JUNE 2005Note that recent discoveries and events of immediate importance are always postedon the ASO Current News Forum!!
Calendar is based on the "Space Calendar" data presented by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/calendar/IMPORTANT SKY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES OF INTEREST TO ASTRONOMERS, PROFESSIONAL AND AMATEUR, ARE PROVIDED BY ASO
NOTE: Highlighted events are those that are of interest to observers with modest equipment, or are special events of interest to ALL astronomers!
NOTE!! CLICK ON OBJECTS IN BLUE TO LINK WITH MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT!!!
The Solar System in JUNE 2005 : (see also ASO Planet Patrol Image Archives for Daily Updates!)
NOTE: The gas giants JUPITER and SATURN dominate the early evening skies, with Mars now emerging as a bright reddish "star" in morning eastern skies; both Mercury and Venus return as Evening Stars, while Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are visible best around midnight this month.Mercury - This will be a "stellar" month for our tiny inner planet, particularly the last week....; look about a half hour after sunset very low in western skies. NOTE the wonderful tripling of Saturn, Venus and Mercury on the evenings of June 23 through June 28 when then seem to do a "square dance" with one-another in the bright skies of evening dusk....this is ONE conjunction of planets you do not want to miss! - In GEMINIVenus - Now emerging as "The Evening Star" for the summer of 2005, our brightest planet peeks out from the WNW horizon during the second week of June, as a very bright object very close to the two bright "twin" stars of Castor and Pollux in Gemini. NOTE the wonderful tripling of Saturn, Venus and Mercury on the evenings of June 23 through June 28 when then seem to do a "square dance" with one-another in the bright skies of evening dusk....this is ONE conjunction of planets you do not want to miss! - in GEMINIMars - Mars rises this month shortly after midnight and both its brightness and size are steadily increasing toward the very favorable opposition in Fall 2005. Note that this year, the opposition will be MUCH more favorable than the highly touted one of 2003 for northern hemisphere observers since the Red Planet will be very high in the skies as compared to skirting very low in the southern skies two years ago. - In CAPRICORNUSJupiter - Now just opposition in early April, the Giant Planet still looms large throughout the night sky, rising shortly before sunset in the east and setting only an hour before sunrise begins the following morning; presently, there is a lot of activity going on in the vicinity of the famous Great Red Spot so those with telescopes need to observe when possible! - In VIRGOSaturn - After a spectacular winter and spring in our skies, the graceful ringed planet is now sinking lower to the western horizon as each night passes; however it is still very much a desired target for STAR PARTIES (see the calendar below!) across the country. NOTE the wonderful tripling of Saturn, Venus and Mercury on the evenings of June 23 through June 28 when then seem to do a "square dance" with one-another in the bright skies of evening dusk....this is ONE conjunction of planets you do not want to miss! - in GEMINIUranus - This distant planet is observable in moderate sized telescope as a very distinct disk-like bluish object, shining at magnitude 5.8, bright enough to spot in even small telescopes - in CAPRICORNUS.Neptune - At a faint magnitude 7.9 this month, distant Neptune is high in our skies around midnight - in CAPRICORNUS.Pluto - Now at opposition (see calendar below), and viewable best near midnight local time, this 14th magnitude distant planet is positioned about as favorably in June as it will get - In southern OPHIUCHUSnote: to locate the three outer planets, we recommend you use the charts from a good planetarium PC program!ALSO see the June 2005 Sky & Telescope Magazine for yearly details!
Comet Tempel 1 (9P) - reaching its closest pass by the earth this month and now ready to be empacted by an earth-sent satellite, this 9th magnitude comet is the one to watch this month! Estimates suggest that the comet could brighten enough to see in binoculars after impact! See Calendar below for details!SEE ALSO INDIVIDUAL DATE LISTINGS for faint comets below and for NEW COMETS always refer to the"ASO Comet Patrol" at http://www.arksky.org/cgi-bin/comettable.pl-----------------------------------------
SPOT THE THIN CRESCENT MOON?Try catching the waxing crescent (young moon) about 30 minutes after sunset on JUNE 7.....this will be an incredibly thin moon, slightly more than a day old, with bright VENUS only a few degrees to its left (south). The moon will be in very bright dusk skies, so use binoculars AND use Venus as a guide....find the planet first and then slowly sweep to your right...you should suddenly see the upward "smile" greet you! Note that the moon will be slightly more illuminated and MUCH easier to spot on the following night, June 8, when it is higher in darker skies and up a bit longer before setting. On June 9, the moon will have progressed eastward (it moves its own diameter, about 1/2 degree, each hour to the east) until it will be perched just to the upper right (north and slightly east) of bright SATURN. Look for the GIBBOUS moon very close to the bright planet JUPITER on the evening of June 15!------------------------------------------The ASO June Star of the Month: ANTARES....."The Rival of MARS"
Very Bright Star ANTARES (Alpha Scorpii)
(pronounced: "ann-TARE-eez") Only the "red drop of winter" - Betelgeuse - is more scarlet than the brilliant reddish Antares. From the Greek to mean "the one who rivals Mars", this reference eludes to the deep red color and brightness that is nearly an exact match for the Red Planet when at its closest (perihelic) opposition....which the best always take place in summer months and frequently VERY near Antares. The opposition of Mars in 2001 is no exception when both stood near one-another as a shining red pair.
Both Betegeuse and Antares are perhaps the largest stars of our Milky Way (that we know of); although Betelgeuse is a bit large, Antares boasts a diameter.....get this: 600 MILLION MILES ACROSS! That compares to our sun at slightly less than one million miles diameter. There is a faint (magnitude 9)companion star to Antares that is a full 3" arc nearly due west of the bright star; even though this may SEEM easy in larger scopes it clearly is not because of the brilliance of the main star. With moderate-sized telescopes, you MAY be able to glimpse this fainter, overshadowed star under high magnification, about 250x to 300x.
In wide field telescopes compare the color of Antares to nearby stars of spring and summer, notably VEGA (clearly blue-white), DENEB (definitely yellowish), as well as ALTAIR (orange-yellow).------------------------------------------METEOR SHOWERS: Observe when the moon does not interfere and attempt to observe AFTER midnight for most meteors to be seen! For June, there are no less than 13 (!!) meteor showers, some of which provide for wonderful spring sky shows, provided that the light of the moon does not interfere. However, as with a months and times during the year, observers should always be aware that new sporadic meteor showers can occur at anytime from seemingly unknown sources and radiants.Note that for 2005 the full moon unfortunately occurs in the first week of the month when many of the interesting and better meteor showers reach their peaks.June 3 - Tau Herculid Meteors - Beginning in late may and extending through June, this is a month-long minor meteor shower, overhead for mid-northern latitudes at about 10 a.m.; this will be an ideal month for observing these meteors, since the moon is only a few days from NEW and the radiant will be in the sky all night; the meteor shower is overhead at midnight when most of the 15 meteors per hours might be seen.
June 4 - Alpha Circinid Meteors - This southern hemisphere meteor shower does produce some long-trailed meteors that can be seen low in northern hemisphere skies, traveling from south to north; it was discovered in 1977 by Australian amateur astronomers when 15 very swift meteors were noted per hour; for southern latitudes north of the equator, the meteor shower radiant is actually above the southern horizon at Midnight, so only the brightest meteors can be seen....this shower is in need of observation and continued confirmation.June 5 - Scorpiid Meteors - A very interesting meteor shower with TWO radiants rather than just one as is typically found with annual meteor showers; both radiants are nearly on the meridian at midnight, so observers are suggested to put their feet to the south and look overhead for these meteors; about 3 a.m. local time (the moon will be absent from the sky this year!...); in dark skies, observers should note at least 20 meteors per hour when the moon is absent. Note that not only are the number of meteors impressive with this shower, but also the sky itself, since the meteors will be coming from near the summer Milky Way star clouds, revealing one of the richest star fields visible to the naked eye and camera. Best to begin observations about 10 p.m. and continue until 3 a.m. local time; radiant average is at R.A. 16h 40m; DEC -17 degrees.June 7 - Arietid Meteors - From the constellation of Aries, this is another month-long meteor shower, and can peak on this date with as many as 60 meteors per hour! This has been confirmed by radar, but less than that number can be expected visually, perhaps up to 30. Wait until about 3 a.m. local time to assure that the radiant (low on the eastern horizon) is high enough above local haze and moisture to reveal these meteors. These are very fine, slow meteors which leave spectacular trains, and frequently split into Bolides, or "fireballs." The fireballs should be easily seen in all areas of the sky, although the radiant is nearly overhead about the time of peak.June 7 - Zeta Perseid Meteors - On the same night as the Arietids, this meteor shower is less spectacular, with perhaps 15 per hour visible in ealiest pre-dawn skies; radar reveals as many as 40 per hour after sunrise.June 8 - Librid Meteors - A very minor meteor shower from a very large constellation, expect only a few per hour; evidence suggests that this meteor cloud might be dissipating, and no known cometary source is associated with this minor display; observations are badly needed. Coordinates of radiant: R.A. 15h 09m; DEC -28 degrees.June 11 - Sagittariid Meteors - This is a two-week-long meteor shower beginning in earely June; unfortunately this year the near-full moon will interfere with sighting all but the brightest of meteors, and this only just prior to early morning dawn. The radiant rises in the extreme SE sky about 11 p.m. local time and about a dozen meteors per hour in dark skies might be expected. Note that the quarter moon will be setting shortly after after peak time. VERY low in the southern skies for northern observers, at -35 degrees DEC.June 13 - Theta Ophiuchid Meteors - Coming from the border of Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, and Scorpius, this radiant rises about 9 p.m., about the same time as the full moon on this night; hence the normally-pitiful 2-4 per hour are likely not going to be seen in 2003. However, those that do grace our skies are bright and spectacular, so be alert to these meteors if you are observing and happen upon a fireball from this area.June 16 - June Lyrid Meteors - This is a companion meteor shower to the more-active May Lyrid meteors; this year will be somewhat of a banner year for the June Lyrids, since the moon will be absent from the sky all night!; The radiant is nearly directly overhead at midnight near the bright star Vega for mid-northern latitudes; since most of these meteors are very faint, attempt to begin observations when the quarter moon is LOW in the west. This is but one of many meteor showers that have been discovered by amateur astronomers since 1960....this one has been seen every year since 1966.June 20 - Ophiuchid Meteors - A very poor year for this shower, since the full moon will be in the sky pretty much all night long, the radiant rising highest in the sky at 11:25 p.m. local time. The radiant sets about sun-up, so meteors should be seen throughout our skies throughout this year's "window"; this is an interesting meteor shower since the number per hour can vary from as few as 8 per hour to over 26 per hour on any given year.June 26 - Corvid Meteors - Not particularly favorable this year, since the last quarter moon will be in the sky from midnight on; this is one of the shortest duration of all meteor showers, lasting only 5 days at most, with perhaps 10 meteors per hour seen to any observer; these originate near the small constellation trapezoid of Corvus, the Crow and the last good showing was in 1937. Astronomers speculate that these meteors are a product of some as-yet undiscovered comet. Since it has been years since a good showing and since the source is unknown, this is a very important meteor shower for a group project. Radiant: R.A. 12h 48m; DEC -19 degrees.June 29 - Beta Taurid Meteors - Here is a different type of meteor shower....one you CAN'T see~! This is a daylight meteor storm that is of interest to those with ham radios, or those with long-distance shortwave receivers tuned to a distant station toward the direction of the radiant (Taurus. R.A. 05h 44m; DEC +19 degrees); ham operators have recorded a dependable 30+ meteors per hour each year. BUT.....at least the moon can't interfere with THIS one!June 30 - June Draconid Meteors - Normally the best meteor shower of June, both in terms of sky position but for 2005 moonlight will in the sky after midnight so observers are urged to observe early after dark. Known in the past as the "Pons-Winnecke Meteors" (from the comet of origin), this can be an incredibly spectacular meteor shower; in 1916 over 100 very bright meteors were seen in fireworks style, but it appears that the numbers may be waning as years progress. Being irregular, observers are cautioned that there may be as few as 10 per hour or well over 100 per hour; with the high declinations (radiant: R.A. 15h 12m, DEC +49 degrees), the shower will rise about the beginning of astronomical darkness and be in the sky all night long, highest just after midnight in high northern skies. This will be the BEST time to observe this shower in most years, with your feet placed to the north and eyes focused nearly overhead.JUNE 2005IMPORTANT EVENTS TO REMEMBER:
JUNE 2005Jun 01 - Asteroid 1999 MN Near-Earth Flyby (0.068 AU)Jun 01 - 15th Anniversary (1990), ROSAT LaunchJun 02-04 - Annual CanSat Competition, Plaster City, CaliforniaJun 02-05 - Wisconsin Observers Weekend, Hartman Creek State Park, Wisconsin**Jun 02-05 - Almost Heaven Star Party, Spruce Knob, West Virginia**Jun 02-06 - Cherry Springs Star Party, near Galeton, Pennsylvania**Jun 03-05 - North Dakota Star Party, Cross Ranch State Park, North Dakota**Jun 03-05 - Jersey StarQuest 2005, Hope, New Jersey**Jun 03-05 - Sky-Tour 2005, near Bellevue, OhioJun 04 - Asteroid 3066 McFadden Closest Approach To Earth (1.648 AU)Jun 04 - Asteroid 5254 Ulysses Closest Approach To Earth (4.841 AU)**Jun 04 - Central Texas Stars & Guitars Fest, Whitney, Texas - yeeee-HAW!**Jun 04-11 - 15th Annual Grand Canyon Star Party, Grand Canyon, Arizona**Jun 04-11 - 10th Annual Southern Skies Star Party, Lake Titicaca, BoliviaJun 05 - Asteroid 6984 Lewiscarroll Closest Approach to Earth (3.704 AU)Jun 05 - Kuiper Belt Object 50000 Quaoar Closest Approach To Earth (42.332 AU)Jun 05 - Planetary and Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium (PTMSS), Sudbury, CanadaJUNE 06 - NEW MOON - 04:55 p.m. CDT - In TaurusJun 06-10 - 5th Serbian Conference on Spectral Line Shapes in Astrophysics, Vrsac, SerbiaJun 06-10 - 2nd Meeting Hot Subdwarf Stars and Related Objects, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain - met any Hot Sub-dwarfs Lately?Jun 06-10 - 2nd Summer School in Spectrum Management for Radio Astronomy, Castel San Pietro Terme, ItalyJun 06-10 - Mons 2005 Meeting: Element Stratification in Stars - 40 Years of Atomic Diffusion, Caussens, FranceJun 06-12 - Conference: The Origin of the Hubble Sequence, Vulcano Island, ItalyJun 07 - Asteroid 10444 Squyres Closest Approach To Earth (1.582 AU)Jun 08 - 30th Anniversary (1975), Venera 9 Launch (Soviet Venus Orbiter/Lander)Jun 08 - 40th Anniversary (1965), Luna 6 Launch (Soviet Moon Flyby)Jun 08 - Giovanni Cassini's 380th Birthday (1625)Jun 08-10 - 2005 IEEE Swarm Intelligence Symposium, Pasadena, CaliforniaJun 09 - Deep Impact Lecture, National Air and Space Museum, Washington DCJun 09-11 - 2nd International Conference on Recent Advances in Space Technologies, Istanbul, TurkeyJun 10 - Asteroid 23990 Springsteen Closest Approach To Earth (1.251 AU)**Jun 10-11 - 35th Annual Apollo Rendezvous, Dayton, Ohio**Jun 10-12 - Grand Mesa Star Party, Grand Mesa, ColoradoJun 11 - Asteroid 2074 Shoemaker Closest Approach To Earth (1.096 AU)**Jun 11 - Stars Over Clarkston Star Party, Clarkston, MichiganJun 11 - 20th Anniversary (1985), Vega 1, Venus Landing/BalloonJun 12-17 - Conference: Solar Wind 11 / SOHO 16 - Connecting Sun and Heliosphere, Whistler, CanadaJun 13 - Asteroid 1198 Atlantis Closest Approach To Earth (1.050 AU)Jun 13-16 - Conference: Submillimeter Astronomy - In the Era of the SMA, Cambridge, MassachusettsJUNE 14 - FIRST QUARTER MOON - 08:22 CDT - In VIRGOJun 14 - Pluto At Opposition - Overhead at midnight local time; good 8" telescope and findercharts required to view....see PLUTO above!Jun 14 - Asteroid 1913 Sekanina Closest Approach To Earth (2.003 AU)Jun 14 - Asteroid 6676 Monet Closest Approach To Earth (2.335 AU)Jun 14 - 20th Anniversary (1985), Vega 2, Venus Landing/BalloonJun 14 - 30th Anniversary (1975), Venera 10, Venus LandingJun 14-16 - European Space Cryogenics Workshop, Noordwijk, The NetherlandsJun 14-17 - 6th International Symposium Reducing the Costs of Spacecraft Ground Systems and Operations, Darmstadt, GermanyJun 15-17 - 5th International APC Workshop: High Energy Phenomena in the Galactic Center, Paris, FranceJun 16 - Moon Occults JupiterJun 16 - Asteroid 10217 Richardcook Closest Approach To Earth (1.626 AU)Jun 16 - Lecture: Astrobiology in the Arctic, Pasadena, CaliforniaJun 17 - Galaxy 14 Soyuz FG-Fregat LaunchJun 17 - Lecture: Astrobiology in the Arctic, Pasadena, CaliforniaJun 17 - 5th Anniversary (2000), Discovery of the Dhofar 378 Meteorite (Mars Meteorite)Jun 18 - Asteroid 9253 Oberth Closest Approach To Earth (1.222 AU)Jun 18 - Asteroid 1772 Gagarin Closest Approach To Earth (1.483 AU)Jun 18 - Asteroid 11247 Wilburwright Closest Approach To Earth (2.072 AU)Jun 19 - Comet Denning-Fujikawa Perihelion (0.797 AU)**Jun 19-22 - Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA) 2005 Conference, Green Bank, West VirginiaJun 19-24 - Conference: Stellar Pulsation and Evolution, Monte Porzio Catone, ItalyJun 20 - Asteroid 4808 Ballaero Closest Approach To Earth (2.088 AU)Jun 20 - 335th Anniversary (1670), Discovery Of Nova 1670 VulpeculaeJun 20-24 - Conference: Astrophysical Sources of High Energy Particles and Radiation, Torun, PolandJun 20-24 - 5th International Conference: The Fabulous Destiny of Galaxies - Bridging Past and Present, Marseille, FranceJun 20-24 - 59th Yamada Conference: Inflating Horizon of Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Tokyo, JapanJun 20-24 - 2nd Annual Meeting of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society, SingaporeJUNE 21 - FULL MOON - 11:14 p.m. CDT - In SagittariusJun 21 - Workshop on Surveys of Dark Energy, Portsmouth, United KingdomJun 22 - Royal Greenwich Observatory's 330th Birthday (1675)Jun 23 - Asteroid 13667 Samthurman Closest Approach To Earth (1.527 AU)Jun 24 - Cryosat Rokot-KM LaunchJun 24 - Express AM-3 Proton K LaunchJun 24 - Asteroid 11365 NASA Closest Approach To Earth (1.388 AU)Jun 24 - Fred Hoyle's 90th Birthday (1915)Jun 25 - Asteroid 13609 Lewicki Closest Approach To Earth (1.357 AU)Jun 25 - Asteroid 15000 CCD Closest Approach To Earth (1.556 AU)Jun 25 - Rupert Wildt's 100th Birthday (1905)Jun 26 - Charles Messier's 275th Birthday (1730) - Now at M-275 and countingJun 26-29 - International Workshop: Biosphere Origin and Evolution, Novosibirsk, RussiaJun 26-Jul 01 - ESA & ISGP Joint Life Science Conference: Life in Space for Life on Earth, Cologne, GermanyJun 26-Jul 01 - Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomenon Conference (INSAP), Chicago, IllinoisJun 27 - Mercury Passes 0.1 Degrees From Venus - Wondeful Photo-Op; low in dusk skies right after sunset; look for Saturn too!Jun 27-30 - International Conference on Close Binaries in the 21st Century - New Opportunities and Challenges, Syros, GreeceJun 27-Jul 01 - Meeting: Reionizing the Universe, Groningen, The NetherlandsJun 27-Jul 01 - 2005 National Space & Missile Materials Symposium, Summerlin, NevadaJun 27-Jul 01 - Conference: The Formation of Disk Galaxies, Ascona, SwitzerlandJun 27-Jul 06 - Lectures on A Panchromatic View on Clusters of Galaxies and the LSS, Puebla, MexicoJULY 28 - LAST QUARTER MOON - 01:23 p.m. CDT - In PISCESJun 28-Jul 01 - Conference: Ultralow-mass Star Formation and Evolution, La Palma, Canary Islands, SpainJun 28-Jul 02 - Conference: Planetary Nebulae as Astronomical Tools, Gdansk, PolandJun 30 - NRO B-26 Titan 4B Launch (Final Launch of the Titan 4B)Jun 30 - Deep Impact, Trajectory Correction Maneuver #4 (TCM-4)Jun 30 - Asteroid 5738 Billpickering Closest Approach To Earth (2.883 AU)
---------------------------------------------Clear skies to all!Dr. Clay
Arkansas Sky Observatory
Observatory Hill Drive, Petit Jean Mt.
MPC/cbat Obs. H41 / Petit Jean MountainMPC/cbat Obs. H45 / Petit Jean Mountain South
MPC/cbat Obs. H43 / Conway
MPC/cbat Obs. H44 / Cascade Mountain
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