Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Welcome to the Pickering Astronomy blog, providing updates on what to see in skies above Pickering with the unaided eye during May 2019.

Stars and Constellations

Here is a short list of night sky sights for the unaided eye during May:

Some prominent constellations visible in the evening sky are Bootes, Corona Borealis and Hercules
Follow the ‘handle’ stars of the Big Dipper star group southward to the star Arcturus in Bootes. Arcturus and Bootes continue to be prominent most of the night
Arcturus is a bright (first magnitude) orange star nearly overhead during spring evenings
Corona Borealis is a distinct (in dark skies) “C” shaped group of stars east of (or below) Bootes
Hercules is also a reasonably distinct constellation surrounding a “keystone” shaped group of stars east of Corona Borealis
The constellation Bootes, Corona Borealis and Hercules are all in the eastern sky during spring evenings


Planets
Mercury becomes visible following sunset later during early May low in the western sky
Venus is visible low in the eastern sky less than an hour before sunrise
Mars remains visible in the evening for several hours after sunset in the southwestern sky
Jupiter rises near sunset and is visible all night, low in the southeastern sky during early evening and low in the southern sky around midnight
Saturn rises several hours after sunset and is visible low in the southeastern sky during late evening 


Moon Phases

   New Moon May 4, 18:45 EDT
   First Quarter Moon May 11, 21:12 EDT
   Full Moon May 18, 17:11 EDT
   Last Quarter Moon May 26, 12:34 EDT

Sky Resources Online

Some website resources for sky charts, weekly sky events, and more information:
  • www.skymaps.com
  • www.heavens-above.com
  • www.skynews.ca
  • www.skyandtelescope.com
  • http://astrogeoguy.tumblr.com/
Below is a chart of the sky as it would appear above Pickering, Ontario during evening, mid-May (courtesy of www.heavens-above.com). Custom sky charts like this can be plotted and printed at the websites www.heavens-above.com or www.skymaps.com.


Sunday, 31 March 2019

Welcome to the Pickering Astronomy blog, providing updates on what to see in skies above Pickering with the unaided eye during April 2019.

Stars and Constellations

Here is a short list of night sky sights for the unaided eye during April.

Some prominent constellations visible in the evening sky are Bootes, Coma Berenices and Virgo
Follow the ‘handle’ stars of the Big Dipper star group southward to the star Arcturus in Bootes, and then further south to the star Spica in Virgo
Arcturus is a bright (first magnitude) orange star high rising in the east during spring evenings
Spica is a bright (first magnitude) blue star lower in the southeastern sky during spring evenings
Coma Berenices is a small group of faint stars west of Arcturus, and nearly overhead by late evening
The region of sky in the direction of Virgo and Coma Berenices contains numerous galaxies that can be seen in a moderate-size telescope

Planets
Mercury is practically not visible, except that it will be very low above the eastern horizon before sunrise in late April and early May
Venus is visible in the pre-dawn sky as a very bright white light low in the southeastern sky
Mars is in the western sky after sunset, moving eastward across the Taurus constellation and sets during late evening
Jupiter rises around midnight and is in the constellation of Ophiuchus
Saturn rises during early morning in the Sagittarius constellation

Moon Phases

   New Moon April 5, 04:50 EDT
   First Quarter Moon April 12, 15:06 EDT
   Full Moon April 19, 07:12 EDT
   Last Quarter Moon April 26, 18:18 EDT

Sky Resources Online

Some website resources for sky charts, weekly sky events, and more information:
  • www.skymaps.com
  • www.heavens-above.com
  • www.skynews.ca
  • www.skyandtelescope.com
  • http://astrogeoguy.tumblr.com/
Below is a chart of the sky as it would appear above Pickering, Ontario during evening, mid-April (courtesy of www.heavens-above.com). Custom sky charts like this can be plotted and printed at the websites www.heavens-above.com or www.skymaps.com.


Thursday, 28 February 2019

Welcome to the Pickering Astronomy blog, providing updates on what to see in skies above Pickering with the unaided eye during March 2019.

Stars and Constellations

Here is a short list of night sky sights for the unaided eye during March.

Some prominent constellations visible in the evening sky are Leo and Ursa Major (containing the Big Dipper star group) 
● Leo, rising higher in the southeastern sky, is dominated by the bright star Regulus
● The Big Dipper and Ursa Major are rising high in the northeastern sky 
● Two bright stars in Leo are Regulus, at the western end (and at the base of the backward “question mark”), and Denebola, at the eastern end of Leo 
● South of Regulus is the red star Alphard, in the less prominent constellation Hydra 

Planets
        ● Mercury is at inferior conjunction with the sun March 15 and then rises before sunrise during              late March and early April
● Venus shines brightly low in the southeastern sky before sunrise
 Jupiter is also in the southeastern pre-dawn sky, and rises during early morning
● Mars continues to shine in the southwestern sky, and sets close to midnight
● Saturn is also visible low in the southeastern pre-dawn sky in the Sagittarius constellation

Moon Phases

   New Moon March 6, 11:04 EST
   First Quarter Moon March 14, 06:27 EDT
   Full Moon March 20, 21:43 EDT
   Last Quarter Moon March 28, 00:10 EDT

Noteworthy Sky Events

Moon close to Saturn March 1 and Venus March 2 in the pre-dawn sky
● Vernal equinox, spring begins March 20, 17:58 EDT
 
Sky Resources Online

Some website resources for sky charts, weekly sky events, and more information:
  • www.skymaps.com
  • www.heavens-above.com
  • www.skynews.ca
  • www.skyandtelescope.com
  • http://astrogeoguy.tumblr.com/
Below is a chart of the sky as it would appear above Pickering, Ontario during evening, mid-March (courtesy of www.heavens-above.com). Custom sky charts like this can be plotted and printed at the websites www.heavens-above.com or www.skymaps.com.