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May 2018. Get ready for Mars.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:55 pm
by rene-gedaly
The planets will be marching up the ecliptic this month and during TSP. Anyone for Holst? Gustav Holst- The Planets,

Mercury. Mornings to May 13, rising about an hour before sun, pretty much due east, an ochre harbinger of the sun.

Venus. Dusk in west (until Oct). Starts month in Taurus setting around 21:00 and ends in Gemini setting around 23:30. Bright silver.

Mars. Doubles in brightness this month, moving prograde from Sagitarius to Capricornus (remember it starting this year in Libra?). Spectacular year for Mars; won't be as close again until 2035. Check out AstroLeague Mars Program, ... ng-program. What color red do you find Mars?

Jupiter. Evening silver "star" in Libra. May 9 opposition; Galilean moons also at brightest and widest apparent separation.

Saturn. Yellow-white, moderate brightness, rings still nicely open to view having been maximum tilt late 2017. Just above The Teapot of Sagittarius.

Algol minima: May 2, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 27, 30.

4 May Saturn 1.7° S of Moon
8 May Last Qtr Moon
9 May Jupiter at opposition; see Jupiter above.
11 May New Moon; Aldebaran 1.2° S of Moon
22 May Regulus 1.5° S of 1st Qtr Moon
29 May Full Moon

Re: May 2018. Get ready for Mars.

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 4:50 am
by rene-gedaly
Mars is terrifically bright this morning, around 04:30. Nice to find the ISS passing by, too. A ruby and diamond.

Re: May 2018. Get ready for Mars.

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:48 pm
by rene-gedaly
Jupiter occulting Zubenelgenubi this evening. Zubeneschamali is visible, and together with Jupiter, reminds me of a Jovian moon seen through a telescope.

UPDATE After Lauren pointed out that Jupiter was not occulting Zubenelgenubi, I went outside to look again, binoculars and glasses in hand. Just needed glasses to see the heretofore hidden, 3rd-ish mag star pop out. Harrumph. What else was I not seeing? Checked Polaris, Kochab and Pherkad. Check. But where were the others? Etamin and most of the head in Draco was visible, I could follow parts of the body but not the tail twisting between the little and big dipper. That means no star close to 4th mag visible. Maybe the limit was closer to 3.4 or so, I'll have to check.