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Monday, 12 January 2009


A note for 2009:
2009 is the International year of Astronomy as well as Moon week which is 20th to 26th July to celebrate 40th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landings...

It has been a quiet 2008 for bright Comets and with Comet Boattini probably the best one to see only reaching Magnitude 7 to 8 in the western evening twilight and was a hard object for me to pick out and see due to the bright Sky around may time, it was quickly consumed by the evening twilight sky to re-appear in the early morning skies of July still around magnitude 6 to 7-this comet was seen either side of the Summer solstice but had faded rapidly into August.
Most of the other Comets for 2008 were beyond Magnitude 10 or more and were much too faint for us amature astronomers to pick out-I will keep you all updated and informed about Comet Lulin which is now visible at this time in the early morning skies and will enter the evening skies in February according to reports it has a tail as well as anti tail and is visible in small back garden telescopes right now for early risers.

Upcoming Astronomical Events for 2009:
5 Space shuttle launches are scheduled for this year and sees the return of several comets and 3 of them that may become Binocular Brightness-I will keep you all updated and informed if they do.
January Phenomena:
14th Venus at its Greatest Elongation of 47 Degrees East
15th Saturn 6 Degrees North of the Moon
21st Antares 0.02 Degrees South of the Moon
24th Jupiter in Conjunction with the Sun
26th Annular Solar Eclipse in the Indian Ocean
30th Venus 3 Degrees and Neptune 5 Degrees South of the Crescent Moon.

Planets for January:
Mercury: has been seen for the past 2 weeks low in the South Western Evening Twilight shining as a small pin prick of light at Magnitude +1 and earlier in the Month was close to small Yellow disc of Jupiter in the cold Evening Skies.
Venus: Is now a brilliant object in the South-South Western Evening Skies after Sunset and is shining at magnitude 4.6
Mars: is now too close to the Sun for any kind of Observation.
Dwarf Planet Ceres: now in the Early morning skies amongst the stars of Leo and worth the effort to look at if clear.
Jupiter: in Conjunction with the Sun on the 24th January and has by now been consumed by the Evening Twilight.
Uranus: Has also been consumed by the Western Evening Twilight.
Neptune: was Visible for The early part of the New Year but this also has now faded to the Western Evening Sky.
Dwarf Planet Pluto: Is too close to the Sun at the moment but will gradually appear in the early morning sky.

The Moon:
Full Moon was on the 11th January
Last Quarter is on 18th January
New Moon is on 26th January
First Quarter is on 2nd February
Full Moon is on 9th February

Lighting up times for January and February:
January 15th 16.51 Hours U.T
January 31st 17.18 Hours U.T
February 15th 17.45 Hours U.T
February 28th 18.09 Hours U.T

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