June 2015 Observing Challenges

 

Venus-Jupiter

Here are some observing challenges for June 2015

Note:  These events come from David Dickinson’s post in Universe Today titled The Top 101 Astronomical Events of 2015

  • June 01- The International Space Station reaches full illumination as the June solstice nears, resulting in multiple nightly passes favoring  northern hemisphere observers.
  • June 04- Io and Ganymede both cast shadows on Jupiter from 12:54 to 2:13 EDT.
  • June 05- Venus reaches greatest eastern (dusk) elongation for 2015, 45 degrees from the Sun at 12:00 PM EDT.
  • June 16- Comet C/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS may reach naked eye visibility.
  • June 21- The June northward solstice occurs at 10:51 UT.
  • June 24- Mercury reaches greatest (morning) elongation at 22.5 degrees west of the Sun at 17:00 UT.
  • June 30 – Jupiter and Venus are nearly 1/3 of a degree apart.  for 8 days starting June 27th, they are 2 degrees or less apart.
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KAS To Host International SUNDay Event

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On June 21st, 2015, the Kopernik Astronomical Society will be hosting its first annual International SUNDay event at Otsiningo Park in Binghamton, NY (http://www.gobroomecounty.com/parks/otsiningo).  International SUNDay is an event hosted throughout the world with the goal of science outreach and teaching young and old about our nearest star.

International SUNDay is supported by the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project, and promoted with a free donation of safe solar observing glasses.  The KAS has been given 200 of these glasses to hand out free to the general public.

INTL SUNday Glasses 2015

We will be setting up gear at the park that allows safe observations of the Sun (assuming clear skies), providing free solar observing glasses to the first 200 observers, and handing out educational information about everyone’s favorite star – the Sun.

If the weather cooperates, an observer may see a sunspot, solar prominence, solar filament, and other features of the Sun using our specialized equipment.

NOTE: please only observe the Sun with approved and safe solar observing techniques.  Improper solar observations may cause permanent damage to your eyes or blindness.  

Additionally, the event occurs on the summer solstice when the Sun is at its highest point in the ecliptic plane, and also the longest daylight of any day in the year for the Northern Hemisphere.

Come join us for a great time and learn something new about that giant life-supporting star in our sky.

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Tonight’s Sky – June 2015

  • Venus and Jupiter in the west after sunset – conjunction at end of June
  • Saturn appears in the south in the late evening hours
  • Bootes and Arcturus, Izar double star,
  • Corona Borealis Constellation
  • Hercules high in the summer night sky: M13 & M92 Globular Star Clusters
  • Draco the Dragon – Nu Draconis double star,

This video is brought to you by hubblesite.org – they’ve been putting the WOW into astronomy with stunning images and astronomy education for over a decade.

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The KAS Shindig! – June 6th, 2015

Come and enjoy a fun evening with people who share your love of astronomy! Spend time with old friends and make new ones. Catch up on the latest astronomy happenings! Bring a dish to pass at our Potluck Dinner.

All are Welcome!

Are you considering joining the Kopernik Astronomical Society? Do you have friends that may be interested in astronomy? Bring them along, too! If you plan to attend, RSVP to Roy Williams at: rwilliams@kopernik.org

6 p.m. Doors Open: Potluck Dinner
7:30 p.m. The RadioActive Sky Alex Harvilchuck, Susquehanna Astro-Society
9 p.m. Observing (if clear) or Telescope Tours (if cloudy) * If clear, KOSC will stay open beyond 10 p.m. for observing Free Admission

For more information (click image for PDF file)

2015-05-11_00-28-22

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May 2015 – Up For Some Challenges?

Image Credit Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Image Credit Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

About the image above: Jupiter undergoes a “double shadow transit” on May 27. From 10:01 pm EDT until 12:18 am EDT, the tiny dark shadows of Io and Ganymede are on the disk simultaneously. The moons themselves are visible as well; Io itself is transiting the disk, while Ganymede is in the lower right corner. The Great Red Spot, a huge storm in Jupiter’s atmosphere, has just crossed the center of the disk; for reasons unknown, it has been shrinking and losing color over the past several years. (May 27, 2015, 10:48 pm EDT).

So who’s up for some challenges in May 2015?  Take a look at these observing challenges…

  • May 05- The Eta Aquarid meteors peak (time variable), with an estimated ZHR of 55.
  • May 07- Mercury reaches greatest evening elongation at 21.2 degrees east of the Sun at 4:00 UT.
  • May 19- The Moon occults Aldebaran for northern North America at ~2:53 UT .
  • May 20- Comet C/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS may reach binocular visibility.
  • May 21- Callisto and Europa both cast shadows on Jupiter from 20:06 to 20:36 EDT.
  • May 23- Saturn reaches opposition at ~1:00 UT.
  • May 27- Ganymede and Io both cast shadows on Jupiter from 22:04 to 12:18 EDT.
  • May 30- Comet 19P/Borrelly may reach binocular visibility.

Note:  These events come from David Dickinson’s post in Universe Today titled The Top 101 Astronomical Events of 2015

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Tonight’s Sky – May 2015

  • Venus and Mercury in the west after sunset
  • Mercury will disappear as the month progresses
  • Jupiter high in the southwestern Sky
  • Saturn appears in the southeast in the late evening hours
  • Virgo will fill the southern sky – thousands of galaxies with the glow of billions of stars
  • M104 – The Sombrero Galaxy
  • Coma Berenices & M64 Spiral Galaxy
  • Canes Venatici, Cor Caroli, and M51 The WhirPool Galaxy
  • Eta Aquarids will be hindered by a bright near-full Moon 5/5 – 5/6

This video is brought to you by hubblesite.org – they’ve been putting the WOW into astronomy with stunning images and astronomy education for over a decade.

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