Memorial Day Weekend! The rivers are packed with tourists, even though the water is very low during this drought. The clouds come in at night and leave mid-day with NO RAIN. I had a chance to put Saturn’s rings in the FOV Thursday night.
The Sky was not the best for viewing. Smoke? Set up the DOB before dark and waited until 9pm before looking for stars. Arcturus was high and bright. At 10 pm, put the ringed planet in the FOV. Ring’s shadow was dark across the center. The Star Porrima (Virgo) was close by and I easily spotted two moons in the scope, Titan and Rhea.
I went N to the Dipper and observed Mizar. At midnight, I was hoping to view the keystone. I tried to view Scorpius, but I only caught Antares just above the tree line in the S. It was still hazey in that area. Missed Hercules....I did not make it back out again.
Sky events for the first week of June:
Saturn is still in view this coming week!
Saturday, Before sunrise tomorrow morning, The crescent Moon is to the upper right of Jupiter. Look to the east 40 minutes before sunrise. look for the waning crescent Moon hanging above Jupiter. Use binoculars to check out the changing planetary array to their lower left.
Sunday, We're still almost a month from summer, but summery Scorpius is already rearing up in the southeast these evenings. Its brightest star is fiery Antares. Look for the other, whiter stars of upper Scorpius on either side of Antares and farther to its upper right.
Libra, the next constellation west of Scorpius, reaches the meridian in the south not long after dark. Libra's lower portion contains the big dark asteroid Hygiea, magnitude 9.3, just waiting for you to hunt it out.
Monday, Saturn's biggest and brightest satellite, Titan, is about four ring-lengths east of the planet tonight.
Tuesday, The brightest star in the east these nights is Vega. You can't miss it. Look for the little triangle-and-parallelogram pattern of the constellation Lyra dangling to its lower right.
The galaxies of the great Virgo Cluster are numerous but not that bright as Messier objects go. Nevertheless, if you have a dark sky, even binoculars are enough for you to hunt for ten of them as very faint smudges west of Epsilon Virginis.
Wednesday, Saturn (with Porrima next to it) and Spica draw the eye in the south after dusk. But don't forget Corvus, the Crow, below them. Corvus's uppermost bright star, Delta Corvi, is a wide telescopic double: magnitudes 3.0 and 9.2, separation 25 arcseconds. New Moon this afternoon/evening (exact at 5:03 p.m. EDT)
Thursday, Saturn and Porrima have now closed to 17 arcminutes of each other, practically as close as they will get. Although they look like neighbors, Saturn is only 76 light-minutes from Earth, while Porrima is 39 light-years in the background. That's more than a quarter million times farther away!
News from the Net:
The quiet sun is waking up. New sunspot 1226 emerging over the sun's southeastern limb is crackling with strong C-class solar flares. So far none of the blasts has been geoeffective, but this could change in the days ahead as the active region turns toward Earth. Stay tuned.
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