheric dispersion corrector would greatly help to improve our views of the giant planet and it four Gallilean moons. Saturn , will be seen just west of south as darkness falls at the start of the month. Then, its disk

  • The night sky for October 2019

    The night sky for October 2019

    11/10/2019 Duración: 35min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during October 2019.The PlanetsJupiter, shining on the 1st at magnitude -2 and falling to -1.9 during the month, can be seen low in the southwest as darkness falls. As the month progresses, its angular size drops from 35.8 to 33.5 arc seconds. Jupiter lies in the southeastern part of Ophiuchus and is heading towards the southernmost part of the ecliptic so, as it appears in the twilight, will only have an elevation of ~10 degrees. With its low elevation, atmospheric dispersion will take its toll and an atmospheric dispersion corrector would greatly help to improve our views of the giant planet. Saturn, will be seen in the south as darkness falls at the start of the month. Then, its disk is ~16.8 arc seconds across and its rings - which are still, at 25.2 degrees, nicely tilted from the line of sight - spanning some 41 arc seconds across. During the month its brightness falls from magnitude +0.5 to +0.6 whilst its angu

  • The night sky for September 2019

    The night sky for September 2019

    13/09/2019 Duración: 35min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during September 2019.The PlanetsJupiter, shining on the 1st at magnitude -2.2 and falling to -2 during the month, can be seen in the south as darkness falls. As the month progresses, its angular size drops from 39 to 36 arc seconds. Jupiter, in the southern part of Ophiuchus, ended its retrograde motion on the 11th of August and so is now moving away from Antares in Scorpius initially lying some 7 degrees up and to its left. A highlight gives the times when the Great Red Spot faces the Earth. Sadly it is heading towards the southernmost part of the ecliptic so, as it appears in the twilight, it will only have an elevation of ~13 degrees (from central UK). Happily, its elevation will only have dropped by a degree or so an hour later in full darkness. With its low elevation, atmospheric dispersion will take its toll and an atmospheric dispersion corrector would greatly help to improve our views of the giant planet. Sat

  • The night sky for August 2019

    The night sky for August 2019

    08/08/2019 Duración: 27min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during August 2019.Ian Morison tells us what we can see in the northern hemisphere’s night sky during May 2019.The PlanetsJupiter, starts the month shining at magnitude -2.5 which increases to to -2.6 as the month progresses. At the same time, its angular size increases from 43 to 46 arc seconds. As May begins it rises by midnight UT so will be due south around 3 am UT whilst at month's end it rises at ~9:30 pm UT so due south at ~01:30 UT. See the highlights fro when the Great Red Spot faces the Earth. Sadly it is heading towards the southernmost part of the ecliptic and currently lies in the southern part of Ophiuchus just above Scorpius so, as it crosses the meridian, it will only have an elevation of ~ 14 degrees. It lies just above the centre of the Milky Way. Atmospheric dispersion will thus take its toll and an atmospheric dispersion corrector would greatly help to improve our views of the giant p

  • The night sky for July 2019

    The night sky for July 2019

    11/07/2019 Duración: 24min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during July 2019.The PlanetsJupiter, shining initially at magnitude -2.6 and falling to -2.4, reached opposition on June 10th and is thus visible towards the south as darkness falls. Its angular size drops slightly from 45.5 to 43 arc seconds as the month progresses. Jupiter, in the southern part of Ophiuchus, is moving westwards in retrograde motion so moving towards Antares in Scorpius and will lie some 7 degrees up and to its left by month's end. A highlight gives the times when the Great Red Spot faces the Earth. Sadly it is heading towards the southernmost part of the ecliptic so, as it crosses the meridian, it will only have an elevation of ~14 degrees (From central UK). Atmospheric dispersion will thus take its toll and an atmospheric dispersion corrector would greatly help to improve our views of the giant planet.Saturn comes into oppositions on July 9th shining at magnitude +0.1 during the month so crosses th

  • The night sky for June 2019

    The night sky for June 2019

    07/06/2019 Duración: 26min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during June 2019.Ian Morison tells us what we can see in the northern hemisphere’s night sky during June 2019.The PlanetsJupiter, shining at magnitude -2.6 throughout the month, reaches opposition on June 10th and is thus visible throughout the night. Its angular size is 46 arc seconds across. Jupiter lies in the south of Ophiuchus up and to the left of Antares in Scorpius. A highlight gives the times when the Great Red Spot faces the Earth. Sadly it is heading towards the southernmost part of the ecliptic so, as it crosses the meridian, it will only have an elevation of ~14 degrees (Central UK). Atmospheric dispersion will thus take its toll and an atmospheric dispersion corrector would greatly help to improve our views of the giant planet. Saturn, shining with a magnitude increasing from +0.3 to +0.1 during the month, rises around 22:00 UT at the beginning of June so crosses the meridian in the early hours of the

  • The night sky for May 2019

    The night sky for May 2019

    10/05/2019 Duración: 25min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during May 2019.The PlanetsJupiter, starts the month shining at magnitude -2.5 which increases to to -2.6 as the month progresses. At the same time, its angular size increases from 43 to 46 arc seconds. As May begins it rises by midnight UT so will be due south around 3 am UT whilst at month's end it rises at ~9:30 pm UT so due south at ~01:30 UT. See the highlights fro when the Great Red Spot faces the Earth. Sadly it is heading towards the southernmost part of the ecliptic and currently lies in the southern part of Ophiuchus just above Scorpius so, as it crosses the meridian, it will only have an elevation of ~ 14 degrees. It lies just above the centre of the Milky Way. Atmospheric dispersion will thus take its toll and an atmospheric dispersion corrector would greatly help to improve our views of the giant planet. Saturn, shining with a magnitude increasing from +0.5 to +0.3 during the month, rises around midnight

  • The night sky for April 2019

    The night sky for April 2019

    01/04/2019 Duración: 29min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the Northern Hemisphere night sky during April 2019.The PlanetsJupiter starts the month rising around 1 a.m. and brightens from magnitude -2.3 to -2.5 as the month progresses, whilst its angular size increases slightly from 40 to 43 arc seconds. By month's end it rises by ~11 pm so will be due south around 3 am. Sadly it is heading towards the southern part of the ecliptic and currently lies in the southern part of Ophiuchus just above Scorpius so, as it crosses the meridian, it will only have an elevation of ~ 14 degrees. Atmospheric dispersion will thus take its toll and an atmospheric dispersion corrector would greatly help to improve our views of the giant planet. Saturn, shining with a magnitude increasing from +0.6 to +0.5 during the month, rises around 3 am on April 1st but around 1 am by month's end. Its disk is ~17 arc seconds across and its rings - which are still nicely tilted from the line of sight spanning 36 arc seconds across. By the en

  • The night sky for March 2019

    The night sky for March 2019

    08/03/2019 Duración: 19min

    Northern HemisphereThe Night SkyNorthern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the northern hemisphere's night sky during March 2019. The Early Evening March Sky The brilliant constellation of Orion is seen in the south. Moving up and to the right - following the line of the three stars of Orion's belt - brings one to Taurus; the head of the bull being outlined by the V-shaped cluster called the Hyades with its eye delineated by the orange red star Aldebaran. Further up to the right lies the Pleaides Cluster. Towards the zenith from Taurus lies the constellation Auriga, whose brightest star Capella will be nearly overhead. To the upper left of Orion lie the heavenly twins, or Gemini, their heads indicated by the two bright stars Castor and Pollux. Down to the lower left of Orion lies the brightest star in the northern sky, Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major. Up and to the left of Sirius is Procyon in Canis Minor. Rising in the East is the constellation of Leo, the Lion, with the planet Satur

  • The night sky for February 2019

    The night sky for February 2019

    11/02/2019 Duración: 22min

    Northern HemisphereIan Morison tells us what we can see in the northern hemisphere's night sky during February 2019.The PlanetsJupiter, starts the month rising around 3:30 a.m. and brightens from magnitude -1.9 to -2.0 as the month progresses whilst its angular size increases slightly from 33.6 to 36.1 arc seconds. By month's end it rises by ~2 am so will be higher in the sky before dawn. Sadly it is heading towards the southern part of the ecliptic and currently lies in the southern part of Ophiuchus just above Scorpius. Saturn, shining with a magnitude of +0.6, rises one and a half hours before the Sun at the start of the month some 85 minutes after Venus. Its disk is ~16 arc seconds across and its rings - which are still 24 degrees from the line of sight - spanning 35 arc seconds across. Mercury, passed through Superior conjunction (behind the Sun) at the end of January and will not become visible in the evening twilight until around the 12th of the month having a magnitude of -1.2. During March's second

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