What’s in the Sky in November

 

  • 2nd Saturn at mag. 0.7 rising 11:49hr AEDT, Dist. 1,442,603,653km. Tilt of Saturn’s North pole towards Earth is 15.2591 degrees.
  • 2nd Jupiter is a brilliant  evening object during November rising at 16:35AEDT,  mag. -2.8, dist. 620,876,832km, tilt of North Pole towards Earth is 2.3626 degrees.
  • 2nd Venus at mag. -4.0 and rising just after the Sun at 06:28hrs AEDT, Dist. 256.336,497km.
  • 2nd Mars is a late night object rising at 23:36AEDT a very distant object Mag. -1.3  Dist. 92,101,928km. Tilt of North pole towards Earth is 0.5803 degrees. Mars is coming lcoser to earth and will reach opposition on 8th December.
  • 2nd Mercury is an early morning object rising at 06:09hrs AEDT just before the Sun. Mag. -0.41.5, dist. 210,359,993km. Tilt of North Pole towards earth is 0.7757degrees.
  • 8th Total Lunar Eclipse  special event.
  • 12th The two Taurid Meteor Shower branches reach their highest rates around October 10 (Southern Taurids, 002 STA) and November 12 (Northern Taurids, 017 NTA), respectively. Both dates are close to the Moon’s full phase.  However, observers should be alert as 2022 is again a “Taurid swarm” year after 2012 and 2016. Meteoroids concentrated in resonant orbits may result in higher rates and may include larger objects, causing bright fireballs between end October and about November 10. This is an early morning event, image is for 03:30hrs AEDT.
  • 13th Moon Lowest, 28 degrees Nth.
  • 17th Leonids Meteor shower peak is 23hrs UT (10:00hrs AEDT on 18th Nov) best visibility at predawn.

Leonids (LEO)Active: November 6—30; Z ~ 10; V∞ = 71 km/s.

The parent comet of this shower, 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, passed its perihelion last in 1998, more than two decades ago now. Meanwhile the comet has passed its aphelion. The knowledge of the dust ejection mechanisms and trail evolution allowed us to predict and verify variable activity in numerous years until recently.
The nodal Leonid maximum occurs on 2022 November 17.
Additionally, there are a few encounters with dust trails in the following days:
Model calculations of Maslov (2007) and Sato (2021) show an approach of the 1733 dust trail on November 19. Maslov gives 06h UT, Sato obtains 06h20m 􀀀 06h27m UT ( = 236 :576
and  = 236 :581; di erent ejection velocities).
The possible activity level depends on the ejection velocity (which has a negative sign in this case and observations of meteors from such trails are scarce).

Maslov adds: meteors should be bright, a ZHR of 200+ seems possible despite the uncertainties. Sato comments: ZHR may
reach 50+ because the model suggests that the dust tends to be concentrated.
18 IMO INFO(3-21)
An encounter with the 1600 trail (weak rate possible near November 18, 07h UT;  =235 :6) is found by Vaubaillon (2021). A weak rate enhancement may be visible due to the 1800
trail later on November 21, 15h UT (Maslov, 2007).
The nodal maximum occurs just after the Moon’s last quarter phase, and the conditions are slightly better for the later encounters. Visual observers need to shield the direct moonlight. The shower’s radiant is usefully observable only after local midnight or so north of the equator, later for places further south.Credit:IMO.

 

Right: Engraving by Adolf Vollmy (1889)

This famous engraving of the 1833 Leonid meteor shower was produced for the Adventist book Bible Readings for the Home Circle by Adolf Vollmy. It’s based on a painting by Swiss artist Karl Jauslin, which, in turn, was based on a first-person account of the 1833 storm by a minister, Joseph Harvey Waggoner, who saw the 1833 shower on his way from Florida to New Orleans.

In that famous shower, hundreds of thousands of meteors per hour were seen! It was the first recorded meteor storm of modern times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 26th Moon at Perigee 12:34 AEDT  Perigee distance 362,825.6km
  • 26th Moon at it’s highest altitude 27 Degrees.
  • 21st Alpha Monocerotids Meteor Shower Peak in the evening.

Monocerotids (246 AMO) Active: November 15– 25; Maximum: November 21st 23:30hrs UT (10:30hrs AEDT 22nd Nov) ; ZHR up to 5; V∞ = 42 km/s.

The most recent -Monocerotid outbursts have been observed in 1995 (ZHR  420) and 2019 (ZHR  120). In both cases, the peak lasted for just ve minutes, the entire outbursts 30 minutes. The next strong AMO outburst is unlikely before 2043. Despite all this, observers are
advised to monitor the AMO annually to complete our knowledge about this stream. New Moon on November 23 provides us with favourable observing conditions. Credit: IMO.

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What’s in the Sky in July

Image: Looking towards the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy.  Credit: Mark Justice

July

At this time of the Year the spectacular heart of our Milky Way Galaxy is rising in the East.

  • The Centre of our Milky Way Galaxy is now rising in the late evening and the splendour of the Emu, brightest in dark skies, fills the night.
  • 13th Moon at Perigee, closest to Earth for the month, 19:04hrs, 357,263.2km.
  • 19th  Saturn is rising at 19:35hrs AEST and is at a distance 1,341,189,928 km, magnitude +0.5 and is moving closer and due to reach opposition on 15th August.
  • 20th International Moon Day
  • 26th Moon at Apogee, furthest from Earth for the month 20:22hrs AEST, 406, 273.1km.
  • 19th Jupiter is rising at 23:11hrs AEST with magnitude -2.6, distance 679,669 km.

Meteor Showers

5 July
The ANT is the chief focus for visual attention in the first half of July, as its radiant area moves steadily through eastern Sagittarius, then across northern Capricornus into southwest Aquarius. ZHRs for most of the month should be  2 to 3. For about a week around July 10, low activity may be observed from the July-Pegasids (175 JPE), this year in moonlit skies.
After mid-July the large ANT radiant area overlaps that of the minor -Capricornids (001 CAP) into August, but the lower apparent velocity of the CAP allows observers to separate the two. The stronger and faster Southern -Aquariids (005 SDA) should be distinguishable from the ANT as well. Finally, the radiant of the Piscis Austrinids (183 PAU) is distant enough from the ANT area. Association of meteors with one of the three radiants should be reliably possible particularly from the southern hemisphere. The highest rates are due on July 27 (PAU) and July 30 (CAP, SDA), respectively.
On 2016 July 28 at 00h07m UT ( = 125 :132) the July -Draconids (184 GDR) produced an outburst detected by radar and video observations (Molau et al., 2016b). The same position is reached again on 2022 July 28 near 17h UT, worth checking in case something may be observable around this time { although there was no activity observed in 2017 { 2020 (2021 still to come).
The radiant is at = 280,  = +51, and the meteors have low speed (V1 = 27 km/s). 12 IMO INFO(3-21)
Full Moon on August 12 will badly a ffect optical observations of the Perseid (007 PER) activity around their maximum. The timing of the nodal maximum at  = 140 :0 (2022 August 13, shortly after 01h UT) favours west European locations. The moon in Aquarius perhaps allows to observe the northern sky, but with severe light pollution.
Close to the highest Perseid activity, there is another approach to a calculated 1-revolution dust trail of comet C/1852 K1. A preceding approach is calculated for 2021 August 12 (and still awaits to be observed). The 2022 encounter on August 12, 04h22m UT, has a larger minimum distance between the orbits of the Earth and the comet than the 2021 approach (0.00040 au vs.0.00010 au). Considering only this parameter, the probability of any activity may be lower in
2022, but we do not know the extension and structure of the assumed trail.

Piscis Austrinids (183 PAU)
Active: July 15{August 10; Maximum: July 28 ( = 125); ZHR = 5;
V1 = 35 km/s; r = 3:2.
Still very little information has been collected on the PAU over the years although the shower is in all working lists (and \established” in the IAU list). Details on the shower are not well confi rmed, mainly because of the large amount of northern hemisphere summer data, and the relatively small number of southern hemisphere winter results, on it. View in the West, above Saturn and below Fomalhaut, before sunrise as early as possible.

 

Southern -Aquariids (005 SDA)
Active: July 12{August 23; Maximum: July 30 ( = 127); ZHR = 25;
V1 = 41 km/s; r = 2:5 (see text).
The shower belongs to the most active sources in the southern hemisphere. Radio work can pick up the SDA as well, and indeed the shower has sometimes given a surprisingly strong radio signature. Data collected by experienced observers under exceptional conditions in 2008 and IMO INFO(3-21) 13 2011 show that the maximum ZHR of the southern -Aquariids is around 25 for about two days. The ZHR exceeds 20 between  = 124 and 129. During the maximum
there are numerous bright SDA meteors visible, causing r  2:5 around the maximum and r  3:1 away from the peak period. In the past there were also outbursts observed: Australian observers reported a ZHR of 40 in the night 1977 July 28/29; again a ZHR of 40 was observed for 1.5 hours on 2003 July 28/29 from Crete (the ZHR before and after the outburst was around 20). Unfortunately, the 2003 observation was not confi rmed by other observers active in the
period. The extensive 2011 data set showed no ZHR enhancement at the same solar longitude as in 2003. The activity level and variations of the shower need to be monitored. New Moon on July 28 is optimal for all optical observations. While at mid-northern latitudes only a small portion of the shower meteors is visible, conditions signi ficantly improve the further south the location is.

ANT -Capricornids (001 CAP)
Active: July 3{August 15; Maximum: July 30 ( = 127); ZHR = 5;
V1 = 23 km/s; r = 2:5.
The CAP and SDA radiants were both de nitely detected visually in all years, standing out against those much weaker ones supposed active in Capricornus-Aquarius then. Although the radiant of the CAP partly overlaps that of the large ANT region, the low CAP velocity should allow both video and visual observers to distinguish between the two sources. Frequently, bright and at times reball-class shower meteors are seen. Minor rate enhancements have been reported at a few occasions in the past. The highest observed ZHR of  10 dates back to 1995. Recent results suggest the maximum may continue into July 31.

DATA Credit: IMO

 

Telescopes

Federation-Adcock Telescope – wheelchair access.

 

Federation-Adcock Telescope

 

In October 1998, the Ballaarat Astronomical Society (BAS) applied for a Commonwealth Grant under the Federation Community Projects Program to construct a new reflecting telescope. It was proposed that this new telescope would be designed and housed to enable efficient use by disabled persons, specifically those confined to wheelchairs, the very young and the elderly. The grant for this project was approved in September 1999. BAS received $20,000 towards the project from the program and the final cost, not including 100’s hours of hours of Volunteer work, discounts and donations was closer to $50,000. A remarkable achievement for BAS and for the Community people and Businesses that supported the project.


The telescope at the time, was the latest in a series of novel designs produced by Mr Barry Adcock who is a member of BAS and of the Astronomical Society of Victoria. The telescope is described as a 40 cm Cassegrain reflector, having folded optics arranged in such a way that the eyepiece remains in one fixed position, regardless of where in the sky the telescope is being aimed. Thus, an observer sitting in a  wheelchair is able to view comfortably through an eyepiece that never moves.

Pathways were extended to the new telescope and an additional disability access Cafe and Rest Rooms were added to our existing small, well ventilated outside Facilities.  The original Garden Superintendents Cottage was moved from Eureka Park and this now houses disability access rooms, including an expanded library, cafe, kitchen, camera obscura, meeting room and restrooms.

What’s in the Sky in February

February

  • 5th Saturn in conjunction with the Sun.
  • 6th Luna lowest altitude 26 degrees North of the Celestial Equator.
  • 11th The Large Magellanic Cloud  (LMC) reaches highest altitude about 9.30pm AEDT at magnitude 0.28. The LMC is a spiral galaxy in Dorado at a distance of 160kly and a diameter of 29.7kly in diameter.  The Tarantula Nebula, NGC 2070 is located in this area and is magnitude 5. it is 1,833ly in diameter. The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) located nearby is a spiral Galaxy in Tucana and 200kly in distance and 17.5kly in diameter. visual magnitude is 2.29. These two irregular dwarf are members of our local group and are orbiting the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Kourtchin (Boorong) refer to the Magellanic Clouds as the male (LMC) and female (SMC), brolgas. Each cloud resembles the colour and pitted shell of the brolga egg. Brolgas breed from October to April , when the clouds are at their highest, extending into nearby stars the larger one is trumpeting and the smaller one displaying, but dancing as a pair towards each other.

 

 

  • 11th Saturn, Venus, Mercury and Mars are rising before the Sun.
  • 11th Mercury has joined Saturn, Venus and Jupiter in a quadruple conjunction in the morningg sky.
  • 11th Luna Apogee, furthest distance from Earth for the month 12:38hr AEDT 404,898.3km.
  • 15th Venus a thin crescent, magnitude -4.9 a very bright object in the morning sky, distance 63,656,982km  27.4%illuminated.
  • 26th Luna at it’s highest altitude, 26 degrees South of the Celestial Equator.
  • 27th Moon at Perigee 8:26hrs AEDT, 367,792.0 km.
  • 28th Mars 3 degrees Nth and Venus 8 degrees  Nth of Luna.